Barcelona III

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I am aware that I am drawing this out slightly now. I'm just a bit too excitable about Barcelona I'm afraid. I can't bear to leave anything out.

Our final full day in Barcelona was another day of glorious sunshine and plenty of outdoorsy-ness.

We started the day with coffee and croissants again, unable to find anywhere near by that strayed from the beaten coffee and croissants track. It is, by the way, to my eternal confusion that Spanish people serve tea in glass cups but coffee warrants a mug. In my dream English bakery in Spain, tea will never have to suffer in a glass.

The plan for the morning was a stadium tour of Nou Camp.

Now, I am not a football fan. Not even slightly. My only foray into the footballing world was watching a champions league match between Real Madrid and Man United at the Bernabeú when I lived in Madrid. Admittedly, that was a pretty exciting match to attend, and I very much enjoyed waving my plastic flag in the Madrid seats but I haven't exactly caught the bug since shall we say. And yet, I still enjoyed the tour!

Even if football's not your thing and you're being dragged along, it is a pretty amazing place to see. I wasn't sure how much of the stadium they would allow you in to, but you really do get to walk in the players' footsteps which, I imagine, is a pretty big deal for a huge football fan?

You start the tour in the museum, which is absolutely stuffed with trophies. I found the history of the club perhaps even more interesting than Craig did, but we were both eager to get pitch side and see the stadium properly. It's impossibly huge, but there's even a good view from the nose bleed seats and you can walk along side the pitch on the tour. You see the bench (I was a little disappointed to see it wasn't one of those PE pine ones that haunt my school days) and if you get really into it there's even space to do a victory slide with your t-shirt over your head, Messi style. Just me?

My favourite park of the tour was the press box - they have different seats for all the different language commentators. Very nerdy. I have no idea how they see anything from up there though, they must make it up like they do at the UN.

When we emerged from the stadium the sun was still shining merrily, so we hopped on to the metro in search of something al fresco to do. The metro in Barcelona is an absolute delight by the way. We didn't use it that much as we preferred to walk most places, but our 10 trip ticket cost us less than 12€ and we were able to share it between us. The trains were clean, mostly empty and on time. They bosh the tube on the head.

And, most importantly of all, you can ride the funicular up the mountain on your metro ticket! FUNicular.
It doesn't take you all the way up, but far enough to enjoy these views at least.

We wanted to take the cable car back down to the port area but when we discovered it was 16€ each we walked down with the rest of the peasants. It's probably going to be the first thing I do when I win the lottery.

It was actually a blessing in disguise though as we got to walk through the beautiful marina and a cute little market selling Hitler dolls on the way back to the apartment...

Having worked up a bit of an appetite and a pizza craving, we strolled home to get changed for dinner. Apparently the best pizza in Barcelona was to be found not too far from us. Lucky.

This is Sports Bar.

The name wasn't really conjuring up the best image for me but the reviews couldn't fault it. And you know what? Neither will I.

You are looking at the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten in my life. And I, until the age of around 19, almost exclusively ate pizza when taken out for dinner so I like to think of myself as quite the expert. The tomato sauce was so delicious and basil-y I could have probably eaten it alone. The dough was both crispy and soft at the same time. I'm not sure how, but it was. The service was speedy and friendly - the waiter even looked at me hesitantly before pouring my beer into a wine glass. I think I was a little overdressed. The place was packed and had a great atmosphere but you definitely need to get there before 9 if you want a table. We grabbed the last one, right next to the wood fired oven and the smells were killing me.

Sad to see our pizza leave, we hopped over the road to Gipsy bar, narrowly avoiding a hen party enquiring about the price of shots. We had the tiny bar almost to ourselves which was nice after the hustle and bustle of the sports bar.

We had to check out the next day at noon and that was that! One last beer with lunch at the beach and back to the airport. Barcelona, you were wonderful and I am already plotting my return.

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