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I had five days in Barcelona, enough time to sample several tapas bars and to see some extraordinary architecture unique to this seaside Spanish city. I was there with my sister, an ER Doctor, who was attending a convention. After much preparation in leaving my two small children and husband at home, she and I set out to taste, smell, see and experience Barcelona.

Oh yes, and we wanted to do a little shopping too.

Before leaving baggage claim we exchanged some currency and headed for central Barcelona via the airport train station. Moving walkways to all the terminals connect the train station. The train operates every 30 minutes from 6:13 to 23:40 and is 2E. We were going to Placa Catalunya, which is about a 25-minute ride.

Placa de Catalunya is also where you can get the Aerobus service to the Barcelona airport--an option we took going home. It runs every fifteen minutes between 6:00 and 24:00. The journey is 30 minutes and it costs 3:30 E one-way. I liked this option better, as you got a very scenic ride through the city, which would have been nice upon our arrival.

Arriving in Placa de Catalunya we got our first glimpse of Barcelona. This grand square is the nerve center to much of what the city has to offer. It is a bustle of tourists and locals all heading in every direction. Many metro and bus lines as well as the Bus Turistic and the Aerobus originate from this hub. Heading down any one of its connecting streets you'll find great shopping for a variety of budgets. On the square itself is Spain's omnipresent El Corte Inges department store where Bonnie and I made some great purchases later in the week. READ MORE


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