You can only plan so many things before life tells you to “Slow down, relax and watch what I can deliver to you”. That would be the day that you find yourself sitting at a rooftop pool overlooking a magical Mediterranean city. Drinking champagne with a lingerie model and a tap dancer discussing the rock stars and Hollywood stars from the night before!
Yes the decision to board the two and a half hours flight from Ireland to Barcelona proved a very nice one indeed. Our decision to stay clear of the tourist traps scattered around the city was one that all but erased the negative views I had of this magical city.
Yes, gone from mind are the memories of pick pockets and prostitutes. Enter now the memories of heavenly beings, beautiful surrounding and great company new and known.
Friday was spent exploring the hotel which was in the perfect location. Nestled somewhere between the designer labels and the gourmet restaurants. As the warm sun bounced off our un-glazed Irish skin, I’m sure that the beautiful local people wondered how we were allowed into the city at all.
We sampled the local cuisine and the wine selections pretty much on sight. Well it would be rude not to really? Saturday morning and the two girls were off to avail of the luxurious spa treatment that was to form part of my wife’s birthday weekend.
The two boys went for recon mission up to the Olympic stadium area overlooking the city. That was to be the location for that night’s entertainment provided by a band that I have followed from the 80’s…U2.
The four of us were treated along with 24000 others to a demonstration of immense noise and performance in a way that most other groups can only aspire to achieve. Like them or loath them (and people do both in large numbers) they can never be accused of selling the crowd short.
They even had the Hollywood actress Penelope Cruze dancing with them on stage complete with bunny ears and all.
Sunday was to be a day of rest that developed into a day of surprise, intrigue, highs and lows (of the sporting type). After a light brunch in the city centre overlooked by old stone buildings and cathedrals, we made or obligatory purchase of Barcelona t-shirts for the kids before hightailing it out of the tourist trap that it was.
Back to the rooftop pool on the hotel for a rendezvous with our travelling companions and a date with a bottle of champagne. Enter the slightly eccentric, chatty, but nice British man with his half Irish girl ‘friend’. An offer of some champers and sure we were all good friends.
The fun and laughter built as our companions arrive to join up with another bottle of champers.
Enter then the second British couple to join the first.
Now it’s not often you meet a couple like these two. Him the young, good-looking marketing type who tap dances to those that would care to watch. He actually flew over to perform to the crowds of Barcelona, and to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time who subsequently flew in from Australia.
Now to describe her as simply attractive would be the understatement of the century. It’s not often your wife turns around to you and say’s “That underwear model we are sitting with is a real beauty”. My brother-in-law and I tended to agree with her!
Then it was a day of sport as Ireland beat France in the rugby world cup to progress to the quarter finals against Argentina – a high point. Then it was Ireland against Poland in the soccer – a low point.
However this day was not to be ruined and another tapas bar helped round off a wonderful weekend.
Wow…that was an unusually long post, but no apologies as it will live long in the memory.