Monday, 15 December 2014

Travel: Barcelona 2014

Barcelona's long been one of my favourite places to visit, so when finding a deal online for Barca vs PSG in the final round of Champions League group matches there was little hope of ever turning it down. It happened to clash with the final week of uni but after a consultation of university timetables I was fairly certain that it'd all work out alright. Obviously I was wrong, and as I was in the air my robotics team were demonstrating Leslie's solution to our final exercise, which thankfully went incredibly well. Not only that but my final year project demonstration was meant to be at the time I left for the airport, even after explaining that was going to be an issue.

So the terrifying ordeal of flying was made slightly simpler by the doctor - shout out to her - and in fact frightening Josh was one of the highlights of the journey. Something not usually expected from those with their own flying fears. We made it okay though, and not moments after arriving at the hostel we headed out to La Rambla, the only vaguely tourist destination befitting ten in the afternoon. Seems slightly different in midwinter, Joshua being propositioned by 'ladies of the night' definitely didn't happen in early August. Thankfully we found a nice waffle place - I had ice cream, it was that warm - before heading toward the nearest Irish bar where we saw Sky replay Ramsey's goal over, and over, and over, and over, and over.

Our one true day in Spain was lovely. We managed to get locked into our room to begin with by some guy who I think was just trying to change the sheets. After half an hour banging on the door hoping for somebody to come and let us out we eventually managed to go on our way into the Catalonian sunshine. Other than that slight mishap we spent it the exact same way we did the last time. Beach, Parc de la Ciutadella with its pretty fountain, Gothic Cathedral. This time though, we really tried experiencing the culture. Paella, Tapas, Sangria. You name it, we ingested it. Alongside the classic English Breakfast tea, although always having to ask for milk did get a little tiring.

By the end of the day it was time for the entire reason we were there, football! If you've ever met Josh you'll be aware of his fascination with Messi. It's beginning to get strange, but as long as it doesn't turn into something to rival his Chloe Moretz 'thing' we should be all okay. Alongside the best footballer in the world there was Ibrahimovic, Neymar, Suarez, Iniesta, Xavi. Not a bad list at all. Better yet Messi, Suarez, Ibra, and Neymar all managed to find the back of the net. Maybe the first three weren't classics, but Neymar's strike was wondrous. From our position I just expected Sirigu to save it, but it went beyond his reach and nestled - that most used of verbs - into the back of the net.

It's always nice to unwind after watching the best football match you may ever see, so we ventured back into the city toward the horrendously overpriced Hard Rock Café. Hey, what the heck right? Just another quick shout out, this time to the Spanish for eating ridiculously late, which meant that when we rolled in at 00:15 it wasn't remotely out of the ordinary. Splitting a bottle of wine turned out to be much cheaper than a milkshake, and also far more romantic, but of course Josh had managed to run out of money by this point so it actually just ended up being me paying for everything. T y p i c a l   J o s h.

In our 43 hours overseas we had a great time, and it's genuinely gutting to come back to cold, grey, wet Birmingham after spending the best part of two days having to remind myself it was December. Wherever we head off to next next - Rome maybe? - we might end up going for slightly longer.

Just a quick final note, Josh is genuinely one of the most photogenic humans. Prettiest friend 4 eva. More photos on flickr!

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