Sunday, 8 June 2008

Breathtaking Barcelona

I'm sorry for the delay guys, but Friday was a busy day, and yesterday was our rest day. it's still early in the morning and my 2 boys are still asleep. i thought i might start on our Barcelona trip before i go downstairs to prepare us breakfast. here's my take on Barcelona!

We got out of the airport to get a taxi and saw a sea of black SEAT cars, lined up. we got on one and thought we'd just put on the normal seatbelt around the waist for Aidan, the driver stopped us and said something in spanish and get off his seat and pulled out this build-in child seat, with a bolster seat together with a seatbelt. i was very much impressed! i'm not sure if they just have it in taxis or all that type of SEAT cars, but surely is impressive! all cars should have one just like it!

Our hotel: It was just a good 20 mins drive from the airport to the hotel. normally in main cities, the airport would be quite a distance, but not this one. i was wow-ed by the hotel, didnt know we'd be staying at this fancy one where there were about at least 10 olive trees at the entrance, each at least 3 meters high (imagine how old they are!), their bed linens are all embroided with their logo (including Aidan's), where the bath tub is massively big, where they'd leave us a card by the bad every night, saying good night and let us know the weather for tomorrow, where there's live music playing downstairs at the lobby. you know, that's what i'd expect in hotels back home. (i must say the hotels back in Malaysia are excellent) but in Europe, all that is luxury! i am a little bit of a jakun coz i dont get to stay in hotels that much (in Europe), unlike my husband. so i certainly felt like Julia Roberts! for sure! with an almost 2 year old boy, i feel slightly lesser but when Hardy left me some money for shopping, i felt even more like Julia Roberts! (what was her name in Pretty Woman?).. but of course minus the whole lotus car and the hooker thing!

The view we had was simply awesome. our room was facing the pool, the playground, the Real Barcelona Polo Club and that massive Barcelona FC stadium! we could also see the Olimpic Area! i wanted to take the tour inside the stadium - being the 3rd largest in the world, i wanted to have a feel of it (eventhough i'm not into football). the tour might take a couple of hours and it'd be no fun doing it just us (Aidan and me) without Hardy. so we decided to give it a miss this time and will come back again for the stadium, next visit!

The public transport: Barcelona surprised me in so many ways. i am surprised that they have a very good metro (underground). trains are fast, new and journey was so plesant! there arent that many people even during the rush hours. well run, well maintained. you can get taxis easily, there's plenty of them! they go by the meter, not that expensive, like the ones here in the netherlands!

The Main Spot: The main street where all tourists go is called Las Ramblas. it is the heartbeat of Barcelona. the long tree lined pedestrian road is constantly throbbing, full of people, mainly tourists. the street stretches down from Plaza Catalunya to the Port area. there you'll see human statues, street performers, artists, some are good, some are so-so, and some, you wont even notice! Aidan was very entertained by a few. you can get all sorts of souveniurs there, from postacards to Barcelona FC stuff.

Indoor: It rained during one of the days Aidan and i was out and about. the best thing is to go to the museums, and if there's an aquarium, spend half a day in there, like we did!! his amusement didnt last that long, nope. he's not into sealife i suppose, jaws, stingrays, penguins only amuse him for the first 3 mins, but walkalators and escalators... now, that's something else!

Look che Ferran, you have a street with your name!! a busy buzzing street!

Roads & Cleanliness: Another thing that surprises me was how clean Barcelona is. taking into account the amount of tourists in the city, it is surprisingly clean!!!! and the roads... they are wide and very, very well planned. Barcelona had left me speachless!

Food: And where food is concerned, it is heaven! tapas there, there, everywhere! go with the seafood, you wont regret it!

Did i get to eat my paella? you bet i did! this restaurant we went had the best!

Sagrada Familia

Buildings: Last but not least, your visit to Barcelona wouldnt be complete without seeing the works of the famous Spanish architect - Antoni Gaudi. he is considered to be the Pablo Picasso of architecture. his work, buildings are trully something. really out of this world kindda buildings. i'm not sure if i'm fond of such buildings but i trully admire such bravery and uniqueness! you just HAVE to see it for yourself! it will blow you away! Spanish architecture is way way different than the french. Spanish's got more character i think, french has got more flare. but what do i know about architecture and buildings ey?

You know, back home, we sometimes say "gordi la furniture tu", or "ish gordi betul la baju tu".. meaning is overly decorated. well. that word "gordi" was taken from this guy Antoni Gaudi! take a look, now you know why! click here to see more of Gaudi's work.

Casa Batllo

Casa Mila, La Pedrera

One tip: It helps if you bring a small english-spanish dictionary if you dont speak spanish. most of them dont understand and speak english.

Shopping: Oh, those who know me, and knows me well will testify that i dont shop branded clothes. i'd go with what the high street has got to offer.i love shopping for bargains. before Barcelona, i own nothing of the brand ZARA. and after Barcelona, i am totally in love with the brand. only cause they are much much cheaper than over here, but i have to say they're very well tailored! Spain is the home of ZARA. so, a trip to Spain wouldnt be complete without an item (at least) from ZARA!

We really have to thank Hardy's friend Stephan for bringing us around. i enjoyed Barcelona, but i enjoyed Barcelona more thanks to him, educating us with all the histories and background of the places (and not to mention his jokes!)

If Hardy wouldnt have insisted us to come along, we wouldnt be witnessing all these! mucho gracias papa!!! te quiero!! lets go to Barcelona again, por favor?!



zuraida said...

zaza.. bestnya. bilalah k.zue dapat merasa cam tu. beruntung zaza... sepatah kata mak & k.zue masa jumpa hari tu, memang rezeki zaza dapat jalan2 macam ni.

p/s just nak inform, nana dah bersalin on 5.6.08, at 9++ am, boy, 2kg, operation sebab baby tu dah lemas. Due date on 26.7.08. Doc kata tu je cara nak selamatkan baby. Nasib baik dia perasan baby dia tak move sangat & cepat pergi hospital. Kalau tak, tak taulah.
Now baby kat NICU. Doc kata kurang2 7 hari dalam hospital. Semalam kena jaundice plak. Doakan nana ye.

Love you & peluk cium to Aidan. eh..sekarang jalan tak payah bawa stroller eh? bestnya. hamizan still kena bawa stroller, sebab tak boleh nak control dia without stroller!!

comey_lote said... is so exotic blended with modern city!I never know that Barcelona is beautiful!

VioletSky said...

You are so fortunate to be doing so much travelling. But you also must be a little exhausted, yes?

Barcelona is one place I would LOVE to visit. And isn't it nice to have a local show you around? Thanks for sharing your pics.


Aidan's Mama & Papa said...

k.zue: i had a moment in barcelona. that one special moment as i was sitting on the beach with aidan. i cried and cried and people were like staring at me, wondering why am i sitting on the beach crying! tak dapat nak cakap macam mana nye bersyukur k.zue. it is just beyond words.

i hope nana and the baby will be fine, insyaallah. kesian dia. everyone has to be strong. do congratulate her for me ya? i was at the hospital for 7 days as well after delivering Aidan. pejam celik, kejap je, and before you know it, it's time to go home and everything's fine! kami semua doakan dia ya?

stroller mesti bawak k.zue! pengsan kalau tak bawak. but most of the time we let him free. so far so good, boleh control. sometimes he wants to push his stroller, but most of the time nak jalan pegang tangan, sebelah za, sebelah hardy. mesti dua dua orang! bila nak duduk balik tu meraung la kejap! kena upah biskot baru diam!

tak tau la barang apa yang mak kasi hari tu, i hope they will be of use to you. take care and miss you lots!

comei lote: i never thought barcelona would be like that as well. beyond expectations!!! really!!! nanti pergi k?

violetsky: sanna, it can be quite tiring too! but the gap between our italy/swiss vacation and barcelona trip was about 3 weeks apart. so not so bad. i enjoy it very much actually, the thing is, when you're there, you'd tend to forget everything, the tiredness etc, but when you're back at home, then everything kicks in! thats why i try to finish up all the housework before the trip (that's if if i'm lucky!). barcelona is indeed amazing. i had a different picture of it before last week. you should go k! you'll love it too!
stephan is a collegue of Hardy. he's actually belgian and works in the same office as Hardy. that guy has travelled the world and so into different cultures. he's been to spain many many times and simply love the spanish architecture. and yes, so much easier when there's someone who's familiar with the place to show us around! if not, pengsan jugak!

lots of love!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Tante,
Thank you for the photo of my street!!!! Wish we could have been there... hmmm maybe mummy and daddy will let me go with Aidan next time.
Love you and miss you loads,
Che Ferran

Anonymous said...

hi za! been away from your site for a while..good to be back here, to read all the wonderful, nicest things in life you've seen. u are so lucky, lucky, lucky! i love all the pictures u taken. aidan dah besar!! makin semangat, or am i just seeing things here..hehhehe.

anzed said...

hi zaza! can't wait la to bring n to spain.of course nazeefah will sit on my lap la..breasfed bah during take off n landing :) can't believe our lil tots are gonna b 2 years old soon..take care!hugs n kisses for aidan. salam to hardy

Marlin's Fav Aunt said...

Spanish rice!!!yummy...beshnye..i suke pix of aidan wit d man in front of d hotel..cumel jek..dok atas bench and kaki tergantung2...budak kecik ni pandai posing la..nyways...nikki is doing sooooo much better now..will update u lg k..muahs..

Aidan's Mama & Papa said...

Ferran: eh, che ferran boleh type dah ehh.. no spelling error pulak tu! haha. we'll go together nanti ya, its not that far anyway! you will love barcelona too!! cant wait to see you next month!! love you lots and lots and lots!!!

anonymous: NO!! you're not seeing things! dia dah besar (ngan berat!). they grow too fast sometimes kan? before you know it, he can run and ride a bike! ish ish... yes, i am lucky, very lucky. i feel so thankful! sometimes i just cant believe it!

noreen/anzed: aidan had to sit on hardy's lap for take off and landing. then we moved him to the next seat. nasib ada kosong! yes, go to spain, LOADS to see, LOADS to shop and LOADS of fun!!

my makcik: so SO glad that nikki's doing good, at least ada improvement. syukur ya.. how's everyone taking it? update me tau!
eh, pergi holiday naik banana boat eh? best tak naik bot pisang? haha.. i know that girl in the photo from somewhere, sigs maybe....

k.ct said...

nama julia robert dlm pretty woman is vivian.hehe..

qyra's fav aunt said... schoolmate from standard one..kakak die batch u kot..faiz..haaa..adik faiz la tu..besh tapi air die x besh..m planning to go 2 perhentian island pulak..hehehe..xdpt round europe, round mesia pon ok la...huhuhu..

ryan's fav aunt said...

kak za..u nye pasal la i trus g La Bodega makan paella taw x..ishk..but im sure it taste far much better kat Barcelona..tempted sesangat!tok uda used to cook the meanest spanish rice i've ever tasted..tapi x lik jb La Bodega Bangsar jela yg i can think of yg de paella yg sedap..accompanied with wide selections of la recipe paella yg sedap2..leh i masak sendiri..