My name is Mat, I’m 39yrs old and I live in Southampton. (I moved down here from South of London 20yrs ago and have stayed ever since).
My first trip to Barcelona was for La Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve) in 2004. It was around this time that the “no frills” airline boom really started to take off (no pun intended), and quite a number of my then work colleagues booked short breaks to Barcelona via Ryanair’s Bournemouth to Girona service.
Tying in with this my family normally had a couple of nights somewhere in the UK or France for NYE, so given the great things my work colleagues said about Barcelona I suggested to the family we went to Barcelona… and that’s where my 10yr (ok, its 11yrs and counting) obsession with Barcelona started.
View from the Museu d’Història de Catalunya
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Pa amb tomàquet (or pan tomaca)
I’m no newbie to Spain, but I’m a fresh arrival to Barcelona. After a year enjoying free tapas in Granada and another spent crouched over a space heater in rainy Bilbao, I’m excited to see what this cosmopolitan Mediterranean city has to offer.
I’ve been here for a month, and plan on staying till the end of June, when my English teaching contract ends and the country kicks me out for being a visa-less American. But I’m beginning to realize I’ll need more than a year to really get to know this unbeatable city. I wish I knew the best place for pan tomaca; the cheapest (drinkable) glass of wine in the city; what time to arrive at my nearest Bicing station before all the bikes are taken. But there are only so many ways blogs and Lonely Planet can enlighten you; the best teacher is time. So here’s how I envision my perfect day in Barcelona come June, when I’ve gotten more familiar with my surroundings and it’s time to leave it all behind. Read the rest of this article…