I don’t even know how many times I’ve been to this magical city. But every time I discover its new facets and take different pieces of memories with me, which then turn into a quirky “mosaic of Gaudi” in the form of vivid stories and experiences – being on the rooftop looking through a telescope, having a cocktail in a historical bar, climbing on Montjuic… this time us and our friend Alex decided to celebrate our birthdays (they are a 4 days apart) in a special way, and chose this wonderful place (well…we chose and Alex came to the airport right on his B-day and made everyone drink wine in a cafe :)). There are many options for a celebration here, but choosing a place is a real challenge.
We decided to stay at an apart-hotel Casagrand Luxury Suites as we liked its superb terrace in the city centre, and it was available on special offer just for this period. It turned out to have such a friendly service! They brought champagne and cake (!!!) to the room for our arrival, and there was farmer’s milk waiting in the fridge (ideally, to add to the coffee, but we drank it). These cute details (in addition to a super terrace) made our stay there particularly enjoyable.
Alex’s B’day was the first, so his celebration started almost immediately upon arrival. We found a restaurant with a good rating on TripAdvisor and invited guests (Alex’s acquaintances). Honestly, it was the best evening in a few years! Wonderful cheerful girls just made our evening – I had sore abs the next day from laughing so much! I don’t know what it was, but at one point a great company, delicious food, nice wine and some light festive mood came together. It’s a pity there are no pictures from this evening – we had so much fun that we did not even think about it.
On my birthday my husband gave me an unusual gift – a sightseeing tour of Barcelona with a guide, who would also do reportage photography about us walking in the city. I loved the idea. However, its implementation has caused issues. Our guide (let’s call him Vadim) made a very ambitious plan to visit Tibidabo and Montjuic, and Montserrat, in addition to the historic centre and the promenade. We decided to shorten the route, because we did not plan to go far (to Montserrat), and this time we weren’t going to rent a car to drive there. Moreover, we saw the center before, and now wanted to just relax in the city and hear some interesting facts about it, without statistical details. But no, Vadim was with us, and he was not going to deviate from the planned excursion plan, so he sprinkled the dates and names from Wikipedia in a non-stop mode. Our attempts to reduce the amount of chaotic information were ruthlessly stopped by him saying “No, wait, let me talk” and continuing to load us with details. So after a couple of hours to the sounds of “Radio Vadim” we decided to put an end to it and demanded to bring us to the historic café Els Quatre Gats, where the artists were looking for inspiration from the beginning of the 20th century, along with Antonio Gaudi and other creatives of that period. So we forced our excursion to stop in this landmark place, and followed out on itinerary, which made us very happy.
All that time during the excursion, Vadim diligently took pictures on his camera. As a result, we have agreed that he would send us the photos the next day, after uploading them to the computer. When we saw them, it was a joke – his photos were the same as his excursion. Chaotic, without a hint of composition, framing or considering the light. I’m not a photographer, but I know quite a bit about photo shoots, I participated in some shootings when I was younger, and now regularly order professional photo shoots. These photos were a disaster. And, at the same moments, when Vadim made these epic photos, Alex also photographed on his iphone, and his pictures turned out quite nice. That’s what a developed aesthetic perception does (or a glass of wine drunk in the morning?))).
But our excursion the day before had impressed much more. It was called something like “Dark secrets of the Gothic quarter” and took place late in the evening in the same area of the city (we found this nice guide through Excurzilla.com). This is all about the importance of guide’s personality (and the website where to find a guide) – the excursion was led by such a pleasant and intelligent girl that totally exceeded our expectations. She did not overload us with a bunch of dates and facts from Wikipedia, reasonably realizing that every tourist can google. She told us some things that we wouldn’t know – about a life of a medieval executioner, about the house of an alchemist who poisoned his beautiful daughter, and about the dark area with a mysterious history. Her excursion was so interesting and pleasant that we relaxed, and later got trapped into the hands of Vadim (we found him just by googling, not through a special website, what a mistake!).
Also on one of days we climbed Montjuic ourselves – this is a mountain in Sants-Montjuïc area on which the eponymous medieval fortress is located. The view from there just strikes the imagination – there is the sea, and the port in the area of the statue of Columbus, and port docks and warehouses. The whole city at a glance. Slightly lower, there is a café with a nice view, where there is nothing worth eating (the menu is already too touristy), but which is good for a drink on a panoramic terrace.
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