Boys in Barcelona
As most of you have probably gathered, our blog centres around a number of topics that aren’t for the feint hearted - death, bereavement, the challenges life can throw at you …
However, despite all of this, there are plenty of positives within our lives, both individually and as a not so average family.
That being said, one thing I, Uncle aka Aduuuuuuuuuuuum (when the kids want me to help them settle a dispute), have enjoyed most since looking after my niece and nephew is going on trips away together.
Now, before I carry on, it’s probably worth mentioning that this is the first time I’ve been left to my own devices to write a blog post - you’ve probably already picked up on some bad grammar, so strap yourselves in for plenty more as I continue to rabble on about a few days in Barcelona with nephew.
It all started in a budget hotel within the grounds of Luton Airport (glamorous, I know). Now this was my first mistake. I’d booked a hotel within 500 metres of an airport, forgetting that nephew has a slight (massive) obsession with planes. Harmless at first thought, I know. But has anyone tried to get a plane mad child to sleep when there are huge planes flying directly outside the bedroom window?
So that was the first mistake. The second was just around the corner. I haven’t actually mentioned this to aunty yet (who had raised concerns about my ability to actually pull the trip off on my own), but I’d only gone and caused a minor scare going through security. So she’s reading this now thinking “what the hell did he do”…
So, in proving her right, that I am a proper doughnut sometimes…
I had to get so much crap (belts, boots, iPads etc) into a few of those plastic tray things, that I’d completely forgotten about my cabin bag, you know, the really important bag with all your travel essentials in. I’d left it completely unattended in a crowded area at airport security. It wasn’t until a few minutes after I’d collected all our items, that I noticed a member of security staff shouting that someone had left a bag unattended by the trays. Yep, that was me. Whoops.
Annnnyyyway, I can proudly say that after that Nephew was the only one to have a shocker during the trip, which I’ll come onto shortly.
Before I continue, I’ve forgotten to mention that this trip was for one reason and one reason only - to see Lionel Messi grace a football pitch. Nephew’s favourite player and the reason I rarely have any data left on my phone (“Aduuuuum can I watch Messi videos on your phone, please?”). Don’t let this put you off reading any more if footballs not your thing. I won’t be boring you to death with any match facts or football trivia, moreover, a few tips if you’re ever thinking of a trip over and a couple of light hearted moments that happened along the way.
Let’s fast forward a few hours, skip the flight and get into the main bulk of the trip, mainly because I can still hear those evil words “how long until we get there” haunting me.
So, we got to the hotel in the afternoon, dumped our belongings and got on the metro to have a nose about the city and get some food (it has to be said, food was the main driving force behind any decision made throughout the trip). As ashamed as I am to admit this, the first meal we had was from McDonalds. Send me to hell now. In my defence, I was knackered and wanted something quick and easy. I had thought about trying to convince nephew that all aspiring footballers have to eat tapas in Barcelona, but really couldn’t be bothered to come up with some elaborate story for the sake of some cured meats and patatas bravas. However, it was almost by fate that this shameful decisions to eat McDonalds in Barcelona led to easily the funniest part of the trip…
Nephew, being the cheeky chappy that he is, tapped me on the arm and showed me his mouth full of ice, mumbling “ha ha, I’ve got your ice”. To which I replied “I don’t think you have”. Convinced he had, nephew nodded his head with a very cheeky smile and said “I took it out of your coke”. “Oh did you? That’s strange because I had an ice tea and I put my rubbish in the bin five minutes ago”. The look on his face quickly turned to shock as he realised he’d picked up the drink of the bloke sat directly opposite us. That look on his face will stay with me for a very long time. Confusion to horror in a matter of milliseconds.
So that was the first meal. The first tip I can throw your way is get a ‘Hola BCN’ travelcard. You can use it on all buses, metro, and train lines around the city. They’re also great if you’re in the market for any Guci, Lewis Vuitton, or Darren and Gabbana handbags, as most of the underground metro stations have people trying to sell you a wide spectrum of knock off goods.
Nephew and I randomly got off at various stops along the metro line and got to see plenty of the city. The main highlight was stumbling across a lovely little park called ‘Parc De La Ciutedella’. Whilst there, we took a small boat out onto a mini lake (a large pond if I’m honest) which was great, until nephew demanded I go faster. Easier said than done. And despite my best efforts to somehow channel my inner Sir Steve Redgrave, I ran out of steam and decided an ice cream was a far more enjoyable idea.
We also came across the gothic quarter, a very charming part of Barcelona which wasn’t really nephews cup of tea until he saw a man with a large bucket of soapy water creating the biggest bubbles you’ll ever see. Cue nephew chasing after the bubbles. He was loving it. Until he bit off more than he could chew with a monster of a bubble, that, by his reaction when the soap burst and went in his eye, must have contained about an entire bottle of fairy liquid.
The following day our sightseeing ended with a trip to the beach and nearby aquarium, before going to the Camp Nou in the evening. That evening was the moment nephew had been waiting for. It had all led up to this, the weeks of waiting were finally over. It was time. Time to try and bankrupt uncle Adam in the club shop. I’d been here before, albeit Sports Direct back home. He has the amazing ability to convince me into buying him overpriced merchandise. It’s like he puts me into a trance. There were times where even I was thinking 20 euros was great value for a keyring. All jokes a side, the match was unforgettable. The icing on the cake was seeing how happy he was to see Messi score his landmark 400th league goal. It couldn’t have gone any better. A moment I’ll cherish forever. And hopefully nephew will too.
To finish, Barca is a great city. It caters for all. And I couldn’t recommend it any more. Particularly if you have any football mad children in your family.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into our trip, and it’s been a nice change of pace from our usual blog posts.