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TDP2021: Day44 – Lleida – Barcelona

My last full-day drive in Spain has begun. Yesterday evening I researched a little as to which kind of options I had to get to Barcelona as I wasn’t keen on 150km of main road driving – today I’ll take some smaller roads to Tarragona, visit the city and then take the road along the coast to Barcelona.

Add some hills to cross into the mix and this should turn out to be a very nice day of TWIKEing.

Another day - another long stretch of road

Another day – another long stretch of road

The last few hills before the sea

The last few hills before the sea

 

The last hill before Tarragona turned out to be a real surprise – complete with a steep winding road up the hill, the road went all the way to 800m ASL!

What a surprise! A proper hill!

What a surprise! A proper hill!

 

From there, the sea, coastline and Tarragona were clearly visible. A very nice sight and an even nicer descent all the way towards Tarragona.

800m ASL - the sea is already visible

800m ASL – the sea is already visible

 

The town of Tarragona – I’ve driven trough and past it a few dozen times during the last 25 years of me visiting Spain regularly but never visited. This shall change today. The city centre has the usual tight parking situation as anywhere. With a TWIKE, however, there is no need to look far. There is always a parking spot somewhere to fit in!

A TWIKE fits anywhere

A TWIKE fits anywhere

 

As I’m on a culinary trip, too, today’s breakfast is my absolute favourite in Spain: Churros. They’re gone in no time and I order a second helping within just a few minutes. 🙂

Ah... my favourite Spanish Breakfast

Ah… my favourite Spanish Breakfast

 

North of Tarragona is the beach and place I stayed the last time I was in Spain with the TWIKE and from where I departed to reach the ferry the same morning. This will be my last visit to a proper beach for this trip and I take the time to say goodbye to the sea, also.

A last beach visit for TW560

A last beach visit for TW560

 

The last few dozen km are along the sea and into some last hills. I decide to take the exact same road as last time as I didn’t get to see much of it as last time it was at 5am in the dark…

What a view from a TWIKE: Barcelona ahead!

What a view from a TWIKE: Barcelona ahead!

Finally I see this by day

Finally I see this by day

 

The last hill above Barcelona lets me peek at the expanse of the city just 20km away. Nearly there!

Barcelona outskirts and sea

Barcelona outskirts and sea

 

I was curious to see how entering the city would look like – with the new ZBE zone and the rather draconian limits set for vehicles allowed within, I was expecting some kind of EV utopia with low vehicle counts and a robust entry system at the city’s outskirts would clearly show when you enter the zone…but, as you might already suspect…none of that was present.

There was no visible point visible from where these vehicles were mandated. >90% of all vehicles were ICE-based and many of them were as dirty as it gets -> diesel powered and badly maintained.

Barcelona - as seen from a TWIKE

Barcelona – as seen from a TWIKE

 

What I saw when in town, however, were lots of cameras to capture the vehicles driving around.

Number plate readers everywhere

Number plate readers everywhere

 

I stopped at the same quick charging station which was non-operational last time and was happy to see that it had been replaced with a less beefy one but also dismayed that it would only work with a local Barcelona-based app and didn’t support any roaming – similar to Lisbon.

This time ... you need a local card!

This time … you need a local card!

 

My hotel is in downtown Barcelona and gives me the opportunity to fully enjoy the €3 I spent on the day pass for my TWIKE.

Central Barcelona

Central Barcelona

 

Also, there are worse places to be with a TWIKE – the views are really nice.

Another brilliant view from a TWIKE

Another brilliant view from a TWIKE

 

Having arrived at my hotel, I get my parking spot assigned and can start charging immediately. I really like the fact that most hotels nowadays have charging stations in their garages. Not that I would need them but it makes some of the discussions I might have had in the past unnecessary.

My TWIKE looks so grown up like this :)

My TWIKE looks so grown up like this 🙂

 

I’ve arrived midday and this gives me lots of time to relax, walk around and find a good place for my last evening in Spain with lots of Tapas and other treats.

The rooftop pool was one of the reasons for choosing the hotel I’m at and the photos didn’t lie – the view was spectacular. I spent a few hours there in the sun and enjoying the pool with a view.

Splurging on a proper hotel with a view in Barcelona

Splurging on a proper hotel with a view in Barcelona

 

Later on I decided to walk around town and add the 10k I usually do running by walking to all the important attractions.

If you haven’t been to Barcelona yet, this might be a good moment to consider doing so – before the usual amount of tourists are back. The town felt so light and airy in comparison to the last few times I’ve been – even the Ramblas were more or less tourist-free…imagine 4am in the past.

Barcelona - not so touristy

Barcelona – not so touristy

 

Even the Sagrada was progressing 😉

The progress/new bits were very visible due to the grey concrete color instead of the rest in sandstone. It looks very impressive already.

Finally, the construction is underway

Finally, the construction is underway

 

Below is the random thing I found today –

I'm not quite sure if this is an insider joke or not.

I’m not quite sure if this is an insider joke or not.

Tourist Barcelona

Tourist Barcelona

 

Wandering around Barcelona got me very hungry…and thirsty.

I found myself a nice and local place, started chatting with some of the other guests and enjoyed my Tapas with a few beers, like every evening for the last few days. I’m happy and grateful to have this life and am enjoying myself thoroughly.

More Tapas - so simple, so good

More Tapas – so simple, so good

 

Off onto the ferry tomorrow! Italy awaits! #gogogo

 

Today's stats

Today’s stats

Today's GPS track

Today’s GPS track