I ticked another item off my 30 things before thirty list last week when I flew to Barcelona with Gaz for the mystery holiday he’d booked us. He did quite well actually, I didn’t find out where we were going until check in when ‘unfortunately’ the destination flashed up on the screens above the desk (despite my best effort to keep my eyes on my feet). Considering many of my closest friends were in on the destination I was surprised I didn’t find out sooner.
Barcelona was great — very warm! — and I really enjoyed taking in another culture. It was my first proper holiday outside of the UK which made me a little nervous, but I made an attempt to throw in a bit of terrible Spanish as well as trying new food (including a weird seafood salad which contained sea things that remain a mystery to me) and drink (mostly cocktails).
We visited La Sagrada Familia (nicknamed the bigass church by yours truly), designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was nothing short of impressive to look at outside, but for me its true beauty was on the inside: columns that seemed to stretch on forever, reaching up to an explosion of sunbursts in the ceiling; enormous stained glass windows that lit up the inside of the church with a fantastic array of colour as the strong Spanish sunlight poured in; complex shapes, spiral staircases and beautiful carvings as far as the eye can see.
(Gaz took more / better photos which you should be able to see in this Facebook album.)
We also visited Casa Batlló — another work of Gaudí’s — and walked for miles along La Rambla, the beach, up to and around the grounds of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya etc. In fact most days we were clocking up 10 miles or more.
I was surprised by how slim and beautiful virtually everyone in Barcelona seemed to be. The beach in particular seemed like *the* place to hang out if you were utterly gorgeous. I managed to find a spot near some middle aged women of various shapes & sizes who were sunbathing topless, clearly giving no fucks, and plonked myself down for a bit of boobs-out sunbathing of my own. I didn’t think I’d be doing that when I wrote my 30 things list, when even the idea of wearing a bikini had me virtually shitting myself.
Fun in the sun aside, I wasn’t expecting to look forward to coming home on the last day as much as I did. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m more of a homebody than I realised (and I do miss the stability of a regular routine) or if its just because I’m so used to being at home that anything else pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I guess the only way to find out is to go on more holidays… ;)