I used to go on holiday with my girlfriends all the time. Granted, most of them were to such exotic destinations as Gran Canaria, Ayia Napa and Malia, but we always managed to stay in nice hotels (exception: Laguna II in Tenerife, which I’ve noticed now has such poor reviews on Trip Advisor that it’s practically condemned) and had a brilliant time doing the usual holiday things – diet coke in the sunshine/by the pool, and too much wine, what else? (Occasionally kissing ineligible men in sweaty bars after downing sixteen luridly coloured shots, but let’s keep that on the down low).
ANYWAY, after growing up, getting married and becoming super boring (and super busy), girls holidays have been relegated to hen dos only. My friends and I decided to put a stop to this and find a time we could actually go away for a long weekend together. Let’s quietly ignore the fact that to do this, we had to go away Sunday-Wednesday – the point is that, miraculously, we found time, found a destination, booked it, and on Sunday morning at stupidly early o’clock found ourselves bleary eyed at Stanstead, off to Barcelona!
I’ve actually been to Barcelona before with some friends when I was at uni, and so had one of my other friends on the trip, but I think that actually made it nicer for us – it just meant it was quite relaxed and we didn’t feel like we were desperate to see anything. Barcelona is genuinely one of my favourite cities in Europe - it's so relaxed, there's a lot to see and there's also a gorgeous beach - so I just wanted to spend my time roaming the streets with friends (and drinking too much wine in bars - did I mention that bit yet?)
We’d rented an Air Bnb (unfriendly owner, perfect location, our bedroom was lovely – soz to the others who got the short straw and had to sleep in bunk beds!) so went for a long lunch of tapas and sangria first. Which was amazing, although have you ever had spicy padron peppers before?! I thought my friend was joking until I tried a second one and had to practically down my sangria!
Once we’d dropped off our stuff, we went for a wander. We stayed right on the marina, which I think is one of the most beautiful parts of Barcelona, and it was amazing weather, and I was just so happy to be in the sunshine with some of my best friends!
We walked all the way along to Las Ramblas, the main street of bars and cafes in Barcelona. The market stalls were open so we had a little look and then stopped for more sangria (the size of your head) at a bar. I couldn’t believe how amazing the weather was! It was literally like the height of summer! In October! You Spanish people have it so good. It was definitely shorts/summer dress weather - the people in leggings/jeans looked really silly!
Afterwards we wandered back to the apartment, got ready with cava and went out for dinner, where our other friend, who’d got a later flight, joined us for disappointing pizza and ‘prosecco sangria,’ which can I just say was absolutely disgusting - stick to Spanish food in Spain, trust me! If you're a chips-and-ketchup person it's not for you!
Our apartment was located right next to a fairground so we ended up, slightly drunk and hysterical, going on one of those ludicrous rides that go round and round and up and down and… actually that one wasn’t too bad, the one a few days later though…
Afterwards we went for another drink and then trotted home to sleep. We woke up feeling refreshed, to find one of my friends had made us coffee – perfect! – before we went out to tour the city – more on that tomorrow!