Archive for December, 2005


h1 Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Flew over to Barcelona last weekend to catch up with Tim and Jeff 3 idiots.jpg who are both now living in Germany. Yeah, I know, it might of been more sensible to go to a country that at least one of us was already in but given how freezing it is here (the week before was frosts every night and it’s snowing for them in Germany now) we thought we’d get together some place ‘warm’. Can’t believe I’m calling 11 degrees warm but even 8 feels warm after a week of around 5. Arrived late Saturday afternoon after a delayed flight then Jeff and I searched for the Hostel by the tried and true method of walking down random streets which looked about right. This almost worked and we only had to midread the directions once to find the place. Stayed at Kabul Hostel on Plaça Reial just off Las Rambala. One of the better hostels I’ve been in, actually has decent security and they serve dinner every night. Well, usually just pasta and cheese but it’s better than nothing before you get something decent (or at least try too). Went and wandered round a bit to find a snack and some coffee (my first decent purchased coffee since coming to this hemisphere!) while waiting for Tim to turn up. Then just went out and wandered round a few bars. Was good to actually be in a bar again as opposed to a pub, felt much more like at home apart from the Euro-Trash music being played. Yay for Plastic Bertrand! Actually the music wasn’t too bad, quite a bit of noise which is always good if you ignore the noise as the crap djs tried to mix between tracks. It seriously sounded like they were pulling leads in and out to mix between laptops.

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cathedral front entrance 2.jpgWas woken up at 8am after about 3 1/2 hours sleep by stupid american women who had to catch a 9 o’clock train. “Wake up”, “What?”, “Wake up it’s 8 o’clock”, “In the morning?”. This from the same idiot who was turning the light on and locking herself out of the room at about 4:30. She eventually convinced her friend to let her sleep another 15 minutes so had to go through it all again then. cathedral inside 1.jpg cathedral ceiling.jpg We eventually got up and navigated the underground system out to the Temple de la Sagrada Família. It’s a new cathedral designed by Gaudí that has been under construction since 1882. It’s full of huge organic pillars and ceilings and some weird mixes of modern and ancient designs. The insides are full of scaffolding so you can’t see much and the outside is surrounded by cranes. stained glass window.jpg There’s 12 huge bell towers but only 8 are finished and of course you can climb all the way up them. spiral stairs up tower.jpgUnfortunately there was a lot of people (it was a Sunday) so it was pretty much 3 or 4 steps then wait a minute or 2 to get up there. You’ve also got to be careful going somewhere like this with 2 rockclimbers cause all they want to do is climb up the outside rather than the stairs.

cathedral tower.jpg cathedral inside 2.jpg cathedral towers.jpg

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cathedral back entrance 1.jpg cathedral back entrance 2.jpg After the Cathedral we went down to the gothic part of town (no goths there though) which was where Barcelona started and was walled in until only a couple of hundred years ago. This where I saw the Barcelona I’d imagined, all narrow streets where there’s never sunlight and people hanging off their balconies talking to people in the street. streets 1.jpg
streets 2.jpg At street level though it was mostly roller doors. Was a pretty small area all up and only takes about 5 minutes to walk from one end of it to the other. Finished the day wandering up Las Ramblas looking at the markets and watching people trying to pull the old pea and cup scam on the tourists. It only took about 30 seconds to work out who was in on the scam and didn’t see any marks get sucked in.

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Went out for a Tapas crawl on Sunday night and was bitterly disappointed. Tried a tourist restaurant near the hostel which was pretty bad and a local place down in the gothic area which was worse. We weren’t feeling too inspired and the beer wasn’t going down too well so decided to find somewhere to have some tequila. Just around the corner we found a place called (surprisingly) Tequila which advertised itself as a Heavy Metal bar and listed heaps of metal bands on the board. heavy metal.jpg The place was completely empty but we tried it out anyway and had a great time. They had headphones hanging off the bar but the music sounded better through the pa. So we spent the rest of the night drinking tequila shots and gin, requesting bands from the dj and talking with some of the local metal heads as they turned up. Went to sleep at about 4am, woke at 8 to go to the airport, still drunk, and saw some mountains from the plane.


If you’re interested Jeff has some more photos on his website.

Next adventure, going to Oxford next weekend for the work christmas party so will be spending Saturday around there. Then on Monday I’m off to Amsterdam but that’s only for the day, and for work, so I’ll probably only see the airport and inside an office.

have fun!