Ok now where was I… Oh yeah that's right SPAIN!
So far we had settled in pretty well to this strange Spanish city of Barcelona. To help us along and make us feel like we were actually wasting our days we did a couple of tours! They turned out to be VERY worth while.
Our first one we did was a walking tour of the gothic centre near Las Ramblas. And it was also FREE- Even BETTER! I bet you guys are thinking COSA?! A WALKING tour?! Who is this person and what have you done with Rachel. But I assure you I'm pretty sure the guy said that it was about 1.4 km all up. We only did a bit walking around the centre and LOTS of stopping and listening to cool historical information about the town.
Our tour guide was really well informed and had lots to say about a lot of interesting things we would never have known about the city. Including the cool extra curricula activities we could sign up for at the end! Elly and I thought it would be good to take part in the Paella cooking experience. Two girls gotta eat! We had actually been finding it really hard to find any authentic Spanish food anywhere with most places so focused on tourists. These were easily recognisable with billboards of pictures of food that looked nothing like what you would receive outside and people hassling you to come in and eat. Most of the places we had eaten in were really for convenience sake and we didn't really feel like we were getting the real deal. This activity would ensure that we would get some fresh and authentic Paella made by a fresh and authentic Spanish cook!
So we tagged along the next night, ready for our true Spanish eating experience. We were in a group of 16 other people and made our way to a backroom to enjoy various Tapas while the chef went through all the ingredients and the process of cooking proper Paella. While the paella was cooking for about 20 minutes on the stove we went outside to the bar and were taught how to make our own Sangria! Something I'm sure with come in handy in the next 6 months. If I can remember correct it contains: 5 or 6 counts of rum and brandy, peach liqueur, red wine, sugar water, peach juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, ice and fruit! She then picked someone out to make their own and we encouraged her to add maybe 7 or 8 or 9 counts of run and brandy!
With our jugs of Sangria in hand, which they consistently topped up throughout the night we went back into the room to feast on our Paella. It was extremely hot in the back room due to the 40-degree days we had in Barcelona and the fact we had just used this massive Paella stove in this tiny room to cook u a storm! So Elly and I decided to head to the front room with our plates and enjoy it while actually being able to breathe! It was a bold move, and risked us being completely rejected from the group! But a couple minutes later a Swiss couple headed towards us with Sangria in hand. Perfect! We were then joined by another Australian couple who were both from Adelaide. WE had forced a little crew joined and soon got to know each other really well!
We paid 19 euro for the entire experience and didn't realise this would be coming with an unlimited supply of Sangria! Very dangerous. When the next group came around they had to tell us that we would have to pay for our next jug L But at a discounted price of 8 euro! Which we took full advantage of, hanging around much longer than we were welcome, playing drinking games and explaining to the Swiss couple about the woman whose baby got eaten by a dingo! We had made some unexpected friends and ended up having and AMAZINGLY fun night :)
We only had about a day left after that so aimed to go and see the works of the extraordinary architect Gaudi. For those of you who have been successfully stalking me on Facebook (DAD!), you may have seen some oddly shaped buildings, with very unique features. These are the work of Gaudi that feature greatly in Barcelona. Elly and I had planned to go on another walking tour to see the works around the city but after spending half an hour lining up at an ATM for tickets to the Segrada Familia we were 10 minutes late for the meeting point and then the NEXT day we had to check out and missed the early walking session! It was unfortunate but we persisted non-the-less and headed out to Park Guell with houses that look like they are made of ginger bread and an amazing panorama of the city we had been in for 5 days.
In case any of you were wondering what happened to my dream of playing beach volleyball on the beaches of Spain, unfortunately Elly and I DID head to the beach and was rather disappointed! It was clearly very touristy which of course meant pests. And by pests I mean people who will cut their right arm off to sell you something! One second your just getting comfy, enjoying the sun (which all of you will be pleased to know has actually managed to tan my porcelain skin!) and the next you get harassed asking to purchase a dodgy looking Sangria! No I would not like to get a disease today, thanks! But the loooong walk there was very nice and we got to see a bit more of Barcelona. Unfortunately I don't know how easily any beach will be able to compare to the amazing coastline we have in Western Australia! But I will keep you updated :)