Awakened at about 7:00 even though I wanted to sleep another half hour. Did morning ablutions, took all my gear/luggage to reception area, sat awhile until I learned breakfast service had started, grabbed a quick breakfast and we were off to the train station at 8:30. Bid goodbye to Jose and our driver, Luis Mi. Boarded train for Barcelona which left on time at 9:43. Had to hoist our big suitcases up onto the overhead rack since the luggage rack by the door was already full.

We are in a “preferred” car … sort of like first class. Nice seats. Full breakfast meal and drinks. Very nice. After eating my “second breakfast” I did some keywording and captioning in Lightroom. Train cruised at 180 mph. Got into Barcelona on time at 2:30. Was a long wait and bus to our hotel since it’s Columbus Day and central city traffic was limited. At Rivoli Rambla hotel. Very nice. Right on the main street of Barcelona, La Rambla, which is busy and full of people at all hours. Got into our rooms. Mine is 201 and faces La Rambla.

At 4:00 we met in the lobby and were joined by our guide, Charro (no, not that one). We did a wandering walk around the old part of the city seeing the old Roman walls, several churches from outside and Santa Maria del Mar inside, City Hall, Jewish quarter area. Ended up about 7:30 at Familia Lonja for nice tapas, wine and beer. Walked the 20 minutes or so back to the hotel.

Even with only the walk in Barcelona, we did 6,700 steps, 2.6 miles. And Barcelona is a culture shock coming from the smaller Andalusian cities. It’s big. It’s very crowded with traffic and tourists. And warnings about pickpockets are everywhere. Ah, the joys of a large metropolis.

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