STAG IN THE CITY
Floating around at the top of my places to visit list for a while now has been Barcelona. A very good friend of mine, John is getting married this year, so of course a stag due destination had to be chosen, somewhere with everything under one roof. Barcelona had been thrown into the ring and seemed pretty popular with everyone, after we realised the original location of Bratislava would be a little cold to say the least. Of course, the normal stag due objective is to take on as much beer as possible, but why not take in some culture as well?
After an early morning flight and a questionable airport taxi ride which came close to us being parked in the boot of a Honda Civic we made it in one piece to our apartment. The apartment was perfect for the weekend and located in the Sants area of Barcelona, complete with 6 bedrooms, 1 long dining table (which would prove to be very useful for Friday night beer pong) and 3 balconies over looking the beautiful city streets with stunning architecture to accompany. We were quite a walk away from the city centre, but with a metro station a few minutes walk away nothing in the city was too far away.
UP AND AT 'EM
With sore heads all round from our first night exploring the local bars, it was time to get out into the Spanish sun and walk further into the city to see what it had to offer. We made our way towards the Placa d'Espanya square, about a 10-minute walk from our apartment, which was a pretty impressive sight, especially from the top of the Arenas de Barcelona, an old bullfighting arena closed in 1977 which has been turned into a shopping centre complete with a viewing platform for incredible views of the city - well worth the 1 euro and sweaty lift ride.
Our next stop was the infamous La Sagarada Familia, starting its construction in 1882 and still ongoing to the present day. The scale of the cathedral's enormous structure hits you immediately as you exit the metro station directly outside, along with the surrounding Spanish streets and beautiful parks, an absolutely stunning area of Barcelona.
Our final day started pretty early as commentary over loud speakers and spectator cheers from a cycling race on our apartment doorstep acted as our alarm clock. But as home time was just around the corner we made our way to Castell de Montjuic via cable car. Once a military fortress, now a museum, it's located high on top of Montjuic Hill in Barcelona. If the museum isn't quite your thing, I guarantee the view will be. An incredible view of the beautiful city and docks are impressive to say the least.
I guess it's a little stereotypical to think of major cities as dirty, crowed, and full of people that need to turn that frown upside down. But Barcelona had thankfully shown me this was certainly not that case. The streets are spotless, the people can't do enough for you and it was a superb place to spend a long weekend.
John's brother had a huge task in booking this trip, including the accommodation and flights for 14 lads so the potential for it all to go completely wrong was massive but Dave did an insane job and got everything right. A massive thank you to him, John and all the lads that made this incredible trip what it was. I now cannot wait for the day I see two good friends tie the knot and finally become Mr & Mrs Timson, here's to the happy couple!