We pulled up in the park next to a couple of other campers high up in the hills overlooking the beautiful city of Barcelona below. It was a lovely spot with shaded trees and there was this super cool bat cave which was a climbing wall tunnel so f course Joshua had a go practising his skills. We got dressed and cycled into the centre as soon as we could because I was so excited to come back to the place I loved! It was an amazing afternoon wandering the streets we had explored with the same excitement only a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I love the Gothic quarter most out of all the neighbourhoods. We ventured around the shops and came across an amazing kilo vintage shop where I picked up a fabulous dress for €8! Once we’d had enough shopping (I say we but more Joshua) we stopped at a tiny bar we’d found last time we visited called Ale and Hop to reminisce some more. We loved the place as it felt like our little secret. It was early evening and we were starving so we headed to a small place called Bodega Biarritz 1881. Turns out it was opposite our favourite restaurant from the last time we visited called Vienna another place I would highly recommend in Barcelona. We patiently waited outside and after a little while sipping our wines we were seated and got down to sampling a surprise selection of tapas chosen by the chef which was a great way for us to try new things. We sipped our tinto de verano’s before cycling home to our lovely cool van which had been shaded most of the day.
We slept like logs in the peaceful quiet of the park and had big plans for the next day. As we’d been here before and explored the main sights we wanted to do different things. We’ve been to Parc Guell and down to the beach so we didn’t feel the need to do them again – although if you’ve never been then please promise me you’ll go because they are amazing!
Our first stop was to fill up for breakfast so we headed to a little cafe just off from the park called Menssana we sipped iced coffees and had a lovely hearty fill. We discussed with the owner how this heatwave was killing us off and she told us how out of the ordinary it is and how even the locals were struggling, which made us feel a bit better. We cycled under the Arch de triumph after soaking in the street performances, locals and general vibes of the amazing city. We headed to the Palace Guell and enjoyed a few hours hidden away from the heat in the walls decorated exquisitely both inside and out. After we’d listened to our audio guided and seen all the rooms we could we nipped a few streets down to the famous market. I think by now you all know how much I love a market. The buzz of people and traders and smells of fresh produce paired with the vibrant colours makes it my favourite place of any city. We sipped fresh juices whilst josh told me I couldn’t buy this or that which is our usual routine. Despite the cold juice we were still so close to overheating so headed into a nearby hostel for a cheeky drink of prosecco, I mean for €2 a glass could you really say no? Fully refreshed but now ravenous we headed to our favourite meat spot – Le Petitie Porquet just a few short steps from the iconic famous Sagrada Família. We chowed down on a huge meat platter and salad. I had downloaded this app called meet up to see what the city had to offer apart from its usual tourist destinations. I came across a free flamenco show so we had to go! It is something I was desperate to see when we were in Spain. The Spanish are always late.. its a fact I had been told a while back and has rang true everyday in the country. We rushed to the bar forgetting this fact and had to have a couple of drink to kill some time before the show started. It was worth the wait though, a small gathering of only a few tourists but mostly locals all enjoying a real traditional flamenco. The costumes weren’t mega fancy or glitzy but the passion was clear and it gave me goosebumps. It was gone 1am by the time we left and I was giddy the whole way home after such a magical day.
Ok so this is where it all went a bit wrong…by a bit I mean we reached the van to find no van. The van was gone, smashed glass where it stood was the only clue that a car had once stood there. We were in panic mode but thankfully noticed a sticker on the floor. It had our reg plate and we tried calling the number but it was all a Spanish automated message so we looked online to where the compound was. The cycle was so hard as the night was still hot as anything and with our mind running wild it was spurred on by our desperation for our home. My mind was running away and despite trying to convince ourselves it would be ok the cycle felt like it took a lifetime. After a stressful few hours of lack of communication and confusion we eventually got to the bottom of what happened. Our van window was smashed and we were broken into. The details are limited but basically the police came across our van and towed our van for security to ensure none went into it again and no further damage of loss occurred. Thankfully this meant we didn’t need to pay the towing fee and after sticking some binbags over our window we attempted to get some sleep in a nearby campsite. It was around 4am when we settled but still scared it was hard to sleep. Without use of our data I don’t know what we would do to be honest. That night we looked up places to replace the window, found one and by 9am we were pulled up outside the closest garage and haded over our keys. We spent the day in a sort of tired daze sleeping in the park under the shade of trees and waiting. It completely changed my view of the city and how I was so in love with it less than 24 hours before. As soon as the van was ready we couldn’t have got our of the city or even country quick enough especially now we were nearly €400 lighter.