So we are finally in Barcelona Spain!! Omg what a full on two days we have had here!!
We arrived in at about 7 on Thursday night. It
Was an extremely long day, an 11 hour day. We were soooo looking forward to our room! We hadn't booked at the drop off point but the other recommended accommodation didn't look that far away on the map. It wasn't til we got onto the train that we realised our stop was at the other end of the train line! Anyway we got into our room about 8pm, dropped our bags off and went straight downstairs to catch up with the rest of our fellow travellers to go out for dinner and watch the Spain vs Ireland soccer match. We had a few suggestions which we walked to but none really seemed to grab our fancy. We accidentally found a very small restaurant that looked to be run by an Asian couple. We had a quick look at the menu which seemed to be fairly cheap but wasn't in English, which we hastily decided to eat at as we were all insanely hungry by this late stage. Neither the husband or wife spoke very much English at all but when we asked what things were on the menu, they would run out to the kitchen and grab the item we asked about and would show it to us. They were so sweet and so happy. The boys were necking beers so quickly at 1.40 euro each! Dinner turned out to be amazing, we had an omelette, chips and calamari between us. The soccer finished about 10.30 so we walked back to our room and passed out.
The next day we had 2 tours organised, one was a tour of Barcelona on bikes and the other was a 'cooking class'. Luckily the first tour didn't start til 11 so we managed to get a sleep in. We had to catch the train to pretty close to wear we were dropped off from. I must add that we have been extremely impressed with the Metro system here!! Trains run pretty much every 4 minutes and is so easy to use!! Much better than any other of the metros in other cities. It didn't take us long to get where we needed and then we walked to the office of Fat Tyre Bike Tours where they handed out the bikes and the tour started. We had an Australian tour guide and have found a lot of Aussies come here to work. We visited plaza Sant Jaume, the Royal Palace, the Cathedral, the palace of the Catalan Music, the Arc del Triomf, the Sagrada Familia, the Parc de la Ciutadella, the Olympic Village, the beach, Port Vell and the Basilica de Santa Maria del mar. It can be fairly hairy riding in the city with two friends travelling together getting nudged by a car and a scooter. The weather has been complete blue skies with no clouds so I got a bit of colour over the tour. After this we raced back to our hostel, got showered and changed and then back out to the same area for our 'cooking class' that night at 6 at the travel bar. I put commas around cooking class as we didn't do any of the cooking ourselves, we actually just watched the guide cook paella whilst we ate tapas and drank Sangria, and yes I tried it and quite liked it. Before the class we went to a humongous fresh food market where our guide actually showed us what to buy for the meal and how to look for quality ingredients. The fresh food market was amazing, so many beautiful foods and soooo many beautiful colours. The food is sooooo fresh that the seafood is still alive, crabs and lobsters on ice still moving. The Paella was really good but I could only have five mouthfuls before the pepper became too hot and I couldn't eat it anymore. Our guide explained tapas to us and how it was first invented by adding a small snack with any drink served to soak up the alcohol. After this big day we basically went back to our hostel and straight to bed.
Today we caught up with a couple from bus about called Daniel and Eloise. We met them at 930 and decided to try and fit in a mammoth of a day of sightseeing. Firstly we had breakfast, then went for a wonder down to some markets on the main street which then lead us back to the fresh food markets to take more pictures and to buy some fruit smoothies. After this we headed to the zoo. This place was huge and took quite a few hours to get through. Pretty standard zoo really and we even got to see some kangaroos ;) after all this we decided to try out a tapas bar that we had heard about. For that we tried a plate of calamari and a plate of grilled baby octopus, yummo!!! So yummy we got another round. So with our bellies full we pressed on to the Aquarium. Sort of similar to AQWA with the travelator under the massive tank but lots of saltwater tank displays, which has me all inspired to move the tank around at home now :) After that we decided to head to the other side of town and go to Parc Guell. This originally was supposed to be an estate where all the houses were supposed to be designed by a famous architect named Gaudi. He is famous for his 'out there' designs. He started off this estate by building two houses, but when they were finished no one wanted to buy them as they literally look like gingerbread houses so they turned the whole thing into a park and now the two houses are gift shops. Then we headed to our end of town and went for a meal back at the first nights restaurant again. We finally made it home by about 1015 and we are both so wrecked!!! (hence the very rushed blog).
Tomorrow we are off to Valencia where we will stay for 2 nights. Am very glad we are staying here as if we decided to go straight to Madrid it would be another 11 hour day on the bus :( we should get in about 130 to Valencia. I only have laundry planned to do tomorrow and then the rest of the day will be at the beach and drinking cocktails I think.
Missing everyone, but not much longer til we see you all again xxx