While we were in Barcelona there was a Catalan freedom protest going on. Â Brian read up on it, and I guess about 50% of the population in this area of Spain want to secede from the rest of the country. Â The Catalan people are very proud of their heritage and culture, for example, all the signs are first in Catalan and then in Spanish (and, if we were lucky, also in English).
I love tripadvisor. Â Most of the stuff on there is all about which sights and tourist destinations are the best (and I don’t need 4000 reviewers to tell me that I should go see the #1 tourist sight), but the pages filled with restaurant reviews paid off for us big time. Â Our first day in Barcelona landed us at Le Pepita — even as I type this my stomach is growling for more. Â It was a gourmet take on traditional tapas, since we had no idea what the Catalan menu was describing we asked our server for suggestions. Â To start we had beef tartar, some kind of goat cheese fritter, and raw sea bass on a bed of arugula drenched in pesto and sweet balsamic topped with a slice of a strawberry. Â I won’t bore you with more details but I have never so happily munched on raw meat before.
12 hours after we left home we finally arrived at our hotel room in Barcelona… We found a great deal online through RyanAir for $40/person roundtrip flights and so of course we bought them, little did we know. Â The airport that RyanAir flies out of is short 1.5 hours away via train or bus, which wasn’t so bad – we knew that was coming. Â We didn’t know that the French were going to be on strike and that our flight would be delayed 3 hours. Â We also didn’t anticipate the crew shuffling us onboard the plane just so we could sit – still attached to the terminal, for another 1.5 hours. Â The stewardesses had enough common sense to at least offer us a soft drink – although they didn’t discount anything and water cost 2 Euros! Â Brian and I bought an incredibly awesome souvenir; a deck of RyanAir playing cards so that we can always remember that trip. Â The flight itself was fine, although it started to snow as we taxied off. Â Once we landed in Girona (because RyanAir doesn’t fly to Barcelona) we boarded a bus and sped along for an hour. Â Once in Barcelona we made our way through 2 metro lines and walked, exhausted into our hotel.
The return trip only took us 9 hours – I’m assuming the French resolved their issues. I’m not sure the plane we were on will ever fly again after the horrible thudding noise it made as we crashed down for the roughest landing of my life. Â Will we fly RyanAir again? Maybe, but next time we’ll be bring something to drink – and of course, our playing cards.