A massive downpour to clean the streets of the night before – and people. Take an umbrella and walk through Ciutadella Park. Sit by the boating lake, a tiny area of water with about 20 boats that pile up fast like a Friday night traffic jam. Over to the Born and En Aparté for coffee or wine. The service is good, friendly. Predominantly French fare so it’s cheese with ham, cheese with bread, cheese with cheese. Or cheese. Apart from the carrot cake. The coffee’s good. So is the price. There’s the brunch menu at weekends.
Head up to CosmoCaixa for no other reason than to walk through the rainforest. Be attacked by a bird (it happened). Worry that the “thing” wandering around the swamp missed breakfast and that the anaconda’s developed an exit strategy. (It wasn’t asleep and they’re fast). Walk down the hill because you can, past houses that look like a set from The Addams Family.
Take the speedboat from Colom for no reason whatsoever. Don’t use an umbrella on it in high winds. Stare at the Wax Museum and wonder why Superman is on the roof with R2D2 and no wax in site. Check out a tourist attraction “Bosc de les fades” (Fairy Forest) that’s next to the wax museum and question why anyone in their right mind would venture into the place (okay, I did). There’s no natural light and the “fairy” lights come on just before a thunderclap that’s loud enough to make you spill your drink – at which point the lights go mad for about 30 seconds, just like my Christmas tree lights when they’re set to “mental”. But do head through to the design store that the Fairy Forest is connected to. It’s well worth the trouble as it sometimes has a couple of unusual things for sale and there’s also a bar that’s often unmanned – so help yourself.
Go to Carrer Astúries in Gràcia and catch theatre or free cinema in the garden at the back of a shop that’s full of stuff like dope, Nepalese temple ball, massage oils, tarot cards, a witch, monopoly, and carrot cake. They also have clothes that are tailored to fit any body shape that’s along the lines of a square box or a sheet of A4 paper.
For a dose of peace and quiet, jump on the metro to Bon Pastor. The line’s very new. No human drives it (it’s automatic). There are no passengers because no one knows it’s open yet. Well there is one guy. He’s about 70 and he sat next to me, in an entire train of c. 120 seats. So keep a lookout for him. Bon Pastor library is about 30 seconds from the metro station. Go to reception and tell them you’re doing theatre in English in [insert the month that’s 3 months from now] and you want to see the performance space as arranged by Nuria. They’ll look confused but they’ll give you the key to the secure ground floor where you’ll be able to do whatever you like because they’ll leave you to it.
Stoke your nascent interest in vegetables and pulses with a trip to the Boqueria for no more than 18 seconds followed by a visit to the Green Parrot to compare what’s on offer and the differences in the marketing strategy of both establishments. It might give you an insight into yourself that you hadn’t imagined before and never believed was possible. Or it might not.
Bungee jump off the Torre Agbar as the water company moved out of it because it was sold to a hotelier but Ada Colau (the Barcelona mayor) doesn’t want it to be turned into a hotel. Consequently, the tower is currently derelict so no one will mind what you do there – just as long as you don’t treat it like a hotel.
Make a couple of sandwiches and feed a tourist that’s passed out in a doorway. (Just leave the bag next to them with a note to tuck in when they wake up).
Head over to Monvínic, the amazing wine restaurant on Rambla de Catalunya and Carrer Diputació. It’s a worldwide success story and people flock to it for its reputation as the best of the best. But take a pen and some A4 paper because when you get there you’ll question why there’s a piece of paper stuck on the front door that says they’re closed for the day due to staff training. Leave a note in Catalan (assuming that you, like the entire population of the world, are fluent in Catalan too) suggesting that they might want to update their website with their ad-hoc training date closures.
Immerse yourself in the local culture – I mean really throw yourself into it – by visiting one of the civil service offices to try to register for a NIE or local residency in less than 24 hours and without medication.
Go to the beach by Selva de Mar metro and stare at the sky at night. There’s less light from the city so the sky looks black and the stars are clear. It’s great
Georgina writes stuff. She’s lived in a several places including New York, London, and Stirling. She was bitten by a spider in Sydney, and learned to avoid snakes on the streets of Brooklyn. She’s usually in Barcelona long enough to pay taxes. For a laugh visit tremaynetheatre.com.
And also check out the crowdfunding project for Georgina’s new Barcelona-based film, Trevor!
If you’d like to write your ‘Perfect Day in Barcelona’ then please get in touch via the email address at the bottom of this website. I’d love to hear from you. The more we have the better!