The Barcelona City bike tour runs through city and beach spanning approximately seven miles over a four hour period. If Google maps married Lonely Planet, this tour would be their nerdy, bike riding love child. Hosted by highly knowledgeable tour guides who let you in on the secrets you need to know about the city so that you can know where to go even after the tour ends. From the choicest places to have a few sangrias to the neighborhoods best worth getting lost in to historical information about specific structures: the result is a bike tour of fascinating trivia and some downright impressive happenings. From Barri Gotic (the Gothic quarter) all the way to Barceloneta beach (the Mediterranean Sea) and various Antoni Gaudi structures are just a few of the sites covered.
One of the sightings that stuck out in my mind was the wholly preserved medieval courtyard of the Plaza del Rei (Royal Palace) where Ferdinand and Isabella are supposed to have received Christopher Columbus on his return from the so-called New World. I could just imagine Columbus walking into the spectacle with an arrogant strut. Other cool points of interest include Arc del Triomf (Barcelona’s version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris), The Gherkin (Barcelona’s version of London’s gherkin), Palau de la Mùsica Catalana where everyone from Bob Marley, The Beatles and David Bowie have all played at one time and of course the La Sagrada Familia which was conceptualized, designed and worked on by ubiquitous Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi until his death in 1926. Interesting to note that the devoutly religious Gaudi estimated the completion of the La Sagrada Familia would take at least 200 years and the structure is still being worked on to this day with no date of completion offered anywhere in the near future. At the Barceloneta Beach I was quite shocked to learn that all the sand was imported from the Sahara Desert to cover up the naturally rocky filled seaside.
One of the things I was most impressed by was our host, Buddha Jones’ speedy recall of an encyclopedic Spanish historical culture memory. Any time we drove by a major landmark Buddha would be ready to dish some trivia related to the place. I was tempted to just throw the most random of trivia out there to see if we could tie them into actual sightings. If you have even mild to major appreciation for trivia and the occasional macabre and want to cover a lot of tourist ground in a short period of time give Fat Tire Bike Tours a call. With locations in not only Barcelona but also Paris, London and Berlin, If you’re not completely amused send me the bill and I’ll send you a map and a compass. Fair enough?
Photos by Rachel Sloat: