Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Whistlestop Weekend in Barcelona


Ah Barcelona. 
I never knew what it was like to have a love/hate relationship with a place until I visited here. It's such an interesting, diverse, and vibrant city, but it seems to really hate me!
C'est la vie.

A couple of weeks ago I headed here for my friend Kate's 30th Birthday. I'm not whether it's an age thing, but I'm definitely waaay more socially awkward than I used to be. Whereas once upon a time the idea of a party (wherever that may be) was appealing, once you reach a certain age you start wondering how early is too early to go to bed, and whether or not you packed your plasters.

Anyway. I flew out on the Friday evening, arriving at 9pm Friday night. The evening consisted of pizza, prosecco and board games - 3 of my favourite things. A couple of the people I had met before, so we had a nice time, and the fizz soon made me forget about my tiredness!


We had a leisurely Saturday consisting of a lie in, catch ups and home-made pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, before venturing out for a wander around the city. It's a shame the weather was grey and drizzly meaning I didn't really get many photos, but it's the first time in 5 years it wasn't sunny so that's pretty good going.

The party that night was held in the Meatpacking Bistro - an achingly cool little deli/bistro, with quirky decor, and vintage books lining the walls. I loved the decor (even the slightly strange unisex toilet with mirrored ceiling - had to get a selfie!)
We had a selection of delicious buffet snacks, and I have zero self control when it comes to a buffet.



The following day disaster struck when my flight home was cancelled with one minutes notice! I mean, it's bad enough that it was cancelled, but I'd checked in, been through security and was waiting for the countdown to gate info when it flashed up that it had been cancelled.
I've never actually been in that situation before so I wasn't quite sure what to do. As 6 flights had been cancelled at once, I joined the queue with approximately 7000 other people to try and get some information, but I heard the queue was 3-4 hours long (later revealed to be 10+) so I decided to get out of the queue and book a flight online with a different airline. That flight was also subsequently cancelled so I phoned Kate, who came and picked me up from the airport. 

We decided that despite my frustration there was nothing more that could be done that night, so as Kate had dinner plans, I crashed on the sofa with sushi and Gossip Girl, and stressed out some more about the situation, as that's what I do.

The following we had an impromptu extra day together, so headed over to look at La Sagrada Familia. I'm a big fan of Gaudi, and in the 5 years since I first visited, the exterior had changed a lot. It's estimated that it'll be finished in 10 years, to mark the 100 year anniversary since Gaudi's death.
It's such a weird and wonderful building, I love the originality of Gaudi's visions; the interior is absolutely breathtaking but we didn't go inside this time. If you visit Barcelona though it's definitely worth seeing.


We spent the rest of the day mooching about (and refreshing my Ryanair app.)
It's so easy to while away hours in Barcelona, and I walked more than 3 times my usual steps at home, which made me realise how much fitter I would be if I lived in a city!
We did some window shopping, went to a vegan restaurant for lunch and relaxed with a beer.


As it was such a short stay, I didn't take many photos. The time seemed to fly by, despite me actually being in Barcelona 36 hours longer than expected!
That night we arrived at the airport (2 other friend's of Kate's were getting the same flight) and again faced huge delays, with zero apology. I know it's been said before, but Ryanair really do treat their customers with contempt, and I've spent a frustrating few weeks trying to get answers from them, but a refund is not forthcoming.
We finally took off at just before 1am, having been scheduled to leave at 9pm, and spent 2 hours of that time sitting on the plane on the runway.

This feels like a bit of whiny post, but unfortunately my trip was tarnished by what happened. 
It was still great to see Barcelona again though, and the weather was mild despite being a little dull.

Have you had any airline disasters?


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