BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Friday, 26 April 2013

Some days just aren't as good as others.

Wednesday 17/4/13

We had an ordinary day today. You know, one of those days where things just don't go right.

It started at five am with a phone call from our bank. Damn, they found us. Once I'd sorted that out I couldn't go back to sleep, and after yesterdays mammoth ride I needed sleep.

Tom Toms trick today was to verbally tell me to turn left, while the screen display indicates I should turn right. Inevitably I choose the wrong way and went for a ride to somwhere I didn't want to go.

As we had some time up our sleeve, we tried to take the back roads to Barcelona. All we ended up doing was travelling along a road that parallelled the motorway, but at a slower speed. Back onto the motorway we went.

The ride into Barcelona was enjoyable and we came in past Montserrat which is spectacular.

We'll visit the top sometime in the next couple of days.

Our plan was to go straight to the venue for tonight's show, that way we would have no trouble finding it tonight. The last thing I want to do is be riding around in the dark trying to find the place after the show has started. That was easier said than done. Eventually we found it and found a place to park tonight. The plan was in place.

The next part of the day was really cool. I got to ride down La Rambla. That was fun. We parked and wandered off in search of a bank to pick up our tickets for tonight. The system here is very clever. You pay for your tickets on line with your credit card, then go to an ATM, insert your card, and it prints out your tickets. Simple, and unlike the ticket companies at home who charge you extra when you print your own tickets, there is no charge for the service.

Lunch was next on the agenda. We found a nice looking restaurant off a plaza near La Rambla and sat down. The waiter was great, very helpful and friendly. We ordered our lunch and both chose meatballs with baby squid. It was a bit pricey at eleven euros each, but hey, we're in Barcelona. Out came our lunch. Five tiny meatballs, and some incredibly small pieces of squid. We'd been had again. Thirty three euros (including a drink) for a very small snack. When Suzanne let them know she wasn't happy all they could offer was "this is a five star hotel". That's it. No more tourist type places, it the village life for us from now on.

The million dollar view we enjoyed over lunch.

Next stop was our hotel. Hmm. We are trying to stretch every last dollar now because we have pretty much run out of money, and credit. We were booked into the Ibis Budget. Every other Ibis we've been to has been great. Not this one. They were renovating the ground floor, the air conditioning wasn't turned on ("There's a cool change coming tomorrow sir"), the staff service was well below par, Internet access was unreliable at best, and so on.

So far the day had been decidedly low on the happiness level. I hoped the show tonight would put a smile on our faces.

We arrived at the venue and enjoyed a cheap, tasty hot dog and a drink while watching our first Barcelona sunset. Things were starting to look up.

Sunset over Barcelona.

These towers lit up the plaza outside the venue.

It was time for the show. We weren't disappointed. Cirque de Soleil did a great job, as usual, presenting Michael Jackson. The performers, the music, the dancing, the costumes, the sets, everything was very high on the wow factor scale. It lifted our moods considerable and we finished the day on a high.

We couldn't take photos of the show, so here are a few of the programme...

It was a great night.

Even the traffic on the way out wasn't a problem because the police got every one moving and away from the venue extremely quickly and efficiently. They even set up the roads so the traffic could drive down the wrong side of the road. It worked a treat and we were back in our hotel in no time.

What started out as an ordinary day ended up being one we enjoyed and we'll remember the good for a long time after we've forgotten the bad.

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