The alarm goes off today at the ungodly hour of 5:30am and every fibre of my being yells out in protest as I sink further beneath the duvet. The second alarm kicks in and I can’t stay sore for too long however, as it’s all in the name of adventure.Today I am off to the beautiful thriving metropolis of Barcelona to celebrate the not-so-baby-brother’s birthday.
We rock up to the airport in the dark, freezing rain and quickly board our flight. I pass the time taking selfies of me pulling faces whilst the bro is out cold dribbling away. I am certain he will appreciate this early documentation of our trip when he awakes though. Probably.
The sky is a rich fuchsia hue as the sun finally rises, and the clouds drift below me like glossy whipped meringues.
A mere two hours and a glass of prosecco later, and we land in sunny Spain.
I’m unbelievably happy to see sunshine and clear skies, and feel the warm radiate deep into my bones.
We take the bus into town and it swoops past Montjuïc with its majestic Lord of the rings style towers guarding the mountain and castle behind it, before arriving at Plaça de Catalunya.
We shuffle off the bus and I breathe in the hazy air, somewhat intoxicated. A quick stop across the plaza to drop our luggage, and we stroll down through the pleasant melee of people on Portal de l’Angel. It’s one of the main shopping hubs, and we pass high street export brands I’m familiar with back home, before cutting into the narrow passages, past the cathedral; and firmly into the Gothic Quarter.
It’s exactly as I remember it, and the quiet quaint winding streets offer us solace from the busy shoppers behind us.
Barely a whisper or a pin drops as we weave past small bakeries and taperìa’s in this deserted section of town. Medieval buildings tower over us, and we bask in their pleasant sneaking shadows.
The passages pop us out of the shade by Port Vell, as musicians play on the boardwalks; and we note the million dollar yachts bobbing lazily in the ocean.
We are off to Bitacora where my bestie (hey Jess!) and I spent several glorious foodie-heaven days a few years ago.
We gorge ourselves on freshly grilled sardines and octopus, and don’t scrimp on the wine and cerveza’s. It’s like the sea is hosting a party in my mouth, and I’m thoroughly satiated.
Our post-luncheon-lul finds us strolling past the markets and hitting up my favourite: Baluard, where there’s still a rush on their freshly baked breads and cakes, the smell of hearty spelt hanging in the air.
We walk until we hit the shore and turn left onto 4 km of gorgeous sand. Yes-Barcelona, a sprawling city, also plays home to an equally impressive beach. Strolling along, and it feel like I could be in the Middle East with gold laid out before me and tall glinting architecture littering the skyline.
I really can’t contain just how happy the suns rays on my skin are making me, and I’m feeling sheer bliss in this moment as algae green waves lap the shore gently in time to an imaginary beat.
Outdoor gym-goers and tanned, toned rollerbladers reminds me of Venice beach, California; but the local dialects permeating the air serve as a reminder that I’m still on the continent.
We sit awhile drinking frothy café con leche, and snack on our newly purchased Magdalena cakes. Everyone here seems pretty laid back, and even the pigeons aren’t in a hurry today.
We hop back to town to meet the madre who has flown in for the occasion, and it’s round two tonight with a highly-rated haute cuisine evening meal at ‘Informal’.
Iberian ham, scallops, goatlings, melting chocolate puddings and cinnamon ice cream fill my happy belly.
This is all washed down with wine, shots and cocktails, and before I know it it’s nearly 3am.
A whirlwind 24 hours and I’m completely spent. It’s time for bed and I’m excited for more of Barça tomorrow, as the memory of today’s rolling waves sing me to sleep.