La Pobla de Claramunt to Barcelona

This proved to be a tough little 60K, probably because I approached it like I had done all the hard work yesterday and, as a result, each climb and headwind felt worse than it actually was.

There was a bit of picturesque climbing early on but, by the time you get to Piera at 15K, its pretty much downhill or flat the rest of the way; leaving a headwind as the main obstacle that has to be endured.

Thanks to Miguel for passing on some local knowledge for those that may follow; apparently there is a nice flat cycle path that follows the river Anoia from La Pobla de Claramunt to Piera which would have made the first ten miles a lot easier.

There was even some fun to be had overcoming the headwind by trying to latch on to the back of the many chain gangs that seemed to be zipping around.

However, the chain gangs don’t seem to venture into the city – with good cause. Traffic wise Barcelona felt like a relatively calm city and not overly burdened with cars, but it is not a great place to cycle.

The lack of traffic might have been because it was a Saturday or, maybe, because the sheer number of traffic lights you have to endure must make driving a nightmare!

There seemed to be a traffic light every 200 meters or so, most of them red because they are not phased for cycling. It was very frustrating, but did provide a good game of tag with a red light jumping mountain bike rider on a long uphill stretch.

The route in unexpectedly took me past the huge Camp Nou stadium, home to FC Barcelona. At one of the fan shops outside the ground I noticed an Henry shirt gently blowing in the breeze, which seemed to be screaming “text me!” to my Arsenal mad brother. (For those with no interest in football my brother, like many Arsenal supporters, was still smarting about Henry’s transfer to Barcelona at the time).

After wasting a fair bit of time trying to locate the last of Barcelona’s three youth hostels that apparently had some space, I checked into a reasonably priced hotel instead.

It was nice to finish early enough in the day to get organised (change, eat, wash all my stuff) and still have time to go out for some sightseeing.

Schadenfreude was first on the agenda, requiring a walk back to the Nou Camp and purchase of an Henry shirt for my son to wear to my brother’s wedding anniversary.

Didn’t do too much tourism today, as I had set aside tomorrow for a ‘rest day’, to take in as much of this fantastic city as possible in one day. Which, thanks to the city’s excellent metro system, was quite a lot; but still only a small fraction of what there is to see and do.

Barcelona is a beautiful city with friendly people and yet another place I shall have to return to when I have more time.

Barcelona from Parc Gaudi

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Day:10 of 15
Date:28 July 2007
Distance:60 KM
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