Hello hello! I have returned from Espana! I'm also back home home for the Easter holidays and I'm writing this post from my brand spanking new bed (it's a dream). However, I'm writing this from bed because I am horrribly ill. It all started the day we were set to leave, I woke up with a sore throat. And it all went downhill from there really. In every sense. So sit back and let me tell you about our disastrous journeys to and from Barcelona.
So basically we got up and after seeing there was an alert on our train to Gatwick because of ice on the rail, we decided to set off a bit early and give ourselves some extra time. We hoped we could just get on an earlier train to Gatwick. We couldn't. So when we did get onto our train, we were relieved to be finally on our way. Wrong. We were shortly informed that we had gotten stuck behind a slower running train and as such, we were getting more and more delayed. So there's me panicking away that we weren't going to make our flight. But we made it to Gatwick in good time. Flight delayed, awaiting gate info at 18 15. Oh my God. I'm one of the most impatient people you can meet so waiting around is hell for me. Boredom struck and I went for a stroll and it was just by chance that I saw the gates board- gate closing in 5 mins- and this was at about 6pm. So we grab our stuff and peg it to the gate, which, of course, is one of the furthest ones away. But we get there and its fine and there's a bit of a queue forming to get one and we watch as more and more people come running red faced thinking they're about to miss their flight too. No need to run my friends, the easyJet Gods just like to mock us mere mortals and keep us waiting to board for another 40 minutes anyway. Just why?!
But anyway, we get to Barcelona, check in and promptly crash into bed. All in all about 10 hours travelling. The second day, we plan to go to the Sagrada Familia, the famous Gaudi basilica and walk through the city. I'm beginning to feel rough but I dose up on painkillers and I'm good to go. We managed to get a free tour first around the Jewish Old Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral from a woman needing feedback for a guide tour company which was a nice added bonus and then headed over to SG on the metro. And it's so beautiful! As you can see, they're still working on it and it probably won't be finished for at least another 13 years. The inside however is more or less finished with stunning stain glass windows and is a lot more simpler than the outside. The oldest facade has so much detail on it, you could sit outside looking at it all for ages.
Third day and I am ill. Cough, headache, sore throat, burning up and shivering, loss of appetite combined with really bad ears from flying and not much sleep. It's not good. I stayed in bed while James went out to find breakfast and painkillers. FYI, Spain sells paracetamol in a much higher concentration. Me gusta. I really didn't want being ill to ruin the trip so I dose up again, wait for my temperature to come down and then we head out to Guell Park, another of Gaudi's works. I really liked it here- it is still a bit of tourist trap but once you move away from the main entrance, you can just find a bench, enjoy the views and the sunshine (or burn in James's case...)
Fourth day is the day we leave and we check out right at the last minute because we know it's going to be a long day travelling (we had no idea...) and head up to Passeig de Gracia which is one of the main shopping stretches in Barcelona. I absolutely love the architecture there and some of the buildings were beautiful. Unfortunately, because I was feeling so rubbish, I didn't buy anything and also a lot of Spanish clothes are not designed with the bigger chest in mind.... However we did go to Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria which is this amazing open market with piles of gorgeous fresh fruit, dry cured ham and fresh sea food- it made me so hungry! It's also known as being a hotspot for pickpockets as its just off La Rambla as well but we had no issues. It was all to kill time before the true hell began. Our flight back actually landed on time and we though yes maybe the Gods were in our favour this time. We had an hour to get from the flight in North Terminal, through security and over to the train station in South and believe it or not, we actually made it to the station. But that's where it all went wrong. We hadn't bought return tickets in case our flight was delayed and we missed it but there were only self service machines for the London train connections and not to anywhere else. And only one ticket desk open. And a massive queue of people not knowing where they were going. Bollocks. We bumped into a girl from our flight that was going the same direction and suggested splitting a taxi. Only problem was that they wanted £196! No way were we paying that. So yep, we ended up kipping on Gatwick benches until the first train to Southampton at 4 in the morning including a change and wait at Clapham. By the time we rolled in at 7 in the morning, we had nearly been awake for 24 hours. Absolute mare! Never trust British transport. And I've definately learnt that it's worth paying a little more for the easier flight.
But travelling hell aside, it was really nice to get away for a bit and see some sun! Despite being ill, we still managed to get out and about but we probably would have done more if I hadn't have been. I'm not really sure how I feel about Barcelona as a city. It's certainly very nice but also crowded and touristy and I think I'm beginning to realise I like things just a little bit quieter. I think the next holiday will be somewhere quiet and relaxing.
So that's my trip to Barcelona- sorry it's a bit of a long one.
I'm staying in bed watching kids films until I feel better...