Barcelona 2 weeks with my Valentine

Mar 2nd, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 657
Barcelona 2 weeks with my Valentine

Hi everyone,

I go away for two weeks and everything is new here! It's hard enough tying to write/recall a trip report without the new website layout. I've just sat down with a cup of tea in hopes that I can get out a couple/few paragraphs while our trip is still fresh, although the first day back to work today pretty much sucked all my memory.

So, I had planned our 13 night Barcelona trip for almost a whole year in fact it was immediately after we returned from Paris in Feb. 2008. I'll have you know I have already started our next trip back to Rome next Feb. I have discovered I need the trip carrot dangling in front of me to get me though long days of work. The giddiness of this trip only kicked in really about two days before we actually left. We chose Barcelona because my sweetheart wanted to go somewhere where they speak Spanish - we both love our trips to Europe, so Barcelona it was.

In July 2001 on my very first trip to Europe, I started out in Sitges Spain which was a dream but I was only there for 4 nights with a day trip into BCN, so this trip to BCN was really new for both of us.

This time, for the very first time we were able to use our FF miles with United which was heavily to be able to do. Travel went really well although I must ask others if they feel as we do, that United's crew seem a bit haggered? The crew just seems sarcastic and act like they hate their jobs and their passengers. We fly United over to Europe but use their affiliate Lufthansa on the return. Lufthansa on the other hand really has their act together, love, love, love them.

Anyway.... We arrived on Valentines day, it wasn't planned as an actual Valentines trip it just worked out date wise. But it actually was the best and most exciting way to spend valentines day, arriving in Barcelona! Something very romantic we could tell our cats about, our fur babies as I like to call them.

We landed at 2:30 p.m and were in our apartment by 3:30 by taking a cab for 27 Euros, easy, easy, easy stress free. We were going to take the Areobus(sp?) but really didn't want to lug our suitcases, we've learned when and where to cut costs and a taking a bus after a 12 hour flight is not the place for us to be frugal.

We rented our fabulous apartment from Habitat apartments and stayed in the Amstel 2 bedroom apartment in the Eixample district. I'll post pics and more details on this later but the apartment was huge 140 m2 which is something like 1600 ft - bigger than our house. The apartment is in an old building but has updated sleek appliances and if we knew twenty people in BCN it would have been a great place for a party.

I'll write more in the next day or two but for now that's all I've got in me!
ecat is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Nice start ecat. Looking for more. I love BCN.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I'm waiting for more too. And admire your determination to get started on the trip report so soon after your return!
CAPH52 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Looking forward to more!
jamikins is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 07:29 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Thanks guys. Trying to get in a couple more paragraphs before work... So, after arriving in the taxi to the apartment my cell rings and it's a woman from Habitat apartments wondering where I am. It's only 3:20 and we are scheduled to meet at 3:30, I say we're on our way and almost there. When we arrive 10 minutes later and buzz the apartment no one answers hmmm this doesn't feel good. I call the number and get different person a man this time, and explain to him the call I had just received and no one is at the apartment. He says he'll call me right back which he does and explains that the woman who called was caught in traffic and on her way to meet us. She shows up seconds later apologizes and directs us up to the apartment.

The apartment was up two very short flights of stairs - no problem. The woman who speaks some English and we (meaning Rick) who speaks some Spanish were able to communicate just fine. We went through the apartment only to discover that there was no coffee maker, Rick and I feeling panicked just about started crying, no coffee? She apologized and explained that one of the former renters had broken the beautiful built in espresso maker that was staring us in the face. The agent called someone and within two hours we had a coffee maker delivered to the apartment.

Time for work, to continue more later....
ecat is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Looking forward to reading the rest of this. I spent a week in Barcelona in February two years ago and really enjoyed it.
Nikki is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 963
Hi Eileen!

Yes, I am very proud of you for starting your trip report so soon!

What a great apartment, it's huge! Looks like a nice kitchen, I would love to bring some things back from the Boqueria and start cooking!

gracie04 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 657
Niki, we found February to be a great time to visit. The weather could not have been better. Some overcast days but mostly sunny and slightly crisp. Last year we had gone to Paris at the same time and it was spring like, this year Feb. in Paris seemed to have the same temperatures of Cleveland. The only negative thing about Feb. in BCN we encountered was that there is a mega huge mobile phone convention, something like 3GSM, which hiked our apartments rates up for 4 nights quite substantially. We bit the bullet on this hike and rationed that because we used our FF miles it all evened out.

Johanna, thanks for your encouragement! I wanted to get this out and redeem myself for prior trip reports swept under the rug. The kitchen was great and we did indeed use it, this is one of the many reasons I like to use apartments.

So the on the day we arrived it was a Saturday and after a shower and a little rest we headed over on foot to the Ramblas to see what we could see. My goal was to take a walk to the Columbus Monument reorient myself and get some food. It took us about 15-20 minutes to walk from the apartment to Playa Catalunya and reach the Ramblas when serious hunger set in. I had been doing all this reading up on meals and tapas, the food of Spain but still felt intimidated. It was silly but we just walked into one of the first restaurants we saw. I said to Rick before stepping in, OK now I really want us to try and step outside our comfort zone and order tapas, he was in agreement. As we headed in I saw tables and saw the tapas bar which was full. An older very sweet man came over to us, took my hand and said what would you like, I blurted out too excitedly, we want tapas! Note to self never seem to eager on an empty stomach. He showed us tapas not at the bar but in a little display window and asked what we liked, I said meat,shrimp, fish just about everything, he showed us to a table and said I'll bring you two of these, two of these and two of these. We ordered drinks and waited for our first tapas. What we received was two varieties of meat on a stick, battered and fried shrimp and crab - it wasn't awful but it wasn't what I had in mind or wanted. When we were done he handed the bill to Rick how looked at me and said guess how much, 35 I said, and then he showed me the bill of 55 euros. I knew better than to hit the first place but lesson was learned again. Ended the night by heading down the Ramblas made it to the monument and took in a coffee before making our way back to the apartment where we slept very soundly.

Next posting to continue with - most things really are closed on Sunday.
ecat is offline  
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