Thursday, 28 May 2015

exploring the Transbordador Aeri del Port

Another proper tourist post today, this time exploring the Transbordador Aeri del Port. It is based at the prominent tower on the outskirts of the Barceloneta area, near to the beach.

Reaching the tower was a quick stroll from the hotel, promising a short cut route to the Montjuïc area which was right across the other side of the harbour.

Now, I'm used to London's Airway cablecar which crosses the Thames in about 7-8 minutes with a service interval of about 60 seconds between individual gondolas. It was only after getting into the queue here that I mentally processed the striking differences.
  1. this cable car is a much older design built for a world fair in 1929.
  2. you get to it via a slow 6 person lift.
  3. There's only one cable car in each direction with around a 7 minute service interval and a 3 minute change over.
After about 45 minutes of queuing, I was at the ticketing office. Then another 20 minutes to reach the lift to the upstairs area. The tower is about the equivalent of 20 stories above ground and a couple of people in the lift were looking decidedly nervous in a Disney Tower of Terror kind of way as we ascended.
The tower's top floor revealed another line of people. I worked out we'd be the third crossing. It was actually the fourth.
And yes, there's a fine view across the harbour. It is made all the more interesting because from most of the ground level Barceloneta beach area the ships and port are hidden from view by buildings. From up high there's a greatly different view which brings together the geography of the area.
As we crossed to Montjuïc, much of Barcelona spreads out into the distance creating great panoramic views. Fortunately, I was by an open window in the cablecar and able to grab a few snaps as well.
I'd already decided to find another way back, and sure enough, the line to re-board the cablecar at the far end was at least a further 4-5 return trips long.
Instead, I opted for ice cream in the cafe, a stroll around the pretty gardens and then a saunter down the hill (it's referred to as a mountain) before heading back to the centre on foot.

I certainly enjoyed the views and adapting the visit based upon circumstance. I have a feeling that most people will only ever do the trip once, because of the waiting times.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Besides being very old and possibly somewhat dangerous---is it worth the waiting and all that, to see what you can see of Barcelona? I always love all your pictures, my dear----I always get a real sense of "place", and that's a great gift.

rashbre said...

Yes Naomi, I know what you mean...When to abandon the wait? I'd say this was at the edge of what I'd be prepared to do although the queue itself didn't look very long. On balance I enjoyed the overall visit but mainly because the long wait is mentally erased as soon as the cable car starts moving.

My secret tip to travellers would be to go to the W Hotel and visit the Eclipse bar which is right at the top and offers a similar view ;-)