Monday, 11 May 2015

Blissful Barcelona - Day One

We don't normally "do" Christmas presents for each other.  We work, have a joint account and share everything. We'd rather the money went on the kids.
Except this year was different.  I saved in a secret Christmas Club at work and decided to treat the football obsessed Mr.M to a football match in Barcelona.  I chose Barcelona vs. Athletico Madrid, apparently I chose well.

Having arranged to deposit the kids with the Grandparents for three nights & the puppy at his friends we were ready.

Apparently we were already enjoying our new found childless state too much as we were the last to board the plane, they had issued the last call and were about to close the gates.  On boarding the plane people were sitting in our pre-booked seats,  I kindly mentioned it and they told me people were sitting in their seats. Being already flushed from the dash to the furthest possible gate in Gatwick I didn't feel I could cause a scene and start people jenga so MrM and I quietly sat down in "not our pre-booked seats".

We arrived safely and hit the ground running.  There was so much to fit in.  We couldn't check into the hotel until 2pm, it was currently 9.30am.  I marched us off to the Tourist Information bureau in the airport and promptly parted with €40 for two 3day travelcards and a map. These ultimately saved us a fortune!

I decided our first stop should be La Sagrade Familia, Gaudi's unfinished church.  It's breathtaking, if you can ignore the scaffolding.  We joined the queue (sans suitcase). It was going to be an hour or so. Luckily they have people travelling the queues letting you know you can book on line and come back.  So with the wonder of a smart phone with 4G and an International Booster pack. I booked two tickets for €15 each.  We walked straight round to the front of the queue, had our suitcase scanned and waltzed in.   The inside is beautiful, a blaze of colours yet so peaceful. You can take a seat and reflect or just wander around.  As beautiful as it was, I preferred the outside of the church to the inside and wasn't sure about the mish-mashed style of the decor through the last couple of centuries.

Opposite was a restaurant offering an all you can eat buffet for €11.45 each. Perfect considering we hadn't eaten since 5am.  After this we headed off for our hotel.  This proved to be a little trickier to to find than a great big church and we found our selves walking in circles a fair bit.  Eventually we found it and checked in.  Our room was basic but we only needed a base so after freshening up we decided to head off to the holy grail of Camp Neu.  (Barcelona football stadium to the uninitiated).  The game we were seeing wasn't until the next day but we decided we wanted to make sure we knew where we were going the next day and we wanted to visit the shop before 80,000 fans turned up! 

After needing a small mortgage to buy both kids Barcelona shirts and our nephew his birthday present, Mr M needed to find out the current day's home football scores. We managed to find ourselves an Irish Pub showing the Premiership results.  Boy did I need that beer by then!

After a lovely nap at the hotel, we spoke with the Receptionist for some food recommendations and ventured to a lovely restaurant just over the road. We both love Tapas so spent an age deciding what to eat. The problem with Tapas is you never quite know if you've ordered enough.  We had ordered enough to feed a small army.  It was delicious and  so filling. After stuffing ourselves and drinking with small abandon without having to have one of us as a designated driver, we headed back for a long nights sleep ready for our next days adventures.


  1. Sounds a wonderful trip away especially just the 2 of you. I have my eye on Barcelona as its somewhere we have never visited. I just need to conduct a plan which involves nans and babysitting kids !! x

  2. It was fantastic, no shouting, no rushing, no looking for shoes that have been left lying around. It's a fantastic city and well worth the visit if you can get that plan into action!