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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Barcelona Part 2: Barcelona Beginnings

We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed having had the best night's sleep in Charles' apartment.

Eager to see what the day would entail, we rushed out after our breakfast of fresh croissants on the roof terrace.
The weather for our whole trip was fantastic. Practically 20 degrees in February - much needed after the months of appalling weather here in the UK.

I stupidly didn't order our guide book in time. I thought that Amazon would work its magic and deliver it super quickly, but no, it hadn't arrived by the time we left for the airport. And now we have a guide book for a city we won't visit again for ages. Boo. I stubbornly refused to buy one in Barcelona due to the elevated pries. Instead, we relied on a rubbish bus map that literally fell apart over our 3 days, and some excellent recommendations from my Spanish friend, Ana.

We spent our first day getting a feel of Barcelona. We walked from our apartment to the sea front, before walking along the famous 'La Rambla' strip. We had been warned countless times about pickpockets, but we were lucky. I think it might have had something to do with our super complicated bag system which meant it took almost 5 minutes to get out my purse every time we wanted to pay for something.

We walked along, taking in the atmosphere, before arriving at La Boqueria, a fantastic food market just off La Rambla.

We got the metro to Gaudí's cathedral (LSagrada Família), which was more than a little disappointing as it was covered in scaffolding.

Then it was time for lunch. Barcelona is strange for eating out. Yes, there are plenty of tourists traps which you obviously avoid, but there aren't very many cute cafes which you want to stop by at. It's just a bit local for that. Lots of dark cafes, full of men watching TV or on the ever-present gambling machines. It wasn't overly tempting. However, our tummies were rumbling so we plumped for one and ordered the omnipresent ham and spanish omelette.

I like Barcelona because you can walk yourself around a great deal of it. Seeing as we were disappointed by Gaudí's cathedral, we wanted to see more of his designs, so we walked our way up to Park Güell. This park was designed by Gaudí and was built in between 1900 and 1914.

I love how considerate the Spanish are for thirsty dogs.

We then returned to the apartment for a well earned nap and drink on the terrace.

Then onto dinner, another of Ana's recommendations, 'El Bitxo' which was in the Barceloneta district. A beautiful, traditional tapas bar.

Martin ordered earl grey infused cat fish, while I (boringly) chose roast beef.

And that spelled the end of a very full day. Adios. Part 3 tomorrow...

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