2011 30/08

Ruth’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

“When the temperatures start to rise, many in Barcelona head out of the city for the traditional August break. But for me, it’s the perfect time to enjoy balmy days and sultry nights, seduced by the weather and the sound of the cicadas.

Ocata Beach

Ocata Beach - © Jose Canovas

Barceloneta beach is undoubtedly the most famous, but being a tall foreigner there are one or two hazards I prefer to avoid. It can be hard to sink into the sound of the waves if the local beer-sellers decide I’m their perfect lady for the day. They are always incredibly polite, but it can get wearing being asked twenty times in thirty minutes if I’d like a nice cold beer. Plus, I really don’t drink beer under a hot sun. So for the beach life I’ve taken to heading to Ocata, far from the crowds, and within easy reach of Plaça Catalunya on the train to Blanes. Within a short time, I’m whisked away on a clean and air conditioned train to the beach, where the beer sellers are far less persistent. The view from the train often seems like being on a boat, as the train magically glides above sea-level. It stops right at the beach, where you step straight onto the boardwalk down to a clean sandy stretch. It’s a way to really unwind, floating in the warm waters, snoozing on the towel, and I never have a sense of the ‘body police’ patrolling for those of us without a perfect Hollywood figure. I can pick up pieces of fresh coconut from the friendly vendors without being constantly hassled. There’s also plenty of beach cafes and showers. The whole affair can roll into a leisurely day out, complete with a picnic. Read the rest of this article…

2011 11/03

Mark’s Brill Day in Barna

C.R.E.A.M. Bikes & Things

C.R.E.A.M. Bikes & Things (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)

“Now then, I’m five years deep in Catalonia, so I have my regular hang-outs and haunts, but that’s not to say there aren’t some glaring omissions in my fun day, as I am uncovering hidden gems on a monthly basis.

My day is fairly season-neutral. There are tons of special events around Barcelona throughout the year, but the route I’ll set out can be enjoyed on any old day. You’re going to need a bike though, which can be rented in various locations around the city. The most fashion-conscious will head straight to Cream and hook themselves up with a fixed-gear number, not cheap at 50€ a day, but let’s imagine your trip is being sponsored by a rich uncle bribing you to keep shtum after coming onto you at Christmas.

Breakfast. Starting in the Raval, I can definitely vouch for a pastoral and healthy first meal of the day at Olivia (c/ Pintor Fortuny). Tiny, comfortable, local press to peruse, hot mums make up the clientele. Or if that’s full, check out Forn de Betlem across the way, still good produce and press, not as healthy, hot mums make up the staff. Read the rest of this article…

2011 26/01

Valerie’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

Buenas Migas website

Buenas Migas, Plaça del Mar, 1

“Firstly my perfect day would have about 36 hours in it. At least! Having had a long and lovely night’s sleep, I would wake up early, and drive or cycle to the beach. Next to the W Hotel at the end of the Barceloneta beach, there is a great place to swim. I would meet up with my swimming buddies and have a long 2km swim. Then, run up the beach and have a well deserved cup of tea at the Buenas Migas (‘good crumbs’ in Spanish). They do great focaccia and cakes. I would chill there for a while, watching the sun over the sea and the hippies doing their morning yoga on the beach. Read the rest of this article…

2011 04/01

Joe’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

“The perfect day begins with waking early. I’m lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from the beach (Barceloneta). I leave the house and wander down to the beach, seagulls whirling raucously around above my head. This is a magical time of the day when the city seems to have been reclaimed by wild creatures. Read the rest of this article…

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