Sarah and I arrived in Barcelona train station to lots of paraphernalia about the 1992 Olympics which still remained on the walls.
We walked through the famous Las Ramblas (not knowing what it was at the time) to meet one of my Dad’s friend’s from Weymouth- Leigh- who had a flat right in the middle of the city and was letting us stay with him.
Leigh took us to Sagrat Cour at Mount Tibidabo for a view of Barcelona. We also went to the monastery at Sant Cugat and ate patas bravas in the town square.
The real life in Barcelona begins at night and Spain is the home of the free pour.
So, that night we went to 4 Cats– the bar that Picasso used to go to, Barri Gotic at night and the Dipuctacion Provincial with the balcony where the football team stand when they win a game which a very important landmark to Leigh and most of the locals who are lovers of football, but not to me who didn’t know the first thing about soccer.
I was much more interested in the French bar that we went to next that was called Pastis and sold wine out a barrel. Leigh took us past the Columbus monument and to the newly renovated port area with modern architecture and neon lighting.
Finally, we went to dinner at midnight. This seemed ridiculous to me who is used to eating dinner at 6pm, but in Barcelona, to have dinner at 11pm is normal and to go home at 4am is an early night.
The next day, Leigh took us to the small town of Vic and Ponta de Sau which is a village flooded to make a dam. You can still see church steeple sticking out of the dam lake. Very eerie.
We continued our tour of drinking plus a little sight-seeing with lunch in a hotel near the dam lake and onto a bar overlooking Barcelona at night called Bar Tomas.
1am found Sarah and I at the Bikini night club with its pink neon sign and boys telling us that we had beautiful eyes, although I am not sure how they could tell on the strobe lighted dance floor.
Sarah and I met up with one of my Australian friends from high school at cafe in front of Segrada Familia. He had fallen in love with a local and was now living in Barcelona.
We went to Montjuic Olympic park to see the Olympic stadium and the telecommunication tower that was the symbol of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
On numerous occasions, the locals thought I was a native Catalan, which may have contributed to Barcelona becoming another one of my favourite cities in the world. Perhaps I had found the city where I belonged? If I could keep up with the night owl hours.
Republished on Travel Spain daily paper.li.
Related posts: France, 1997, Part 2: The South of France, France, 1997, Part 1: Paris, Belgium, 1997, Holland, 1997, England, 1997, I first started travelling, By special request, Home is where you make it, I first started writing