Our friends from Barcelona - Maria and Elias - have invited us to visit them many times while we were in Rome. Last year for their anniversary they came to Rome and we spent some time with them. This trip we decided to visit them and we took the long Easter weekend to go.
We had not been back to Barcelona since our visit in 1995 when we stopped there on the way back from a meeting that the Queen had in Israel. Maria and Elias planned a weekend of biking and sightseeing in the area of Catalan where they were both born and raised.
In Barcelona they now have community bicycles for the citizens to use. There are over 30 stations all over the city with about 20 bicycles locked up. A citizen of Barcelona pays 30 euros for one year and they can use any bike. They use a card to swipe a scanner and one of the bikes is unlocked. You can use it for one hour free of charge and then return it to any bike station and lock it up.
Photo: The Queen and Maria at the bike station near their apartment building. Elias sometimes uses the bikes to commute to his hospital. The bikes are so popular that often the bike station near his apartment is out of bikes.
Photo: The King and Queen are set to go on a sightseeing jaunt around Barcelona. We brought our bike helmets from Rome. No one wears bike helmets in Barcelona.
Photo: The streets are fairly wide in the downtown area and many are striped with bicycle lanes.
Photo: As long as you stay in the downtown and port/beach area it is pretty flat. Here is the Queen resting at the port area.
Photo: The King along the beach.
Photo: The Venetian Towers at the Plaza de Espana. The towers are 154 feet tall. The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall to give you some perspective.
Photo: Also on the Plaza de Espana is the Arenas de Barcelona, a bullring It was built in 1900 in Moorish Revival Style and is being converted into a shopping center. Well - almost no one wears a helmet.
Photo: On the last day we wandered down to the Ramblas, the pedestrian area with flowers, birds, performers, etc.