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SPAIN | Wednesday, 12 September 2012 | Views [367]

WE arrived into Barcelona at 6.30 after a very long day on the bus. we walked with some others into las Ramblas the main street to have a look around. we ended up going into a tapas bar and got a jug of sangria which was a refreshing drink. we shared two tapas- meatballs and ham croquettes. it was very expensive- because we were in the tourist area, and we only got one each between the four of us, and they weren't even nice. after our tapas experience we were so hungry we went down the street to wok and walk. you choose whether you want noodles, rice etc and the meat and then the sauce you want it stir-fried in. that was yummy. Barcelona is not a city you feel safe in especially after dark. everyone is walking along clutching on to their purses due to the high rate of theft in this city. barcelona is the capital of pickpocketing in europe, we are only taking a tiny bit of cash out with us at a time. at our hostel we got the dud room. we are in an 8 bedroom dorm, off reception. we are the only room where reception is. every other room is on the floors above. so unfortunately in reception is couches and all the computers, and the rooms are not soundproof. we were so looking forward to a good nights sleep after having two 10 hour days in a row on a bus. at 1pm we couldt take it anymore and katene got up to ask some young girls to please keep it quiet. one girl replied in a smart way - this is barcelona, i didnt realise people slept- can you believe her cheek!! eventually they moved on. then a guy came in at 5am telling the guy at reception he had just been beaten up and all his money and cards were stolen. i could here this entire conversation through my earplugs. needless to say the next day our whole room was full of very tired people. we complained and said we dont think that we should have to pay the same price as everyone else for a room that doesnt allow us to sleep. unfortunately as it was the catalane peoples national day- the manager wasnt on. being the national day everything was closed and all the people head to the streets with flags- trying to get independence from spain. we did a bike tour at 11am around barcelona. the streets and architecture here is very cool. I really enjoyed the bike tour, it was a great way to see the city and made me appreciate this city. it was interesting to learn about guardi the architect and his vision for the sagrada familia. it was amazing to see. the bike tour led us along the board walk by the beach. the beach here is artificial and was made with sand brought in from Egypt, as you do, for the 1992 Olympics. so the sand is finer than normal sand, and although it is gold it has the texture and look of dirt. we had lunch at a beach bar sitting on the beach with the bike tour. then had a nice cruisy bike ride back to the gothic center where we began. we got back to the hostel and had a quick nap before we had to leave for our cooking class. it was more a demonstration than a class. we had tapas to begin with and then the chef came out and made a giant seafood paella. me and steph just looked at each other. we both hate seafood. we knew seafood is the traditional dish but we thought they may have made a few varieties. while the rice was finishing off we went into the bar to learn how to make sangria. the whole evening they just kept giving us jugs of sangria- as much as we wanted. me and steph needed a few drinks before we were going to take a bit of any seafood. the rice was nice- but it did have a fish taste. the dish had whole prawns, mussles, cockles and shrimp. i tried a shrimp and two mussles. that was all i could bring myself to try. there was no way i was going to eat a prawn- especially as they were whole. steph nearly threw up when the guy was describing how you go about eating them. it was a great night out. we wernt out too late as it isnt the safest city.

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