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  1. #1
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    Off to Spain tonight!

    Not really planned and very last minute, we are off to Spain tonight (4am) for 7 days, staying near Barcelona in Santa Susana.

    We've never been to Spain, often put off by the typical Brits abroad reputation of the costas. But we got a reasonable half board deal on a 4 star hotel that looks nice from the photos and reviews, and Tom was desperate for a swimming pool. Beach is only 50m away too. Plus we can get into Barcelona by train as it's only 50km to visit the museums, art galleries and look at the famous architecture.

    I will try to take some pictures to share with you all.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Barcelona is a brilliant place, I loved it.

    I generally hold Spain, and Spaniards, in high regard - I find it fascinating and I like their outlook. The Brits abroad reputation does bother me too though, but I do think that it's quite clear to locals who are the pissed-up berks and who are decent folk. Engage with the locals, try their local food and delicacies, immerse yourself and have fun, and they will clearly see.

    It is a regret of mine that I didn't see more of Europe when it was close. I still hold a dream to one day live somewhere like Spain, Italy or France.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    ...to visit the museums, art galleries...
    I would swap that for restaurants and bars

    Have a nice trip, you definitely deserved it.

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    Barcelona is very nice. I was there 2 times.
    But this time of the year is not the best one.... not the hottest city in Spain, but for a UK resident, it is very hot. The city is very big.
    Don't forget to go to Ramblas, that street is amazing. Also the Picasso museum is quite good. Gauldi House is also great.
    Mate, next time consider Portugal. Is not expensive for a UK resident. You will spent less then in Barcelona. Lisbon and Porto are just two cities that are winning travel awards every year.
    But Barcelona is very cool, much better then Madrid IMHO.
    Be prepared, the city is very big.
    And take close Attention to your Kid, sun is very strong. You should always, but always but protection sun cream on him, even if not on the beach. You can get an easy sun burn. Avoid sun between 11:30 and 15:30.
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    Hope you have a good time Dave.
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

  6. #6
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    Just got back last night. Had a great time. Tom loved the swimming pool and it was hard to get him out each day.

    We were staying in Santa Susanna, which is about 60km up the coast from Barcelona, and took about an hour on the R1 train line to get into Barcelona, so not bad. Also fairly cheap at 10 return.

    In the city we visited the Gaudi house. I've never been a big fan of his artistic style, but it was a very interesting building. They also use augmented reality which is pretty cool. You are given a smartphone and headphones for the commentry as you walk around the house, and if you point the smartphone camera around each room you can see how it would have looked, augmenting the live image with the furniture and floorings that would have been there, plus animated things like the fireplaces lighting up or light rays coming through windows, or windows animating open. Nice bonus Tom enjoyed.

    We also visited the Picasso gallery/museum which I've wanted to visit for quite a long time as I studied his work at Art school. Well worth the visit as I knew a lot of his works on display, so great to see them for real.

    We also went to Ramblas, Placa de Catalonia, and walked around the Gothic Quarter. Some nice architecture. Also we to the gothic Barcelona Cathedral.

    We had wanted to visit the Gaudi Cathedral (Sagrada Familia) but couldn't get tickets on any days we wanted to visit, which was a annoying.

    The only thing that annoyed me in the city were the gypsies. I knew about them and the society issues they are still facing, but they are begging everywhere, or trying to sell you things like packets of tissues, flowers or balloon animals. And they don't leave you alone. They kept handing Tom balloons then demanding 1 for them. It's also known as one of the worst cities in the world for pickpockets and petty theft. Something we were aware of.

    Other than Barcelona, we also travelled further up the coast to Blanes, a really nice small coastal town, and visited the botanical gardens there which were really nice.

    I will post some pictures when I get chance.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #7
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    Only other negative thing was the graffiti. If there is a flat surface they will graffiti it. Even buildings still being built were covered. A shame.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Lady T lived in Pamplona for a little while and I also shared a number of similar observations. Spaniards are (and I'm generalising here so bear with me) not known for being particularly fond of or kindly disposed towards minorities. There was an incident I remember, when Lady T had to go to the police about something and the question they kept asking were along the lines of 'was it a gypsy?'... 'are you sure it wasn't a gyspy'. It was almost like they wanted that to have been the case. She also saw beggars being literally chased away by someone waving a broom.

    In my experience, Paris was the worst for street hawkers and beggars.

    And the graffitti, that was also surprising but what really stood out to me was the political nature of it. I recall seeing 'Navarra es Espana' and 'ETA' logos in close proximity (those in particular made me feel uneasy), along with other slogans that I couldn't really decipher but knew they were more than just a simple tag, they meant something -strongly- to someone's beliefs and views.

    Still, fascinating place and one that I'm quite fond of really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    Other than Barcelona, we also travelled further up the coast to Blanes, a really nice small coastal town
    Great Me and my parents always went to Fanals since I was a kid, and young boy, until I was 14. For swimming we always went to Boadella, which is unfortunately not existing anymore, was a little secluded beach. You had to walk there for 1 km from our apartment, and if you continue straight instead of going to the beach, you pass Santa Christina and after 6 km you're in Blanes. My parents go regularly, and of course I also went several times with them. Can't remember everything though, as it's over 30 years ago.

    My parents still go every year, once for 1 whole month and once for 2 weeks, usually for Christmas.

  10. #10
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    That's cool. We really liked Blanes. It's a little bit touristy along the seafront, but not ruined by big hotels, and had a much nicer traditional feel to it, with some nice Tapas bars. Tom loved the beach and the big rock to go up the steps (forget the name of it). It was only 2 to get the bus there too, so we visited a couple of times.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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