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Entries about barcelona

El Clasico

semi-overcast 10 °C
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We found out on Friday night about the El Clasico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, in Bernabeu itself while we are in Madrid! The stadium is only like ten minutes away on foot?

So on Sunday (today) afternoon, the guys went down to attempt to get tickets, with a 200 eur budget. They returned with sad countenances just as I finished showering. But we rushed off to the stadium to try and catch the players as they arrived. After pushing our way through to the front, getting a few dirty looks, and waiting for what felt like a century, people up the road began to cheer and cameras popped out (like daisies! Reference anyone?). Some police cars and two darkly tinted buses drove by. There was a stunned silence and then everyone started to ask the security guy if that was it. And that was it. Everyone was extremely disappointed but stayed in the crush for another five minutes before hopes dissipated and the crowd dispersed.

We slowly made our way back home, booked our bus tickets to Lisboa, ate some leftover macaroni, and went off to find a bar.

We ended up in this cute little bar with lots of iberian hams hanging on the sides. So something between a butchery and a bar maybe? The guys wanted a better view of the big TV so they went to the back to stand. On the other hand, I dragged a chair right up almost underneath the TV to look up at it. I'd rather sit for 90min and have a weirdly angled neck. After all, can't be worse than belaying someone on a project (sorry J hahahaha that was a long one).

There was a mix of barca and madrid fans, so excitement at every turn. I sat there looking up, laughing at the animations of the people around me. Like seriously, I think it's hilarious when people scream at the TV, and especially so when there's a goal!

And a wealth of goals there was indeed. What an amazing match, as each side almost took turns to score. Not only were there tons of goals, but there was also a lot of drama with the penalties and that red card! Oh my. And I can't believe Madrid lost, what a pity (even though I'm neutral). The barca fans were screaming away happily while everyone else grunted grumpily or had head in hands.

What a stroke of luck. A fantastic match up nearing the end of the la liga season. A decisive match. And a home game as well! In a small local bar :) what a night.

Summary of the rest of today's events will probably come in about 24 hours haha.

Posted by seaskimmer 16:03 Archived in Spain Tagged football barcelona spain madrid Comments (0)

Tired feet

sunny 19 °C
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Today was to be devoted to a few main things. Gaudi's Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, and Camp Nou.

Sagrada was a simple affair because they didn't want to go in so we walked a round and took photos.

Supposed to walk to Parc Güell, but silly me directed us down the wrong way so after walking about the correct 15min we realised we were almost where we began. Ugh my attempt to save money didn't really work out. Metro to Alfons X but not before a quick churros stop! Yay.

We stopped at a random shop which turned out to be run by Chinese people, I asked directions to Parc Güell, TZ asked about eating places, DB went to buy a towel. (He brought three towels in his check in, which he left in Hamburg. Genius.)

Ate at the recommended place, had two platos del dia and an extra chorizo (spicy-ish sausages) to share. So worth it. The platos we ordered had two paellas for appetiser, a roast beef and a veal for mains, and pudding and soft cheese with honey for dessert. Chose two beers for drinks (San Miguel). Food wasn't as brilliant as it was last night, but it was good and most of it was friendly personal recommendation from one of the waiters! Altogether 9 eur person, and the fullest I've been since sg.

Spent some time walking around Parc Güell, the two of them got their panorama fix at a high vantage point. They went off a little earlier to camp nou, while I stayed and walked around some more. I'm glad I did because I managed to get to this crazy high part of the park, which had a pretty much 360 view of the city. It was so amazing, better than the previous spot we'd been in. I also walked in the forest area, it was so beautifully quiet. I saw a lot of different kinds of birds, mostly sparrow size but some a bit bigger.

And everything was super Mediterranean. It actually felt like Spain for once. Like the episode where Asterix and Obelix somehow end up in Iberia. (¡ olè!) it's all gnarly bark and trunks, pine needles, pear shaped waxy leaves, dusty orange pathways, weathered tan rock.

Okay then I began my long trek to Camp Nou. If you look it up on the map, it's really far. But I had decided to do it because then I'd get to really walk across the city, and I wouldn't have to pay another metro trip (which is not distance fare, it's by trip so very expensive). I saw a few cool street names referring to people like jules verne, cervantes, copernicus.

Eventually it was 445, and I decided I couldn't make it to camp nou by 5, our agreed meeting the being 430/5. The back up was that if I wasn't there, we'd meet back at the house. So I took the metro back to Pl. catalunya, took a long indirect route back up here, and I'm here now writing this.

It's 7pm and the guys I think have just returned cos I heard the buzz.

Yeah, it's them and they had an awesome time at camp nou but they were also a little worried about me haha. Oops.

Night bus at ten pm today to Madrid, I can't wait to see AM! Hopefully I'll have fun this trip (I mean the whole thing).

Oh and I'm sorry, I was really mean to db yesterday. Doesn't really change the fact that I'm gonna have to figure out how to get along with him, but I don't have to be mean to him in semi public :(

That said, I realise what a difficult thing I have chosen to do. I'm here for ten days with two people I'm barely friends with. For E I had to turn a friendship into a travelship. Given that there are no personality clashes etc that's alright. But now I have to develop both friendship and travelship, or maybe just travelship if that's possible lol. And they've both been friends for a while now. How now brown cow.

Maybe I just need to chill and accept. I'm not gonna complain. I've made my bed and I'll lie in it! And enjoy it too. Done.

PS did you realise that the word gaudy came from gaudi?? I was mind blown.

Boys vs girls travel
5. More swearing (unless you have someone like E...)
6. More nagging about safety (from them)
7. Gossip about girls
8. Always hungry

PS achievement unlocked! I walked around in 2 layers the whole of today.

Posted by seaskimmer 11:20 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona spain gaudi Comments (0)

Stark raving mad

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So I couldn't wait a day to get this up, here it comes!

Our sandeman tour guide suggested and pointed out an area near the beach but not actually at the beach (touristy) where we could get some good paellas. So at 8pm we set off, and trawled the area for paellas. We thought we could get some for 15 shared, but turns out our info was wrong cos it was all 15 per pax. In the end we went back to this small cosy place we saw on the way even though it had no paella.

And what a good choice it was. When we returned we saw that there was a queue outside, and Singaporeans being Singaporeans that cemented its star status in our minds. I chatted in broken Spanish and English with some of the cute old men in the queue and they said it was a famous place actually with good and cheap seafood! So we were like Yay! And we joined the queue.

The food indeed was affordable, fish ranges between 5 and 8.50, meats 3 and 8. Fried vegetables 1.50 or 1.75.

We ordered
5 eur fried sardines (5 fishes)
8.50 eur small fried hake (4 fishes)
3 eur veal
1 eur bread with thin tomato sauce layer
1.50 eur fried tomato (6 medium halves)
1.80 eur estrella (30 cl x 2) for them
1.20 eur estrella (20 cl) for me

Super awesome okay. I wanted to die in happiness then, it was so good and tasty, and in the back of my head, inexpensive haha.

Everything was quite lightly salted etc, with minimum dressing. But it was so fresh and well cooked that it was just amazing! And the atmosphere of the place was relaxed, like and older but nice coffee shop. The food was very simple and no nonsense, with no sides apart from a lemon slice for the fish. Presented on plain white plates, obviously a bit old.

Very little conversation especially at the start, everyone was concentrating on and enjoying the food. It was delicioso! Mmmmm still thinking about that lovely friedness. I ate almost everything on that fish, ate all the small bones, ate as much of the crunchy head as I dared to.

It was so affordable. I wasn't supremely full after that to be honest, but I think paying another 1.75 for frites (still thinking in French) would have gotten me very nice and full. As it is, that's 8 eur spent very well.

So anyone who's ever in Barcelona, GO. Nearest metro is Barcelonata. It's on 12 Carrer del Baluard, probably called Can Mano.

Okayyy I'm gonna sleep now, my rave review is over.

Oh but PS there was a musical group that came in around 9 plus. A guy on trumpet, one with accordion, last with a drum. They were playing what a wonderful world, that was nice. But layer they started offering a hat around and I'm like oh. Touting. Oh well.

Posted by seaskimmer 17:03 Archived in Spain Tagged food barcelona spain seafood Comments (0)

A new start

sunny 16 °C
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I spent a cold night at London Gatwick with my head on my small bag and arms around my big bag. I'd managed to find a fabric-covered seat with no arm rests! But in the early morning they opened the escalator area and that's how it got so cold.

Woke at 630, made my way through check in and baggage check. All was smooth. I looked for the gate info, however, and realised that my flight was delayed. No gate info til 910, for my 850 flight. I then heard about the French strike from TZ, whose flight had actually been cancelled. When I finally got onto the plane, I waited another hour or so til it finally got off the ground at 12. Meanwhile I sat like a boss with feet up on the seat, since the flight was pretty empty. Finished Euripides' Andromache, it was pretty cool but I think I'll try Trojan Women next time.

Met this African woman getting off the plane. She was from Gambia I think (a bit hard to tell through accent) but she was studying in London. She was limping slightly and was barely managing to carry her humongous pink bag. So I helped her haha, as far as the arrival gate. That was cool.

Got a bus to Plaza de la Catalunya, walked to my Airbnb accom which is right next to Santa Maria del Mar! Mariella is super nice. And her dog, Charlie the black pug, is soooo adorable. He lies down and snorts when I scratch him.

Note: it's so much warmer here! Yay. Can walk around in 3 layers and without the winter jacket. I'm a wuss though, I think my bro would be in a t shirt haha.

I went to have a walk around the area, it's really interesting how there are a multitude of tiny narrow streets that most people would hardly go down unless they had lots of time to explore like me. But even these dark dim streets had cool shops on them. Found some cheap eating places haha.

After I did some laundry (ie washed clothes I've been wearing for 2 weeks for the next 2 weeks), I went out to get dinner. I settled on this little takeaway sandwich place and chose the sandwich del dia (of the day) because it was the cheapest at 3 eur. At first I was a little sceptical, and wishing he'd put more pork on the grill. As he began to assemble my dinner, I began to appreciate the thoughtfulness with which he did everything.

First to go into the bread was the rocket salad. Then tomatoes, then grilled onions, a white sauce and a yellow sauce. The pork was next, followed by the toasted shitakes. He reached for the towkay, changed his mind, and put a dark sauce first before the towkay. Wrapped it all up in foil and paper and a plastic bag. When I got back, I had so much fun eating it, honestly. I appreciated how he seemed to put my sandwich together like it was an art, rather than how some people do it really fast out of habit. Okay that was completely random.

At this time I decided to use my googled Spanish phrases. Gracias, and a hesitant Buenos Tardes? In the end I was correct and that earned me smiles from the few Spaniards there. I really like to learn a few words in each country, it always gets people more comfortable with me. And helps me to feel like I'm not just a an outsider, a tourist.

TZ finally arrived at 1230am. I haven't seen him since December, and that was only my 3rd time meeting him haha. Many things to find out and adjust to, like how apparently he doesn't really need breakfast all the time (what seriously). I can't believe I'm travelling with two guys I've just met (although I will be seeing them often for the next 4 months), which is the opposite of the past 2 weeks: 2 girls I've known for 11 and 5 years. This will be interesting, it may be rocky, I hope I don't get very annoyed. I foresee a girls vs boys post in the future, but also a choose-your-travel-partners-well kind of post.

Posted by seaskimmer 18:43 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona spain charlie Comments (0)

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