Welcome to Barcelona

So over the weekend we decided to take a short break to Barcelona to experience the city life and do some exploring……Only a four hour drive from Toulouse it was a lovely drive with some amazing views en route, the best parts of the journey had to be passing by the town of Carcasonne and driving along the coastal road of Narbonne.

Arriving in Barcelona we were excited but a little tired and ready to check in and relax, little did we know how our Barcelona experience was about to unravel…….

I had heard a lot about Barcelona and had been thoroughly warned about the pick pocketers and con artists that would be lurking about, however we were taken by surprise when we nearly lost our car due to a scam we were never expecting……

The flat tyre scam – As we took our exit off the motorway and came on to the main road leading into Barcelona, our car started jolting and making a strange noise which we soon realised was a flat tyre, a little confused we pulled over hoping it was salvageable and we could make it to the hotel. After pulling over we jumped out of the car to inspect the damage, when we were approached by a “nice motorcyclist” who was offering us directions to a garage…..however as we were being distracted by the motorcyclist we hadn’t notice the man behind who was about to jump into our car and drive away!!! Lucky for us a genuinely nice Spanish couple chased the thief off and we managed to save our car and all our valuables just in time. It turns out this is a well known scam in Barcelona where motorcyclists fit blades into their shoes to puncture your tyre while on the road, hoping you will pull over and that they can distract you while their ‘partner in crime’ tries to steal your things!

Thankfully after a long wait for the AA and a change of tyre we finally made it to our hotel and managed to get through the rest of our weekend scam free, and undeterred to enjoy our Barcelonan Experience.

Waking up the next morning I was glad to see the city was every little bit as beautiful as I had expected. Some of our favourite sights over the weekend included;The Sagrada Familia – a famous church within Barcelona designed by Gaudi, a Catalan architect. Construction of The Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and still continues today!

La Catedral – A beautiful gothic style cathedral dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, the co – patron saint of Barcelona.

Casa Batlló – The restoration of a house by Gaudi in 1904 that had been originally built in 1877.

Nou camp – FC Barcelona’s Football stadium, a little less cultured but definitely a must see when in Barcelona.

It was a wonderful weekend in all, and even our near scam disaster helped add to experiencing the true culture of Barcelona (although I’m sure I wouldn’t being say that right now if our car had been stolen). I can’t wait to go back as I feel we have only skimmed the surface of a city full of gems.

Au revoir mes amis x

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Things I Miss Most About England….

I have been here for just over a month now, and can’t believe how fast time has flown by. We are settling in well and have met some great people, and cannot wait to move into our new home next month, living in a hotel is starting to drag…..however I have to admit that there are a few things from home that I am starting to miss, and that I definitely took for granted before I left….

Making a quick call…This is definitely something I miss more than anything else, being able to pick up the phone and have a natter, without having to worry about how much it’s going to cost, scheduling a skype date, or ending a call mid sentence because you’ve run out of credit.

English radio…Something I never thought I’d miss is turning the radio on and listen to a bunch of presenters gibbering on about completely meaningless things, but since I’ve moved away this seems a lot more appealing than listening to a bunch of presenters gibbering on in French. Also I have not yet acquired a taste for French pop music….it is much to be desired!

Roast Dinners…Roast dinners are by far my favourite meal in the whole world, and it is near impossible to get one in Toulouse, there are only two pubs in driving distance to me that do them, one is always full of 50 year old men….no thanks, and the other is so popular you have to make a reservation and arrive before midday to make sure there’s any roasts left, which defeats the whole idea of a lazy Sunday lunch!

Red post boxes…Quite a random one, but the French have these bright yellow post boxes and yellow postal vans, that I just can’t take to….give me a pillar box red post box any day!

English fashion…So I have just finished a 5 year fashion degree, and I know it’s cliched but have a serious passion for fashion….lets just say Toulouse isn’t quite Paris, and I am seriously struggling to find a winter wardrobe….what i would do for Topshop right now!

Robinsons orange squash…(Has to be no added sugar!) A strange addiction of mine that I just can’t seem to overcome, although I have managed to get my hands on different varieties of Robinsons orange squash, I have failed miserably to find the right one…..I have already insisted to anyone who comes to visit they must bring orange squash!!

Proper English pubs…Imitation English pubs just aren’t the same, they may be full of English people, but they are generally in strange shop units that look nothing like a good old English pub, and don’t serve good pub grub like you get back home.

http://www.the-metropolitan.co.uk

A good natter with a stranger…I love to chat, and I definitely wouldn’t call myself shy so generally I have no qualms about having a quick natter with someone sat next to me on the bus, or in a queue at the supermarket…..this is near impossible to do when 99% of people around you are French and have absolutely no idea what you are saying!

Screw top wine…I’m pretty sure this is one of those I shouldn’t admit, especially considering the amazing wine you can get over here, but no matter how much I try I just seem to lack the talent to use a corkscrew or need to invest in an expensive snazzy one that will undo my wine in one pop.

Although there are a few things I’m missing about home there’s plenty of stuff I’m loving over here, but that’s for next time……

Au revoir mes amis x