Monday, April 2nd, 2007 | barcelona | No Comments

Tom and I headed off to Gatwick at around 4pm on Thursday, dashing through the rain, eager to start the holiday on sunnier soil. We landed in Barcelona at around 9:30pm, picked up my bag and headed through the dark in a taxi to our hotel on Carrer del Bruc. A brief unpack and change later and we were headed into the city for a lovely meal at Ciutat Comtal and a night of exploring Las Ramblas. We drank beer in a bar with bicycles hanging from the ceiling, spent time wandering through the narrow lanes and remarking on the number of people trying to sell us beer in red cans.

Friday dawned bright and sunlit and after finding coffee and breakfast we headed out to the Gaudi park. Despite much searching, we only saw a couple of kittens but spent the morning wandered through the gardens, sun on our backs. We caught the metro to Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s cathedral, which stands tall and grotesque, surrounded by cranes. With fascination we walked through the unfinished arches, staring up at windows, the façade, the gargoyles, through squinting eyes. It is an amazing structure, but one that leaves me feeling slightly unsettled.

We dined by the port, braving the cooling air until we had too many goosebumps and headed back for cocktails in a basement bar. We found a gem, the Palace Hotel, which served us mojitos with a pile of crisps and let us sink into the sofa for a few hours to talk.

On Saturday we caught up on shopping before heading to the zoo. What struck me particularly was the lack of fencing. There sat this pride of lions, tails flicking at flies and blinking into the sunshine, with only a trench and a short fence between us. Fortunately they looked far too lazy to make an escape, but I wondered if, had one of them been feeling particularly peckish, they’d have made short work of trench, fence and a tasty looking small child. Just as the rain started to fall we headed back for a snooze before dinner at Dom’s, delicious Thai curry and lashings of wine. It seemed fitting that we head back for one last cocktail at the Palace on our last night, wandering through the darkness and making plans.


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