Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Hello from Barcelona!

Morning everyone! :)

A photo-less post from me today as I'm writing from one of the computers in the hotel and they only consist of a screen and a keyboard and I can't see anywhere to plug in the camera/portable hard-drive! Any ideas?? I've felt all around the edges of the screen and keyboard, but no joy. Liam seems to have become surgically attached to the camera (!!) and has already used over half the camera's capacity in just one day, so we need to work out how to upload the photos onto our hard-drive asap!! EDIT: after asking at reception, I have now found where to plug in the camera etc (the computer tower is hidden under the desk, duh) but I can't figure out how to open anything up - whenever I try it comes up with what seems to be an error, but in Spanish. Gah, will try to figure it out again later...it's 9.15am now so I'm hoping Liam won't mind me waking him up for breakfast!! EDIT EDIT: after coffee breakfast, and with the help of Liam, we've managed to upload the photos, whoop! I'm going to quickly add a couple of photos into this post, but will post more once back in England.

Anyway, technical issues over, thank you so much for all your lovely comments about our wedding photo, and all the well-wishes before & after the day...I can't wait to share more photos and details with you when we're back in England! :)

Barcelona is great so far. We arrived at our hotel at 11pm Sunday night and received a free upgrade even before we told them we were on honeymoon! We decided not to go out that night so by the time breakfast rolled round the next day I was starving as I hadn't eaten since a sandwich on the plane! I was awake from 6.30am so thought waking Liam at 8.30am was pretty reasonable...he didn't agree, hence I'm the computer at the moment! I woke up at 6.30 again this morning but managed to drift back to sleep until 8am, phew! Breakfast was good, although I over-did it a bit on the bread & cake so had a tummy ache afterwards...I've decided to eat gluten while I'm over here, a) because unfortunately avoiding gluten didn't do much to improve my symptoms back home, and b) because it's had enough to eat vegetarian over here, avoiding gluten too would leave me with very little to eat!! I've told myself I can eat fish this week if I need/want to, but so far I've stuck to delicious veggies (and cheese... lots & lots of cheese!!)

I quickly discovered that a "savoury" plate wouldn't contain much if I didn't want all the meat provided!
...so onto the cake instead! & delicious melon, so fresh.
They have a Nespresso coffee machine at breakfast...this excited me!!

Yesterday we didn't really have anything planned to do, we just spent lots of time wandering around exploring (our feet were so sore by the time we went back to the hotel at 4pm!) there are so many cute shops to look in, I've bookmarked loads of things I want to buy nearer the end of the week, although I'm not sure I'll be able to find some of the side-streets again!

Stereotypical Brit goes abroad and gravitates towards Starbucks!!
A shop full of biscuits & chocolates, yes please!!

We also visited a food market which was huge! Although a lot of the stalls were exactly the same as each other! There was the usual meat and fish, but the majority were fruit - both dried and fresh - they had lots of fruit (pineapple, melon, dragon fruit etc) cut up and then wrapped in clingfilm with a plastic fork inside - it looked so neat! I have photos, just need to work out how to show them! We bought a tub of coconut to share but it wasn't that great - a bit flavourless - I will try a different fruit next time - we only bought coconut as that was the only option Liam would also eat!

Fresh fruit everywhere!
Dried Fruit & Nuts

We had lunch outside at one of the restaurants on las ramblas there are loads of cafes and restaurants who have tables in the central pedestrian bit of the streets opposite their restaurant. All, bizarrely, seemed to use the exact same menu though! I had a mozzarella and roquefort pizza - it was delicious and super thin/crispy, although expensive - I think we'll be trying to find less central restaurants from now on which seem to be cheaper and provide more variety!

Cheese!

We then walked down to the docks and booked a boat trip for Thursday evening - my Auntie recommended it to us - 1.5 hours on a catamaran while they play live jazz music. Should be a nice way to relax towards the end of the week :)

Husband & Wife!!


The predicted rain started at 3pm (until then it had been really sunny & it's meant to be hot with pure sunshine for the rest of the week, so can't complain!) so we sheltered in the big shopping centre at the docks (buying posh chocolates to enjoy back at the hotel!) before heading back to the hotel to fall asleep/get ready for dinner.

This was only one case - there were 5 cases of loose chocolates plus loads of other sections to the shop, yum!

Dinner was fantastic! After all our walking, neither of us wanted to go to far in the evening so we asked at the hotel reception for a local recommendation. The restaurant he directed us to - Sergons Mercat - was literally directly opposite the hotel, ideal! We each got a free glass of cava because the hotel had sent us, and we decided to eat tapas. Like I said, I stuck with vegetarian foods - (super garlicky!) patatas bravas, tomato bread, roasted peppers & aubergine with goat's cheese, and finally the star of my meal - tempura asparagus with some kind of tomato dip (to be honest I couldn't taste the dip because of the overpowering garlic flavour from the potatoes, but the asparagus flavour still shone through). Liam shared all the things I ate (although I only let him have one asparagus spear!!) plus some kind of tuna dish and a couple of ham croquettes. It was all really good, so glad we went there!

Tomato Bread and Patatas Bravas
Roasted peppers, aubergine & onions (cold) with Goat's cheese
Amazing Asparagus Tempura (plus Liam's meaty stuff in the background - I'm not editing any photos on the hotel computer incase I accidentally delete the photos!!)

We then wandered down the street just a little for cocktails - a mojito for Liam, a pina colada for me...holiday!! :-D

This photo could do with some editing once we get home, but the cocktails were delicious!

Right, that's day one covered. Posting (and I'm sure reading) without any photos is hard work - sorry! I still like writing it all down as a way of remembering - and hopefully it means that when I do get to post the photos they'll make more sense!! Any recommendations of places to go/eat from people who've been to Barcelona? Tomorrow we're planning to go on a Gaudi bus tour to Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia, and we'll probably go to the Picasso museum either today or Thursday. We're also hoping to make it to the beach at least one day, and the magic fountains in Montjuic on Friday evening. I hope the week doesn't go too quickly!!

Add-on: Right Liam is now back with directions to get to Picasso's Museum, so off we go! The photos uploaded 10x faster on the hotel computer than they do on my own laptop, success! Have a great day everyone!! :)

4 comments:

  1. The tapas food looks soooo good! As do all of the other food/drink pictures. Very jealous, I love holiday food! Enjoy the rest of your week :)

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  2. It sounds like you are having an amazing time! :-)

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  3. aww please take loads of pictures of the magic fountain when you see it, it was closed when I went cause of a car show - GGRRRRRRR!!!!! to be honest I failed with restaurants at baraclona but there was a really nice Irish pub that was in the gothic part of town nearby the city cathedral but as you can imagine with the side streets directions are useless

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  4. Glad you are having such a lovely time :) There were some nice parks in Barcelona if I remember- the gaudi park with all the tile lizards and things was nice (and had parrots in it when we went)- but I bet whatever you do will be fab.

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