I got a suggestion from a mate about a new blog entry which dovetailed nicely as, around the same time, I was reading on a forum about some poor chap who gets dragged to Europe’s hot spots every year because his significant other has a desire to look like a DFS sofa. If you are
trapped happily ensconced with a similar partner then I’d be lobbying for this area to be the holiday destination of a summer.
I’ve posted before about the resorts both up and down the coast, Salou and Lloret De Mar if you need a bit of home around you, i.e Buckfast and HP sauce, Sitges if you want a cosmopolitan resort where you can brush up on interior design and soft furnishings and finally Tossa De Mar.
The latter is my own favourite, nice beach, a blessed absence of stereotypical Brit tourists and a lovely little town, great restaurants and a very sedate pace of life.
All of these places are within easy striking distance of the city, and as I have commented before the public transport system means escaping for the day is unlikely to provoke an icy stare about spunking some of the holiday budget.
That said, if I were a betting man, I’m guessing that getting a 12 hour pass is the best most of you can hope for. Prepare for the “we came on holiday to spend some time together” card to be played. This, despite fact you’ve probably fought about everything connected with the holiday from the moment the suitcases were pulled down from the loft. For many years I never got on a plane to go on holiday on anything other than “very bad terms” with the burd.
So, you have a day on your own in the city, what to do? Despite it going against everything I have said so far I suggest getting off at Pl. Catalunya and wander down Ramblas exploring the Barrio Gotic to the left and El Borne another 15 minutes or so away.
The tip here is to take your time, just wander around and soak it up rather than diving in. There are some incredible buildings to be seen on literally every street and some even more incredible people an’ all. People watching, be it the zoomers that are your favourite or, as a Manc chum of mine is fond of saying “reeny blimping” can be a life affirming experience.
Regrettably, real value for money in this area is hard to come by, but if you just slow down then the day won’t break the bank. As long as you avoid the places right on the tourist routes you will certainly feel “a little finger” when the bill comes as opposed to the “shoulder joint” if you have a drink on the Rambla or suchlike.
One place I would seek out is a bar called L’Antiquari on Placa Del Rei, a couple of minutes walk off Carrer St Jaume. It has a terrace on the square and a fine place to spend a restorative half hour taking onboard a beer or twain.
After a wander round the Barrio Gotic then cross over Via Laietana at Jaume 1 metro and you’re in the Borne, same advice here, take your time, wander around at a sedate pace. It’s in this area is where I’d take lunch. It has loads of little restaurants and my advice is simply to have a look in the window, check it out and if it looks good, fill yer boots.
Obviously if you do have a “must see” in mind then charge on, get there by public transport rather than the tourist bus. I would, as always, recommend that, for example, if you must see the Sargrada Famillia, you take the time to wander around the general area. You’ll undoubtedly stumble across somewhere that won’t provoke a “you spent how much?” reaction from your significant other. The only upside to this reaction is that it saves them pretending they have missed you.
Ah, holidays, don’t you just love them?