I Run Barcelona

¡Hola! It’s amazing just how much can change in a short time, yet remain the same.

We left a clean apartment and a communal staircase resembling a mixed martial arts cage and came back to a steel lift shell and a dusty apartment.

Barcelona as always was fantastic. It was great to speak Spanish again, see friends, old haunts, explore new areas and shop! We arrived late Wednesday and within 30 minutes were in a supermarket. Standard procedure for us in a different country. The sights nah, a supermarket will do! The cats did well travelling and settled okay once the heating was on. We stayed in a great self catering apartment just outside of Gracia. The only downside, not much light and no direct sunlight hence heating for the boys.

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Diesel riding shotgun.IMG_4810 Sunset near Griona

First day: Barceloneta, playas Sant Sebastian and Barceloneta and Vila Olimpica. If you see the handsome cat, please call his parents!

The main purpose of our trip was to see how we feel about living there again after a 2 year break. If we found the right place, I’m sure we would and I would in a heartbeat, however other circumstances may not allow. Finding someplace nice away from busy main roads with direct sunlight is tricky. Never stop dreaming!

Second day: Mercat del Born with near perfect Roman ruins found underneath. A fancy church facade opposite lunch spot (all you can eat buffet for €10!) and just a run down to the beach, past the old bull ring. Just a quick run was 10km! Third one in as many runs! Rainbows and rain clouds were out.

In between viewing apartments and meetings, I got workouts in (6.25lt water bottle makes a great barbell and sand bag alternative) and a few runs. There was one ankle scare (something flicked!) and it got tired and tight from all the walking! You think you’re a walker until you spend a day rushing all over the city, walking from this place to there! Now I know why I insisted on biking everywhere when I lived there. Quicker and easy on the feet! We even stayed another day so we could play ‘tourist’ for the day. There was so much we wanted to see, that I think another week, month, yearmonth, week was needed.

IMG_4932IMG_4825Same base, different topping. Porridge/oatmeal, honey, almond milk with mango and strawberries.

Peeping Tom, aka Mr AJ

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Saturday, Sunday and Monday: Shopping at the La Maquinista mall/shopping centre, a trip up the Costa Brava (completely different country), meetings, more shopping down Passeig de Gracia, a veggie Wok To Walk dinner, the famous Mercat Boqueria and a fancy drinking foundation.

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Tuesday I got to meet my friend Claudia. We hadn’t seen each other in 2 years and I was so excited to see her. She had a big surprise for me…6 months pregnant with her second girl! I also got to met her cute and sassy little oldest one. IMG_5053We checked out a place in Castedefels just outside of Barcelona. Not for us, but a lovely sandy beach.

IMG_5095Can’t take us anywhere!IMG_5080 Classic WTF look!IMG_5088

Wednesday, last day playing tourist: El Born where we used to live, the zoo (my sanctuary when I was there. They’ve improved conditions greatly, however one elephant and bear are still showing distress), the beach once more and another veggie wok pick me up!

I had a good chat with the macaw and the sealion was a former model in another life. She knew exactly which camera to look at.

One of my favourite days was the last morning. We drove down to the beaches and ran 6km along them before a 7 hour car journey home, soaking up the last of the Spanish Catalan sun.IMG_5382¡Hasta la promixa Barcelona!IMG_5389High on coffee travelling back to France. FITOU! Yup, lost it at a lookout point called Fitou.  IMG_5482

Home didn’t feel like home this time around. For the cats yes, us not so much. It didn’t help that the property manager had been in doing work. We normal clear the area where he’ll be working. We didn’t know he’d be in the kitchen tiling and varnishing. To air the fumes, he opened the window on the communal staircase. All at the dust from the lift builders went everywhere. You wouldn’t believe where it’s settled into! The balcony doors would have been better to air. I’d asked him also to make sure the towel outside the door was against the bottom to prevent dust coming in. Instead, it was hanging on the railings. I’m glad we took the cats with us. Welcome home.

Anyways, the apartment wasn’t flooded, the sun’s out today, the cats are happy and decisions have to be made. Gulp!

Is there a place where you’d go back and live in a heartbeat? Have you had holiday/vacation nightmare returns?

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