Parc de la Ciutadella
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. Read the rest of this article…
Steel Donkey Bike Tours
If you’re in Barcelona and you fancy getting out and about on a bike for a few hours then you could do a lot worse than checking out Steel Donkey Bike Tours.
These guys have been around the block and are consistently recommended on TripAdvisor as a great way to see the city on two wheels.
They kindly asked me to join them one morning, and so, feeling like a modern-day Sancho Panza and on a very comfy set of wheels from Green Bikes, we set off from Plaça George Orwell with our guide whose name escapes me.
This lapse in memory is no reflection on the guide himself. He led the tour extremely well and was always ready to answer my questions. The groups are small, usually no more than 4 or 5, so I certainly felt there was opportunity to pick his brain. Read the rest of this article…
My perfect day in Barcelona would be sunny, of course. Not too hot, but most definitely warm, and with a light breeze freshening the air.
It’s a Saturday, and I wake up early to take the opportunity to wander around the Gothic Quarter when most of the residents are still sleeping off their hangovers. Even walking up La Rambla at that time is pleasant, as before the stalls open and the restaurants are still closed you can really appreciate what it was like to take a stroll among the wealthy families of yesteryear. Early morning is also the best time to take photos of the streets around the cathedral; the faux Gothic arch, Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, and Plaça Reial are all peaceful and quiet.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri (credit: talesofbarcelona.com)
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Rainy streets in Barcelona’s old town
“Blessed with a generally bright and sunny disposition, Barcelona is cursed with an excess of fair-weather friends with no appreciation for precipitation. Read: the doom and gloom of backlit cumulonimbus are not welcome here. While no one enjoys a drought (heaven forbid someone can’t fill their swimming pool), grousing about even mildly inclement weather is par for the course, said inclement weather including an overcast sky, and even the lightest of rains. Guiris and Catalans alike seem to prefer ultraviolet heat and sand in uncomfortable places to a spot of rain. But after seven years here, I can claim my perfect day in Barcelona as “pasado por lluvias”. Read the rest of this article…