Barcelona Baby!

Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
Trip End Sep 17, 2011

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Before Sonia and I left New Zealand we had an email from Liz and Jonny saying Ryanair had a sale and they managed to grab some cheap tickets for us to go on a long weekend to Barcelona with them and a friend
We were over the moon as we hadn't expected to be able to go on holiday for quite some time but we were also a tad sceptical as we weren't sure as to when we would find work and if we would be able to get leave.
Things were looking good until about the week before when Jonny had to pull out due to other commitments and Sonia got the fantastic news that she got a job but on a not so fantastic note they wanted her to start the Monday we were suppose to be away.
That left Liz, her friend and myself due to go. The day before we left another spanner in the works meant Liz and her friend could no longer travel however Jonny's plans changed meaning he could go.
Our cheap tickets meant we could only take hand luggage so I packed my bag the night before and I have to say I was quite proud that I managed to control my need to pack for every occasion. On the Saturday Jonny and I arranged to meet at the train station to head out to the airport. After an hours train ride we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
We stopped for a hot chocolate airside when Jonny suddenly realised he didn't have his bag and must have left it at the customs check point. He made a dash to go get it but unfortunately had to go through security again. Time was ticking by and being the natural worrier that I am I was starting to panic as our flight was being called. It was a big relief when Jonny came through those gates and we managed to board our flight in the knick of time.
Our flight was into Reus airport which is about an hour and half from the city centre. We caught a bus and made it to the city at about midnight. After getting a little bit lost we found our hostel and retired for the night.
The hostel was pretty good as far as hostels go.... The staff were lovely and spoke English which was even better. In the morning we headed off to explore the city and were greeted with an absolutely gorgeous day with crystal clear skies. It was heaven compared to England where it is starting to get cold as we head into winter.
We made our way down the Ramblas which was crawling with tourists like us and buskers as far as the eye could see. There were stalls down the street selling artsy jewellery which was just magic.
After strolling the Ramblas we headed for the port which again was bustling with people. Somehow we found ourselves in what seemed to be a Japanese pop music festival...definitely interesting but not exactly what you expect to see in Spain.
We made our way to the main Cathedral which unfortunately was having renovations outside but we got to go in during a church service which felt incredible. It was bit awkward as there were tourists like us around the peripheral of the church taking photos was allowed but it felt wrong seeing flashes going everywhere. Outside the cathedral we witnessed some traditional Catalonian dancing which apparently takes place every weekend outside main churches.
From there was headed to the Sagrada Famillia which is the Gaudi church started about 100 years ago and still being built today. It has the general look of an old church but is so modern inside its hard to comprehend. Things like the stained glass were bright colours in modern patterns compared to the deeper colours of the normal church scenes found in traditional churches.
We were told that the best place to visit in Barcelona is the Park Guell and the Gaudi museum. It was a bit of mission to get to but man was it worth it.  It was in honour of Gaudi but was so modern.....buildings and abstract fountains done in multicoloured mosaics set on a hill top with the most impressive views.
It reminded me of the Kawakawa toilets by Hundertwasser with the bright colours and mosaics. The park was most definitely the highlight of my trip it was magic.
On the way back to the hostel I stopped at the Gherkin like building to take a few snaps. It was in a dodgy financial district which was covered in graffiti everywhere and heavily littered...I was only there long enough to take my pictures but Im glad I went all the same.
During the day Jonny and I witnessed a HUGE protest marching down the street about terrorism. It was funny I kept getting stopped by tourists asking what it was about thinking I was Spanish. We managed to ask someone about it who said it was nothing major as protesting seems to be the thing to do over there.....last week there was a protest because someones rent was put up. It looked serious though as there were police with guns.
Back at the hostel we met up with three Australian blokes who were on their OE and a British girl and we decided to go out seeing it was our last/only real night in Barcelona. I was kind of worried that being a Sunday night there wouldn't be much to do but how wrong was I. We ended up at an open air rave which was just awesome. I was in heaven. Good music, good company and it was for a good cause as all proceeds were going to fight against poverty.  I was right in my element and I cant even begin to describe how much fun I had. It was just magic dancing outside under the stars.
We made it home at a reasonable hour and managed to get a decent nights sleep. We had a bit of a sleep in in the morning and then headed off to the beach. We had tapas at a seaside café and just relaxed reading a book. We lounged at the beach and funnily enough there were more Aussies there than Spanish.
Before heading off on our long bus ride to the airport we had a Spanish meal of Paella at a restaurant. MMMMM. We bussed back to Reus and took the flight home. The one downside of having a Swiss passport is that because of the EU they don't stamp it anymore...bugga
 We missed the last train by one minute so ended up bussing back to London and then catching a cab home. I was tucked up in bed by 2 and was rearing to go for my first day of work starting at 9.
The trip to Barcelona was fantastic, I only wish that it could have been for longer and that Sonia could have come. I bet she would have loved it. I had so much fun and Jonny made the perfect travelling companion. If anyone is heading over this way, Barcelona is definitely worth the stop.
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