So after 3 weeks, 12,000 miles, 450 women’s clothes stores, and the tolerance of a Catalonian monk, I have finally reached the Holy Grail…the Barcelona Football Club! We of course purchased the hat, shirt, DVD, club sponsorship, naming rights and possibly the stadium, but it’s been worth it! Sadly, it comes at an even bigger cost – I owe Liane a full day of galleries and the zoo tomorrow.
My wife I believe is Spanish, she finally fits with the short, arm flailing, over dramatic, female population here, I think she has met her calling. I on the other hand, large and ginger(ish) am still a target for prostitutes, hawkers, gypsies and anyone who wants their photo taken.
We took a punt in Barcelona and stayed out on the Marina, which has been fantastic. Our view is both of the marina and back into the city, which by day and night is busy and ever changing. It is a must come back destination we have enjoyed it immensely.
Adios, see you soon x
The last Travel Tip: If you are a single male on the hunt – buy a small dog! Women all over Europe are ogling, petting and talking to men’s small canines…you heard it here first!
Preparation for our day at the beach:
2 breakfasts to fuel the day – 21 euros
2 matching Barak Obama ‘yes we can(nabis)’ beach towels – 10 euros
2 deck chairs side by side (with canopy) – 14 euros
2 Sangrias in preparation – 6 euros
1 tacky Salou sun hat – 2 euros
1 pair of black speedos – models own
1 pair of bikinis – 24 euros (to replace the ones in the photo at Tonys request)
2 mojitos at half time – 17 euros
Total cost of the 2 hours we could stand in the heat….94 euros
Cost of the funniest day ever…priceless
Tony’s new do!
It has to be said that for all great planning, something will always go awry….we were almost waiting for it!
We sped up the coast by fast train from Valencia in first class darlings, feeling very flash, and arrived excited at our 2 bedroom beachfront apartment with stunning panoramic ocean views, in Cambrils.
We paid in full, went to our room, pulled back the curtains to reveal an expansive balcony overlooking the same railway line we had arrived on. Sure the view was panoramic, but only stunning if you like railway lines. Which I do not!
In my best rendition of a short sparky Spanish woman with arms flailing and voice rising, I tried to get the person at reception to examine the two pictures I put before her and spot the difference. She could not!
12 hours, 654 trains, some more gesticulating and no refund later, we relocated to our fantastic new digs further up the beach at Salou, in the hilariously named Las Vegas Hotel! It is just perfect!
Heres my 0-10 guide for a spotting a shitty apartment:
1 Railway line
2 Children’s swimming pools under your balcony
3 Euros jug hireage
4 Euros toaster hireage
5 Euros per day Wifi
6 Euros per day for safe hireage
7 Euros deckchair hireage
8 Children in every family
9 Brits per square meter
10 Euros for the cost of Taxi to escape!
Here’s some piccies of our new digs.
Travel Tip 9: Travel brochures tell lies!
Valencia is extremely pretty and very polite, definitely our favourite so far. With tapas, sangria and gin bars on every corner, there are certainly no concerns we will run out of fuel stations.
Tony chose our eating venue last night, his only requirements being a large TV to keep a lazy eye on the Euro 2012 match between Spain and Croatia. Turns out, as it so often does when you can’t speak the language, that we were seated in front of the only TV in ALL of Spain playing the Italy and Ireland game.
Our waiter, saddened by the fact that we were complete losers, offered us a bet of free food and drink for the correct score. Tonys pick of 2-0 to the Italians came through, and with our table piled high with empty tapas plates, sangria jugs, and gin glasses, we walked out of there over 3 hours later not having paid a thing! Go the Italians!
Here’s Tony at the sports bar with his Sangria and Tapas – and if you look closely you will see he is saying…Jesus woman, would you just bloody well hurry up and take the godamn photo!
Also the view from our balcony at night, and the orange bird Tony’s going to replace me with if I buy any more shoes.
Travel Tip 8:
When eating tapas, remove the toothpick before consuming.
As promised, I give you the Spanish Adonis, fully resplendent in his Island lavalava. The temperature is 29, Madrid is great fun and the atmosphere is crazy/relaxed…We just love it!
This is our roof terrace, it hangs out of over busy Puerto del Sol, the heart of Madrid. The other piccy is the worlds tiniest rooftop swimming pool, this is for our hotel’s poor people, without private terraces, to share.
The shopping beats any city ever, it goes shoe shop, handbag shop, clothes shop, tapas bar, money machine, shoe shop, handbag shop….
Travel Tip 8: When taking a Spanish siesta, set your alarm so you wake up before the next morning
Having passively smoked well over two million cigarettes, it is with heavy lungs we leave Paris. I sadly leave behind all the shoes and handbags I didn’t purchase, and we head to Madrid where I will single-handedly try to resurrect the Spanish economy.
Here is a piccy of Tony at the rear end of Notre Dame – we couldn’t be bothered queueing at the business end, and as Tony has become something of a ‘Gypsy’ magnet, it is safer for us to skulk around the back of places.
Travel Tip 6: It appears that Tony has managed to drop about 8 gold wedding bands in just a short distance walking around the Lourve. Thankfully the honest and caring Gypsies are on hand to alert him to this, and want nothing more than just a few Euros for their efforts in handing them back….
Travel Tip 7: Either don’t carry so many gold rings around that are so obviously going to get lost, or use the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with the Gypsies about the benefits of lying and thieving
After two wines and a wee nap our Eurostar trip was over and we arrived in Paris. Our quaint Parisian Hotel is lovely and completely surrounded by galleries. 14 at a brief count in our wee street alone…Tony is in heaven!
As long as I throw the odd Adidas shop in between galleries there will be no need for divorce papers yet.
Here is Tony on the Love Bridge. It is a crazy bridge covered in locked padlocks inscribed with lovers names.
Travel Tip 5: God bless Starbucks and their free WiFi
Travel Tip 6: Sadly brollies are also necessary in Paree in June
Summer in London is never complete without 3 layers of Merino, a Winter Jacket, thermal socks and boots, and of course the ubiquitous brolly.
Travel Tip 4: It is not a myth, there is definitely no sun in London
Tony’s rule of “no pets in the bedroom” went out the window, when we were shown our room at Di’s. It comes complete with two full grown Bearded Dragons named Carter and Newton, and several plastic containers housing live wingless locusts (dinner). This menagerie is literally at the end of our bed and is certainly not for the faint hearted!
We went on an outing to Crystal Palace to restock the locusts at the Reptile Pet Shop. A crazy outfit specialising in lizards, tarantulas, snakes, and of course all their food groups. We watched in amazement as an innocuous middle aged couple purchased a 6ft Boa Constrictor to add the 14 others in their ‘snake room’.
Travel Tip 2: It is better to buy wingless locusts, they are easier to manage.
Travel Tip 3: London is a crazier place than it was 20 years ago.
The duchess and her reluctant prince stop for a quick crowd photo at Southbank.
Travel tip # 1
Avoid at all costs, on long distance travel, row 35 on the 777-200. This is situated directly behind the sky cots, otherwise known as the high altitude crèche!