Surreal Barcelona

On the bus (again) heading out of Barcelona. Morning started with a bit of drama bus driver versus local police. Not sure who really won, we left very quickly leaving the tour guide and 1 passenger being (we picked them up later).

Lasting memories of Barcelona: the smell; the heat; the delicious tapas and crazy Gaudi architecture.

We arrived into the city, which is laid out in a very organised and tidy grid, in the late afternoon. To get us orientated we went on a wee city tour complete with commentary. Once we got back to the accommodation we decided it was probably time to do some more washing.. everyone else had the same idea and 2 washing machines don’t go very far. Mystery DIY Man went out in search of a laundromat with his new DIY buddy – a complete failure. Cue the pioneering hand washing in bathroom sink sans plug.

House keeping done and a sangria had on the rooftop (I had a peach juice) we headed off for a Catalan dinner with the tour group. We had some good tapas and an interesting paella, but the company was good. After this we headed out to see a flamenco dance show. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and the place was packed, the only thing keeping me awake at this point was the fact I was standing up. Everyone went out dancing after this but a couple of us were very sleepy and headed back up La Rambla for bed.

Because of the heat we decided to do a hop on hop off bus trip around the city. It was really good because it came complete with English commentary. We stopped off at the Gaudi cathedral, at amazing surrealist piece of architecture that still isn’t complete. It looks like it will be at amazing catholic cathedral once finished, complete with fruit bowls on spires. There inside is light and quite modern looking.

To see more of Gaudi’s work we got back on the bus bound for Park Güell which gives you an amazing view over the city. It was designed to be an exclusive residential area but no one bought any properties and the city ended up buying it as a public park. It has beautiful gingerbread type houses and fantastical stiff the looks like it’s out of a Dr Seuss book.

By 3pm we were ready for a refuel (a siesta would have been nice too) so headed out on search of some tapas. We had some yummy bravas (basically wedges) and Catalan dried sausage (tasted exactly like Chinese BBQ pork sausage). We also had a margarita pizza to prepare ourselves for Italy.

Back to the bus and the Olympic stadium. Stupidly we got front row seats on the bus for 2 stops and I started nodding off. We tried to go visit the aquarium as well but decided we didn’t want to spend €20 each to see it. We got a good walk around the port and saw the Columbus statue. Rather than battle the crowds up La Rambla we took the metro home via some more Gaudi architecture.

Dinner – god it was good. The Spanish don’t seem to do dinner until about 9.30pm. We went and found a nice little restaurant and ordered some Gorgonzola and walnut croquettes, spinach salad with goat’s cheese and tomato dressing and a fresh pasta stuffed with provolone in a pumpkin and parmesan sauce. These starters were delicious and not too big. For mains (quite little) I had BBQ octopus on smashed potatoes with red pepper oil and Mystery DIY Man had a round of mountain beef (he was hoping it wasn’t going to be testicles) with wild mushrooms. Thanks to the well sized mains we were able to have some dessert – a creme brulee and something made out of crushed biscuits with biscuit ice cream and strawberries. Delicious! I’m not sure I’d ever get used to dinner at midnight.

Adiós Barcelona, bonjour Nice.

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