4 Jun

Here we are back in Sydney…I mean Munich but with the weather of Sydney- rain, wind, grey, miserable. What a difference compared to the weather we were blessed with over the weekend in Barcelona. What weather! What beauty! What a vibe! What a city!!! The city that has it all, that’s for sure.

Mark and I flew out on Thursday night and gave ourselves a 3 day weekend in Barcelona, another city we get to cross off the list…although we will be back. We arrived at our hotel at 11pm and having not really had dinner, we went out in search for a late night bite. Well, we thought it was late but it seems that’s the normal time everyone goes out for dinner. We only went 2 doors down from the hotel to a restaurant on the corner and got some tapas…wasn’t great, it was ok but we should have known as it was a bit of a hole in the wall and probably the equivalent of grabbing dinner from a seven-eleven back in Sydney. However, it did the job and filled our bellies so all was not lost.

Before every trip we go on I research the good cafe’s, restaurants, bars etc so we have a short list of places to go when we’re away to give us the best chance of getting some good meals (the place on the corner was not on the list) so on Friday morning we walked to get breakfast at Federal Cafe, run by Aussies who had named it after the town near Byron Bay. On our way there we were looking around and although yes the city had a holiday vibe about it, we weren’t sure if it was just because of the sun and the heat. It kind of reminded me a bit of a cleaner Bali to be honest, which don’t get me wrong, I love as we were married there but it is pretty disorderly and dirty, so it got me wondering why everyone says it is the greatest city in Europe. Anyway, after a fresh yummy breakfast we had a bit of a wander around and Mark got drawn into a clothes shop where we ended up getting him a whole new much needed summer wardrobe. 3 pairs of shorts, and 3 polos for 130 euro…not bad!

I had booked the particular hotel we stayed in because it had a rooftop pool and deck and since Friday was forecast to be the best of the 3 days we were to stay, we decided to head back to the hotel and have a swim and a bake for a few hours. We then headed back out into the city and had a walk around checking out some sites and the Plaça de Catalunya as well as all the low flying pigeons that come with it. Those bloody creatures in Barcelona have zero spacial awareness and would clip your head as they flew over you…was quite scary. We kept moving and located the bicycle rental place we were looking for to rent some bikes out for the next couple of days. After we rented a tandem bike in Brugge we decided we should try and do the same in every city because you just get to cover so much more ground and it’s cool just cruising along at your own pace. We had a bit of a play on them for a few hours and rode down Ronda del Litoral, and up La Ramblas stopping to get a coke and beer only to walk away a lot poorer, at 15 euro for the two. The price you pay to people watch, if only the people we were watching were any good it might have been worth it but it was a pretty poor sight unfortunately.

I’m going to go ahead and rush past dinner which was at a sushi restaurant and it was pretty good but then we stopped on the way home for dessert, and dessert was well, how do I put this…orgasmic would probably be about right. Farggi Ice Cream people. It was the creamiest, tastiest, most delicious ice cream I have ever had in my whole life. I’ve had lots of ice cream, and I thought the one I got in Amalfi a few years ago was never going to be beaten, but my friends…Farggi. Farggi’n good! So good that I made a point of returning to it the next night after dinner as well.

Saturday was super fun. Once again we were blessed with some incredible weather and we took to our bikes once again. Federal for breaky…why give up a good thing?! Then to La Boqueria markets known as one of the best markets in the world. The website says it’s a paradise for the senses and they would be right. I was shaking from overwhelming excitement and in complete awe at the colour, the displays, the variety. As someone who loves to cook and loves food, this was my Mecca. I was like a bobblehead doll, I didn’t know where to start and I couldn’t speak because I was so lost for words. We started with some coconut juice…delicious and it helped calm me down a bit so I could walk around like a normal person; and then we moved on to some jube lollies and hand made chocolate which we had to eat immediately because of the heat.

Finally I was calm and it was shopping spree time for Ali with it being Mark who was forcing me to try on dresses and skirts and hats. Who am I to say no, really, I just do as I’m told. It was then time to put the pedal, well, just to our feet, and ride to the beach. And that’s when it hit me how a-maz-ing this city was. It had it all. Good restaurants, cool people, great shopping, divine markets, outrageous ice cream, fantastic architecture, sensational weather and then this long, expansive white sand glorious beach. Our attention was grabbed by a beach volleyball tournament/party that was going on with plenty of hot semi-naked Spaniards playing on 6 courts with music blaring and everyone just having a blast. Markie and I spent quite a bit of time there just enjoying the atmosphere before discovering a bit more of what Barcelona had to offer.

An afternoon siesta was yelling our names so we had a 3 hour nap (does 3 hours still classify as a nap??? ) and then found a great restaurant for our last supper. We had to go with Tapas since we were in Spain, and the first night wasn’t a great representation and Cachitos didn’t disappoint (and neither did Farggi). On our walks to and from dinner we saw incredible architecture and after doing some investigating it turns out we have Antoni Gaudi to thank for the majority of them with several of his works having been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO. We weren’t exactly having early nights when we were away since we were eating dinner after 10 o’clock but it doesn’t get dark until after 9pm so it never feels as late is it is…but it was now time for bed so we were fresh and ready for the Moto GP Catalunya on Sunday.

A couple of years ago Mark and I went to the Moto GP at Phillip Island in Aus. It was full of bogans, the weather was crap, the food was not what I’d call food,but the race was good. We have made it a goal to try and get to all of the races at some stage in our lives. The race in Catalunya was brief but great to experience. We had some wicked seats where we got to see a few of the turns as well as the end of the straight. Due to our airline changing the time of our return flight back to Munich we had to make a run for it as soon as the race had finished as to not get stuck in the traffic jam that would be otherwise we might have missed our flight. We made it to the airport with plenty of time and Markie and I were both a bit flat and morbid that we had to leave but the good thing is, Barcelona is only a 2 hour flight so we can come back whenever we want. All in all a successful trip despite the dampener of the 100 euro fine Mark got from Agador Spartacus who stepped out of The Birdcage for supposedly being on his phone while driving.

All of our booked trips (besides the Raid) are now over so I’ll be getting on to that over the next couple of weeks and see where else we might be able to escape to for some sunny European beach weekends…I’m thinking Mykonos, Lisbon, Dubrovnik, Monaco…. or maybe some others. Decisions, decisions! I’ll take recommendations also so feel free to give some suggestions 🙂

Till next time…..xx

3 Responses to “Barthelona…Wow!”

  1. Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    So jealous. My memories of Barcelona are very happy ones but getting a little faded in my old age! Must be time for another jaunt……
    We’ve started talking about next Dutch summer….. Where will you be in 12 months?

    • Ali Hodges June 5, 2012 at 4:46 am #

      Hey beautiful…yeah yeah come over 😀
      We’ll most likely be around but where exactly we have no idea at this stage. We should hopefully have a better idea within a month or two. Xxx

  2. Mumma Russell June 8, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Your lives rock !!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmmm…it’s time we had 3 days of food, sun and excitement !!!!

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