Back in March, I went to Barcelona with my Danish friend Mathilde. We had met as au pairs in France and bonded through my obsession with Denmark. Mathilde left France just before Christmas and so we had a good old reunion in Barcelona – pourquoi pas we thought.
It was a brilliant trip, neither of us had been to Barcelona before but were told by many people that ‘you have to go there’. I can see why. We both loved getting lost in the Gothic area, wondering around little streets and discovering new places. On the first day we came across a flea market in a side street by the beach. There, I decided it was a good idea to buy a Japanese kimono? I’m still not quite sure why – even though they were in fashion a month later, I never actually wore it. It will be good for a dressing up party I suppose.
We also enjoyed going to the main market and got that typical picture everyone seems to have of the different coloured juices. Colours, just look at those colours!
I seem to love taking photos of streets in every city I visit, they are always so much more interesting than the ones back in England. I love all the colours and little shops that you find when you come across alleyways like this one, full of places only the locals know about. We really tried to be as ‘non tourist’ as possible too – there were no maps or tour buses throughout our visit – although this of course did mean we got lost on more than one occasion!
This coffee shop, which we found on one of our many lost rambles through The Gothic Area was my favourite. It had so much going on, of course I was far more interested in taking a photo of our much needed coffees than the walls inside, but just take my word for it, Cafe del bages is worth going too – look how cute the flowers are. What I also really love about all european coffee shops and something I really miss now back in England is the free biscuit – this is something coffee shops should make a rule.
Okay, so we were a bit touristy at times, passing this very important building made us stop and take a photo – was Mathilde said, we should look to be cultural sometimes!
This is one of my favourite photos – nuns just chilling in The Gothic Area, they clearly have good taste like us, and just check out those sunglasses – she has style!!
The only downside was our hostel. Being very naive, we didn’t realise there was a huge difference when you don’t book specifically a YOUTH hostel. This meant that we had several old men in our room. 3 men from England (typical – Mathilde said she had never seen anyone like them in Denmark, ever). These men forgot that it wasn’t their private lads only room and had no shame in shouting abuse to each other throughout the night. They also drank in the tiny corridor between our bunk beds, threw up outside – way too near to my bed, and spoke out loud about ‘those creatures of the night’. These creatures turned out to be myself and Mathilde as we had come in late the night before. Funny that they thought we couldn’t hear them. All I can say is that I feel I survived like a trooper and I also hope they got some very bad karma.
Every night we said ‘lets get tapas’ so we could experience traditional Spanish food. Alas, we always ended up in the same Lebanese restaurant. The food was so cheap and tasted amazing, plus the waiters gave us free desert and coffee – upgrading the size each time we came in. We were treated like royalty. Tapas will have to happen on our next visit.
This was another market we took three hours to find after reading it was ‘the place to go’ in Barcelona. When we got there, we were sorely disappointed. Whether this was a result of finding such a good market on the first day I do not know, but all I can say is the cheap ‘CK’ jumpers behind Mathilde were probably the best things there… Alas the name of such market has been taken from my memory.
On our last evening, we asked the staff at our not so youthful hostel what we should do. We had already gone to a club that Macaulay Culkin was a ‘regular’ at, seen Simon Peggs double in a bar down Gothic Area and took a two hour walk home (we really did burn alot of calories this trip) as the buses had stopped running. We were told to go and sit by the art galory as we would get a good view of the city, and every night there were fire works. We thought we had hit the jack pot. Alas, when we got there, we found out fireworks were only every other Friday and so after being kicked out of the art coffee shop at 6pm, we wondered back to our trusty Lebanese place and ended our trip in a very rock and roll style – by buying more fruit juice.