Week 53

Day 365 – Friday 8th March 2019

A lovely sunny morning in Peñíscola.

Today it is one year since I retired; I had a late breakfast with Rob Bristow then walked out of Swanwick for the last time.

Have I missed work? I miss the great people I worked with. I really enjoyed my stints on C & D watch and on the original A watch and my time on the EOS team; I miss all the banter but I don’t miss the actual work.

Don’t get me wrong I love sorting out a tricky fault and I think that’s what NATS paid me to do but I’d had enough of the same niggley faults, the ones that crop up week after week; issues that should have been fixed years ago. It didn’t really help that the local management gave us a series of crappy but apparently really expensive tools to manage the workload.

I think the best way to get any company working smarter is to regularly sack a few useless managers. The workers all know who the useless ones are and imho they should be given an annual vote every Christmas; give everyone something to look forward to throughout to the dark days of December 😀

Anyway I digress. Into Peñíscola for a nose around and some lunch.

Peñíscola has a 14th century castle which was added to in 1960 when some of El Cid was filmed there.

More recently it has been used in season 6 of Game of Thrones

shit, I’ve given away the ending!! 😀

The town has a really huge sandy bay

After the sightseeing we repaired to Bayarri for lunch. It was the only place in on the front doing chips

I ate so much I was in pain…

I needed a lie down

Day 366 – Saturday 9th March 2019

Another sunny day in Peñíscola. We packed up and headed for Barcelona.

The 3 Estrellas is the closest campsite to Barcelona and thankfully it does not seem as bad as its reviews.

We have a nice big pitch by the beach which Cfor likes. So everything is fine.

Even if we are at the end of El Prat’s runway.

Day 367 – Sunday 10th March 2019

A very sunny day and we hopped on a bus into the city centre..

First stop

Next stop, Europe’s oldest building site. Luckily all the tickets were sold out.

I have my suspicions that they’ll never finish La Sagrada Familia because once it’s open to the public as a church they won’t be able to charge people £15 to have a gander round a fuckin’ building site.

I suddenly felt ill at lunch. Really ill. Aching all-over, organs shutting down & dying ill. Don’t know how I made it back to the campsite.

Spent the rest of the day in bed.

Day 368 – Monday 12th March 2019

An overcast start to the day but it soon got sunny. Still ill. Spent the day in bed, dozing in the sun or sat on the bog; real eye of a needle stuff.

Day 369 – Tuesday 12th March 2019

A really bad night last night. Spent half the time on the bog. At one point I woke up literally drenched in sweat but I actually feel better this morning. Spent the day dozing in chairs and drinking rehydration fluids.

Day 370 – Wednesday 13th March 2019

Woke up feeling a whole lot better. Actually felt hungry so had some beans on toast which made me feel slightly worse. Overcast day and cold. Spent the day sitting quietly with my rehydration fluids..

Day 371 – Thursday 14th March 2019

A beautiful sunny day 🙂 Woke up feeling great 😀 Julie needed some persuading that I was fit enough to go into Barca but we set off on the bus about 10ish and headed for Las Rambla.

I’d already crossed the trip to the Nou Camp stadium & museum off the list of things to do as paying €30 each to look some old Messi & Cruyff shirts seemed a little expensive as I could probably buy them along with a Neymar shirt in town and still have change for a beer, some tapas and coffee.

Las Rambla is a main drag in Barcelona; a tourist and therefore a pickpocket mecca.

These are Caganers, Shitters. They are little figurines of famous people doing a dump – there is a brown coil behind each one – and they are part of the Christmas tradition in Catalonia. Placed with the nativity scene they are supposed to bring luck and prosperity as the dump fertilizes the soil.

Julie wanted to see some Gaudi architecture so we headed over to the Park Güell.

Park Güell is a nice park but it’s a lot more crowded than when I last visited some 10 or 11 years ago.

I was surprised to see that you now had to pay to see the decorative Gaudi tiling.

Well I say surprised but like everything in Spain it was an unfinished building site and the Spanish have been getting away with charging people to stay in building sites since the 1960s.

Yeah I know Spain is broke. I can see that everywhere but charging €8.50 to go around a crowded building site is a fuckin’ joke. I blame the millennials and our Chinese friends. These places get added to bucket lists and these sheep are then prepared to shell out good money for shite. All today’s tickets were sold out, I was disappointed for Julie.

My very favourite site in Barcelona… the Magic Fountain.

Fountains are meant to be happy joyous things and this one delivers in spades. What’s more it’s free… for now!

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