Saturday, 30 May 2015

Barcelona

I swear I will stop talking about The Shadow of the wind any day now but not today!! Ha ha so in December after literally years of talking about going to Barcelona, at 3 am I booked my flights to Barcelona, finally says everyone. A while back I asked on Facebook if anyone had any recommendations about where to stay over there and one of my friends suggested AirBnB, which I honestly never would have thought of myself so thanks friend! After looking through all the reviews I decided on This room because of the price was great and the location was near Playca Espanya, which had a metro stop I travelled up to Dublin Tuesday and stayed in (link) for the evening, a group of us got a taxi to the airport and I was checked in and sorted in no time. I slept through most of the flight (even through a passenger behind me whistling to his friend, 8 rows in front of him). I was a little confused about where to get the bus when I arrived but once I found that I was sorted. I met an American couple who had flown over on reserve (I only knew what that was because of an episode of the Simpsons) and had no place booked but were there anyway.
I wasn't able to check in to my room until 4 so the first thing I did once I arrived was take the bus tour, this one was particularly good because I saw some of gaudis work that I wouldn't see again on the rest of the trip and I was able to plan what I would do the following days better. At about 3:30 after a quick stop at the market off las rambles (which is utterly amazing for food and presents) I headed towards the apartment which was a small bit more difficult to find then I anticipated, only because my phone was dead and I had written the address badly on my boarding pass but it was worth it, really clean, use of the kitchen, grand shower, really nice owner, you couldn't fault the place. After a lovely siesta (when in Rome and all that) I headed back to las rambles for some tapas paella and sangria. You have to have paella when you're in Spain, try and not have chicken paella if you can help it.
I found the food on las rambles reasonable and there was loads of ice cream places and little shops and it seemed to be the place to start your evening, I left the place at about 9/10 and it was only really getting busy then. Somehow my housemate and his friend have slightly gotten me into soccer so I watched the last 15 minutes of the Real Madrid game in a pub that sells Guinness and Murphys...

It was recommended in a magazine to book the tickets to sangriada familia before you flew out there (proceeds from the tickets go to building the church which I thought was cool to be honest. I walked passed some of Gaudis buildings on the way there so i was sightseeing on the was to sightseeing ha. I chose to get the audio guide tour which I also recommend as you can wander around and still get educated on the doors and glass and the plans etc. I do love churches (Blame my father for this) and I really really enjoyed the views and the windows and the roof. I went up the nativity tower and got some lovely views of the city, walking down was interesting, particularly with a French man behind me with a fear of heights, but we made it anyway!! You need about 2 hours in the church but it's well worth it. After hearing about it on the bus tour the day before the next thing 




I planned to do was head to park de gaull but first I was famished and I knew I wouldn't get anything in the park so I stopped at a restaurant two or three blocks away on Carrer de la Marina which had tapas a main meal bread a dessert and a drink for 12, I ordered the soup and Iberian ham, before the soup arrived the waiter brought over three tapas, muscles with tomatoes, a type of coleslaw (well I'd describe it as a coleslaw) and a potato salad with fish. the soup followed it was a clear soup with chicken egg (yes egg) and some vegetables. I was disappointed with the ham, but it was more I didn't know what I was ordering. The ice-cream and espresso that followed was so nice after and the staff were lovely I was enthralled by the owner carving the iberian ham off the bone.om







I headed to the park then, an old man offered me directions OFFERED me, in all my years travelling this has never happened and people totally ignore you altogether! The park is a must see in my opinion, the views of the whole city are remarkable and some areas of the park look like backdrops of GoT, I walked around Gaudis House but didn't go in, and I also didn't pay the €8 into the paid part of the park which has different art that Gaudi made for the park

Friday I decided I wanted to see the football stadium. I had prebooked the tickets but these tickets are valid for whenever, no specific time or date which suited me fine my legs were becoming more and more tired so it was nice to have a sleep in that day. I am by no means a soccer fan, in the last year I've watched two and a half matches all Barcelona games actually. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the club and see the importance of the club to the Catalonian people. I held a champions league trophy I never thought I'd do that in all honesty. I couldn't leave without a memento, a pink Barcelona Jersey which I'll wear for the Barcelona juventus game Whooo sports.









After the Football Stadium I headed to The Picasso Museum, which had a Dahli/Picasso exhibition which showed the comparison work of the artists. Picassos work at 17 was just amazing and he got better with time

Three times I attempted to go into the cathedral which is a different church to sangriada familia. The first two times it was closed and the final time I wasn't allowed in as my knees were showing....,.
For some reason there's Dunkin donuts in Spain but they call it Dunkin coffee...literally makes no sense!! But of course I still went there and had a doughnut. I was heading back to the food market and I knew if I went in there hungry I would buy the whole market, instead of the sardine shaped Chocolates that came in sardine cans for my brothers and some chorizo and Iberian ham so I could have a Barcelona dinner with my friends at home. Iberian ham is sold in paper cones, the people walk around eating it. I bought a cone and some olive bread for my dinner that evening to have a relaxed dinner in the house. After dinner i had a sleep and considered spending the night in the house until I was woken up by a couple singing Beatles songs.. One I wasn't in the mood to listen to them and two they were having a good time so I should go and have a good time, it was my last night in the city and I hadn't gone out out while I was there










I walked down las rambles randomly and towards the end of the road I turned left and there was a tiny cocktail bar with a 25 person limit. I ordered a mojito and got talking to the 60 yr old woman beside me who was over with her husband rom Chicago and they were leaving the next morning we proceeded to do three shots (one to bb king who had just died). When they left for their flight I met a Scottish couple who accidentally booked 27 airbnbs, a Canadian and a French Canadian tourist, and Danish rocker with a fear and loathing in Las Vegas tattoo. I then headed to a sports bar that had €2 beers and chatted away to an English man (don't ask me what about as I had 8 mojitos in the cocktail bar) and then headed home

A fabulous last night; I was warned by everyone I told I was going to be robbed over there, I didn't bring my good camera, didn't bring my purse out, but really I had no problems of the sort, it took me two days to get brave enough to use the metro which is a really handy easy cheapish way to get around (very similar to the tube I found) I did meet people who had been robbed, but they said Barcelona was still their favourite place, so there is chance or luck involved too, try to be as vigilant as you can, bring the bare essentials out and don't make it easy for the pick pockets is my advice.


When i woke up on my last day, it was the first time I ever wished I had more time in a place. I was able to keep my bag in the apartment so I was able to head to the beach without concern for it. Up until the last day I was very good with having good values food, but on the last day I was fairly hungover and ended up spending €25 on a sandwich a starter and a coke, the restaurant was right by the beach but was utterly over priced, I headed to the beach near (which is a topless beach btw). The water was amazing truly lovely I swam loads and getting dried by the sun. People walked around selling mojitos blankets, massages. There was volleyball nets and showers, this beach knew what it was doing. I stayed there all day, got quite burnt (my own fault as i wore no suncream....) I headed to the apartment to collect my things headed for the airport bus and was there in 15 minutes and was went through security in no time. I may or may not have bought some bourbon, rum and two giant toblerones.

I would highly Highly recommend to go to the city, if anything you need more than 4 days here, and I wouldn't say that about a lot of other places ha