Touchdown in Barcelona: Thirsty TV: The Pub: Thirsty Swagman
Touchdown in Barcelona
The time has come to leave reality behind, jump on a plane and fly across the world in search of fun, adventure and summer sun… first stop, Barcelona!
After the 20 hour flight from Sydney, touchdown in Barcelona was seriously welcomed. Ola!
Skipping all the way off the plane through the arrivals gate, with my bleary eyes I somehow spotted the fluoro green adventure symbol of the Thirsty Swagman team among the crowd… it was Kenneth, the Chief Swagman who will be holding the torch on this Spanish Bar-Mada tour for the next 9 days. Then comes Dave, another Perth guy and loyal devotee of Thirsty Swagman's epic world-wide tours.
A 30-Euro cab and the three of us arrive at our absolutely amazing hotel, right on La Rambla, which at midday is alive with excited travellers and cheery locals. Instantly, I fall in love with Barcelona. The mixture of ancient-looking stone buildings with tall beautiful trees everywhere, summer sun beating down, electric vibe, smiles all round – this place is awesome!
Our 5-star hotel Le Méridien has an old Hollywood glamour feel about it, very classy and such friendly (and good looking) staff. I see why all the boys love Europe. My room is amazing, huge bathroom with the biggest shower I've ever been in, one of those beds you just sink into and never want to leave. And can you believe as part of the totally-delicious buffet breakfast they also have bottles of champagne so you can start the day with an uplifting mojito – we are on holiday after all. Love it!
Exploring time! La Rambla is so beautiful, a long stretch trees overhanging the hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés, local entertainers and some great shopping. The street is also home to the best fresh food market I've ever seen in my life – colourful stalls topped high with delicious fresh fruit, fresh nuts, fresh spices, fresh seafood, fresh meat, freshly-made pastries – this place is seriously fresh! I'm in heaven.
But be careful not to get knocked out by the hundreds of hanging hams that look like a giant's club, and if you have a weak stomach, put your head down and keep walking past the butchers stalls with an array of intestines, sheep's heads, tongue, brain and all the other parts of the animals that Aussies wouldn't usually eat (gag!). It's about a 10 minute walk down to the port, which is marked by the Christopher Columbus monument. A left turn will take you down to Barcelona's stunning beach, about a 20 minute walk in the sunshine from our hotel. The boardwalk reminds me of Venice beach, but much more chilled out.
There are tanned Spanish bodies everywhere, the many cool beach bars full of people enjoying a sneaky lunchtime cocktail or two and I spotted three clubs right on the beachfront which I'm sure will go off later, in true European style – can't wait.
Some of the thirsty travellers have arrived in Spain early so we head off on a bit of a pre-tour with tour guide Tash in the lead. First a quick test-shoot for our filming with Jacques on camera in The Black Sheep Bar and all thumbs up so ready to go. Some yummy tapas, including the local delicacy of snails in sauce, and sangria in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic), beers for the boys, a bar or two along the way and the ten of us settle in Plaza Reial for a chilled out drink and enjoy the Capoeira show from the locals (ladies, these Capoeira boys have bodies to die for – a definite must-see).
All in all, a very enjoyable first day in Barcelona. First day of filming for the travel show tomorrow and the official first day of Thirsty Swagman's first ever Spanish Barmada tour - it's going to be a big day, with lots of stories to tell. I'll keep you posted, look out for the update tomorrow.