Friday 13 January

To escape the extremes of cold and windy weather for a few days, we decided to treat ourselves to four sunny days in Barcelona as a birthday gift to each other.  We invited our friend Terry to join us.

We flew from John Lennon Airport with Ryanair and our flight left on time and arrived early evening on Twelfth Night.   We caught the Airbus into the City and were lucky enough to catch a brief glimpse of their fabulous Christmas lights before they turned them off at midnight.  Terry met us off the bus and walked us to our hotel.

We spent the next day getting our bearings and walked miles, visiting first the Cituadella Park and their Arc De Triumph, where we spotted all the parakeets nesting in the trees.


After that we headed down to the harbour where we enjoyed some chilled medication while admiring some of the fabulous boats moored there and which made ours look very small.

We then walked along the coast towards the Olympic Park before heading back inland and eventually back towards the Gothic quarter where we had a few beers before dining out at Rossini’s pizza restaurant.  Storm’s calzone was something else!!


The second day we walked to Montjuic and climbed the hill to the castle at the top from where the views over Barcelona city and the dockland areas were magnificent.  Our climb was interrupted by a visit to the Jean Miro museum.  In the evening we ate at Cuines Santa Caterina restaurant.  This was another excellent restaurant and had been recommended to us.  We were not disappointed.

On the third day we’d booked to tour Gaudi’s Segrada Familia and this was definitely the highlight of the trip.  A tour of the inside is a must.  I hadn’t appreciated before we went that this building is still under construction and isn’t due to be completed until 2026. Nevertheless it is breathtaking and the most fascinating  and awe inspiring building I have ever visited.

We know someone who would be very envious of the model workshop we discovered in the crypt!  Models of every facet of the build are created here, and there are literally millions of facets to this amazing building.  Pip, you would have thought you had died and gone to heaven!!

Terry is a vegetarian and he thought he’d spotted a restaurant in the Gothic quarter that only offered vegetarian meals.  Nostrum!  By the time we realised our mistake we felt we were committed to eat there.  It is more of a take away restaurant for back packers and with meal options all under three euros we didn’t feel out of pocket!!  In fact the beer cost more than the food.  Once you’ve chosen your meal option, you have the choice of taking it home or you can dine in if you heat it up yourself in a microwave.  We dined in.

Terry left us on Tuesday morning to return to the UK and Storm and I caught the bus out to Park Guell, to see more of Gaudi’s work.  The guide book said it was accessible by metro, but we were glad we’d caught the bus as from the metro station there is a 1km vertical climb.    In the afternoon we visited the Picasso museum.  Unfortunately this was a bit of a disappointment.   A few years ago we visited his museum in Paris with our son James, and this was a much more enjoyable experience with a much wider selection of his work.     After another exhausting day we ate again at Cuines, the restaurant in the market, before heading home for an early night before our flight in the morning.

Our flight home left on time but I think we must have been flying into a head wind as it took half an hour longer to reach Liverpool than expected.  We’d seen the strong wind weather warnings before we left Barcelona and so weren’t too surprised to encounter a bit of turbulence on the way home and the landing was a little wobbly.  We were glad to be back on the ground but the external temperature was a bit of a shock.

We’ve been staying at Laura’s since, although we did move the boat back to its mooring yesterday afternoon in the lull before last night’s wind and snow.



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