We took an overnight train from Florence to Barcelona. It was a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it very often. Our private compartment was the right size for two people, but it was kind of small once we got our luggage, too. I thought I would sleep really well but I kept waking up, forgetting where I was. We met several people on the train from the U.S. We compared notes about our observations of Italy – especially their constant smoking, love of ham, and ridiculous fashion sense.
Our hotel is great – Hotel Regencia Colon. It was beautiful views of the Cathedral and within walking distance to most major sites. We had a great time in the Gothic Quarter. It’s the old part of Barcelona with medieval buildings, cobblestone streets, and public squares with cafes and bars.
We were really entertained on La Rambla, a major street that runs from Placa Catalunya to the waterfront. It’s divided into sections, each with its own character and entertainment. The Opera House and Mercat de la Boqueria (a gorgeous market) share the road with the red light district and Erotic Museum of Barcelona.
We got lost trying to find the architect Gaudi’s famous La Sagrada Familia, a massive cathedral. The front desk told us which bus to take, but we got on the wrong bus and went into Barcelona’s suburbs. The bus finally stopped when we were the only two left and then we started back toward the city. We finally went past the cathedral, but didn’t even bother to get off.