I excitedly jumped down the hotel steps and stood on the street outside, taking in my first sights of a Spanish city. I surveyed the alien colours of the buildings, listened to the heavy traffic and to the different languages being spoken all around me "I'm going to like this place" I thought to myself. I took a deep breath and my lungs filled with the warm air - I suddenly coughed and spluttered as the serenity was broken "What the FUCK is that?" I politely enquired as a foul smell entered my nostrils, "The sewers, you'll have to get used to it" a friend answered.
We sauntered across to an inviting cafe and I prepared myself to practice my non-existent Spanish, repeating phrases taught to me on the plane over and over in my head. The barman walked over to me and I opened my mouth only to hear French tumbling out - which took me back a little as I can't speak French either. I got what I had ordered , thanked the barman in Italian and returned with a few cold beers for my friends.
After six hours spent sitting on the main drag (You should have seen the smile on the waiters face when he brought us the bill), Las Ramblas, someone suggested that it may be a good idea to have a look around the city. Although utterly un-entertained by the majority of street entertainers and bored stiff with the human statues, moving around Barcelona at a very leisurely pace was an absolute pleasure. The highlight for me was the huge indoor market where food of every description seemed to cover every inch of the buildings. People bustled and jostled around in a hive of activity, which was great to get amongst but it made me reach to check that I still had my wallet every couple of minutes.
The night drew in and we made our way along winding streets to find our booked evening meal. The food was delightful but I felt very sorry for the staff at the restaurant who had to put up with 150 drunk British people, that was until I had reached the same stage myself. The eventful night finally came to a close at 5am when the few of us who had survived until that point stood on the street arguing which direction our hotel was. Two of us became fed up and just jumped in the taxi "À l'hôtel s'il vous plaît" I said in my best Spanish accent, the driver laughed and we sped off. Less that two minutes later and I was back in my room, exhausted but knowing that I had to fly home later in the day and prepare for a trip to Norway 50 hours later.