14th of December
This morning we woke a little earlier than usual. We started up the car and got ready for the 4.5 hr trip to Barcelona. We drove straight through with no stops. Quite an easy route compared to previous trips. We got into Barcelona thinking that it looked a little like a run down Paris. We drove straight to the front door of our hotel,The Hotel Montecarlo. Nice establishment located on La Rambla. Mum's room loked out over La Rambla and our room was looking out into the brick wall of the building next door. When we got to the hotel we were all starving. We went across the road for lunch at a little sandwich restaurant called Vienna. We then went walking to find out a little something of our surroundings. We walked up La Rambla and also through Catalunya to Passeig de Gracia. On Passeig de GraciA we went shopping in the large Zara store (fabulous). We had a look around and I bought a cool belt (for Christmas). We went back to the hotel and got dressed to go out to dinner. We got a recommendation from the hotel on a restaurant in the area. After walking for about fifteen minutes down straets in the old part of the city, we found the restaurant. I dont recall the name, but the food came fast and their were lots of chandeliers in the place so we just called it the " restaurant with lots of chandeliers". by the time we walked back to the hotel the streets were deserted and it was getting cold. But we did see a busker doing some Spanish dancing just like you see in Strictly Ballroom.
15th of December
We woke up this morning, had breakfast down stairs in the hotel and then we went to have a look at the interesting old cathedral in the Gothic Quarter that we saw on the way to dinner the previous night. We walked down a alley and went in through a side door of the cathedral into an open space with geese and a huge nativity scene and memorials to different saint's around it. We looked around the area then walked inside the cathedral. The cathedral was huge with amazing gothic architecture and candles lit everywhere. There was stain-glass windows that you could never imagine. We looked through the cathedral went up to the bell tower and had a look around. We then went through the Christmas market outside the cathedral. When leaving the cathedral we heard big bangs coming from the main street. There was a strike going on. We then went down through the marketo. It had fruit and veggies, lollies and chocolate. But the worst had to be the stalls with the pig's noses and intestines. Also don't forget the liver. It was disgusting. We then went to the top of a big hill where you could see the whole of Barcelona. We then walked down the hill and walked along the harbour where all the boats were docked. We found the restaurant that the Hotel recommended and we ate there. There was amazing paella. Paella is risotto with seafood all through it and it comes out in a big pan that they have just pulled straight of the kitchen and served. I wasn't to keen but the rest of the family loved it. We then went to Ruby's favourite part of the Barcelona trip The Aquarium! We got to the Aquarium and had a look at all the fish. There were also several sharks. The most fascinating fish was definitely the Leafy Dragon. This fish was like a sea horse but with what were like arms that looked like leaves. It was so cool. We left the Aquarium and went back to the hotel. But first a coincidence. The little ice-cream store in Paris that we alway's went to. It was also around the corner from where we were staying in Barcelona. That afternoon we chilled out and rested until dinner. That night we went to a local tapas restaurant called Ciutat Comtat. If anyone is ever going to Barcelona I suggest you eat at this restaurant it's a great experience.
16th of December