I have saved the best for last.
i am simply in love with this city called Barcelona.
I love the mix of old and new. And how everything seems to blend so well together. I love the food (paella and tapas -- what more can i ask??). Shopping is great. and the spanish people, generally very friendly and warm.
I am glad we arrived on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend before we board our cruise on Monday. and I am even more glad that we decided to spend another 2 days after our cruise ended cos 2.5 days isjust too short for barcelona ;p
The sunday we were there, Barcelona won their local league title and we definitely felt their pride and joy -- what with all the car horning on the roads right through midnight!!! :)) i was at one point tempted to buy a FCB cap or something to join in the revelry ;p hehehe.
We opted for the Barcelona Tourist Bus the weekend we arrived and i think it's really money well spent cos it was quite time saving and we covered the major sights. and it also makes us less tired ;p don't hv to navigate metro/bus connections and minimise walking ;p then when we returned from the cruise, cos we are more familiar with the city already and have also more or less planned what to do, we opted for the metro and walked alot!! in fact, on our last day, we basically walked the whole day, doing what we liked best -- shopping ;p
Staying at Condes Hotel on Passeig de Gracia was really great cos we are close to everything and everywhere (that matters!). Major Gaudi buildings were within walking distance and we could walk to Plaza catalunya, La Rambla, Barric Gothic etc as well. I had not intended to stay in a hotel for our trip. But all the Bed and Breakfast which i contacted were fully booked for the weekend before our cruise. So i had no choice but to expand my search to include hotels. and I am so glad i found Condes at a still reasonable price. If i return to barcelona again and have the budget, i would certainly want to stay @ COndes Hotel again :) it's really a lovely property and rooms spacious and new. and it has a cosy and intimate feel :)
We stayed @ Ally's Guesthouse (a B&B) for our return leg and it was good value for money :) although the property is old (which means creaking floors and old bathrooms), it was situated very near to Passeig de Gracia and is close to metro stations so it was really very convenient too.
Spanish food really suits our palette ;p and i don't hv to worry about kaira as well cos she's happy with mushrooms, spanish omelette and paella! yeah! suits us well :) throughout our stay in barcelona, we had either tapas or paella for our meals. yumz yumz yumz [o, except for that 1 meal of sandwich ;p]
On the cruise, we realised that Kaira can actually sit through a 30 minute performance. in fact she looks forward to the nightly after dinner show which usually means singing/dancing/magic show/acrobatics and can be very attentive throughout! So, i thought she might like to watch a Flamenco performance!
WHen we returned to barcelona, we decided to catch one. It lasted one hour and whilst she enjoyed the dancing by the female flamenco dancers, i can't say the same for the male dancer ;p everytime the female dancers take a break, she will be asking "where are the girl dancers"??? and interspersed between the dancing was singing by a particularly loud male singer which frightened her i think....so she was quite whiny and cried for short periods of the show. But overall, it was a good experience. A first for both her and me :)