They say that everyone has one thing that always happens to them, like sitting next to fat men on planes, or having that dreaded crying baby nearby; for me, that is my flights are always delayed. Numerous times it worked in my favour; James and I frequently found ourselves bolting to make a flight! Arriving in Barcelona an hour late, I was relieved to find James waiting for me; my Spanish speaking friend and I could then proceed to make our way into the city together. Slight problem though; everything was in the Catalan language rather than Spanish, meaning we had to rely on James’ ‘gut feeling’ for getting off the train (Central station = Estacio-Barcelona-Sants), rather than his ability to actually understand the language of the country we were in. We stayed at “Cool and Chic” hostel, which although about a 30min walk from town it was super modern, clean and functional air-conditioning.
My Australian friend Emma (who I’d met in Portugal) joined us, and together we indulged in some delicious Spanish tapas, paella and of course, sangria. (“Sensi” – highly recommended tapas bar near the Old Quarter, quite classy and relatively expensive – still cheaper than the rest of Europe though!). The next few days consisted of free walking tours (Introduction to Barcelona, in addition to the Gaudi Walking Tour, both of which began from the Travel Bar at 11am), beaching (Ciutadella-Villa Olimpica) and exploring the local sights; the Cathedral, Place de Catalunya, Las Ramblas (the main street), a closed-roof market off Las Ramblas that sold the cheapest fresh juices, as well as the National Palace and the Magic Fountain. We discovered a custom ice tea place “Refresca Tea” which became well-visited as it always went down a treat on those hot summer days.
On our last night we moved into the city centre and stayed at St Christophers Inn – a chain of hostels that is spread throughout Europe and was one of my favourite hostels that I stayed at. It had a perfect location, was huge and had an awesome bar and restaurant attached. We took advantage of the cheap drinks at the hostel; enjoying €1 tequila, Sambuca, Dr Pepper and Jagerbomb shots before catching a taxi to Razzmatazz – one of Barcelona’s biggest clubs with a capacity of 4000 and five different clubs inside. We accidentally stumbled into a foam party, and there was not much we could do except embrace the situation, so several hours later we stumbled back into our hostel rooms sopping wet but thrilled with our Barca night life experience.
Cool places, cool city – I couldn’t wait to go back.
PS. Definite laugh out loud moment when the pigeon pooped on James.