We arrived in Barcelona two days before our Viking Mediterranean Odyssey cruise departure. Arriving a couple of days early allows us time to get over jetlag, and gives us an opportunity to explore Barcelona, our first time to this amazing city.
Arriving on a Saturday, we had a quiet afternoon and evening at our hotel. The following day we had pre-book a Viatour walking tour of Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. This would be a four hour tour with an excellent local guide. We walked through the Gaudi designed Park Guell, taking in all the quirky structures. Once finished there we boarded a mini-bus for the ride to the La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, probably the most famous Gaudi creation. To our surprise, there was a huge gathering in the square in front of the cathedral, a Castell or "Human Towers" competition with thousands of cheering onlookers. We got to experience this unique local Catalan tradition where teams would try to create the highest tower of people. With crowds cheering, music blaring and drums beating, the excitement grows as climbers crawl up the backs and shoulders of team mates.
A great day in Barcelona with that added surprise of this amazing local traditional festival. The next day we would board the Viking Venus and sail away for our Mediterranean cruise.