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Exploring Catalunya: A Beach & Spa Weekend on the Costa Brava

Exploring Catalunya: A Beach & Spa Weekend on the Costa Brava

One of the best weekends I have had in a long time. That is how I would describe my jaunt up the Catalan coast to the beautiful Platja d’Aro.  It was a girly weekend, and all four of us had our own reasons for deserving a break and needing to get away from it all.  It was the middle of May and the weather was starting to warm up, and after some research on booking.com to find a hotel with…

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Activities in Barcelona: Live Music at JazzSí

Activities in Barcelona: Live Music at JazzSí

There are a ton of music venues in Barcelona, but for me one of the best places to see live music  is JazzSí in the Raval neighbourhood. Linked with the Taller de Músics music school, it offers an opportunity for young musicians to get involved with the live music scene, and hosts jam sessions and live concerts every night of the week. Entry costs between 4 to 8 euros (including a drink) for a 2 hour show.  There are different themes each night,…

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10 Tips to beat the Pickpockets in Barcelona

10 Tips to beat the Pickpockets in Barcelona

Violent crime in Barcelona is virtually non-existent. I am surprised how often people ask me if I feel safe here, as they have heard it’s a dangerous place!   It is very rare that belongings are taken by force or with any threat of force; but Barcelona certainly has a reputation for pickpockets. Pickpocketing is pretty common, especially in busy tourist areas like Las Ramblas and the metro, as it is not a crime here – at least if the value of…

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Where to Eat in Barcelona: el dinàmic

Where to Eat in Barcelona: el dinàmic

One Saturday early evening, after a planned trip to the cinema was thwarted by a huge queue, we came upon el dinàmic in Sant Antoni. An open plan restaurant with high ceilings, we chose a table on the mezzanine level, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. Friendly service, a homely atmosphere and comfort food warmly greeted us. We chose two of the small tostades to start with – one marinated salmon & one butifarra sausage – which at 2 euros each…

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Activities in Barcelona – The Barcelona Taste Tour

Activities in Barcelona – The Barcelona Taste Tour

If you are planning your first visit to Barcelona, deciding on where to eat can be a challenge. The city is bursting with literally thousands of bars, restaurants and cafes, all potentially offering the best food money can buy. Or not. The choice is overwhelming, and as a tourist in an unfamiliar city there is a tendency to either follow your Lonely Planet Guide to the letter, probably ensuring a pleasant trip, alongside your fellow panicked tourists who followed exactly…

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Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Taberna Griega

Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Taberna Griega

When you’ve had enough tapas to last a lifetime, try out this fabulous Greek restaurant in Gracia.  We were looking for a place to eat one Friday night and something caught our eye as we wandered along the street.  Greek dancing and plate smashing!  We were sold.  Rushing inside to catch the last few plates crashing to the ground, we had sadly missed the weekly performance, but were still rewarded with delicious food.  We chose a starter of mixed dips,…

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An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

I wasn’t born to live in Britain.  I have always yearned for travel and adventure, for more excitement than the usual kids’ activities of girl guides and piano lessons.  From ice-skating to horse-riding and considering jumping out of a plane at 15 (as I was underage I needed a parent to jump with me, which strangely wasn’t met with enthusiasm from my mum & dad, so I haven’t yet ticked that off the list) I always knew there was more beyond…

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Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

The Romans certainly left their mark on Catalunya; and nowhere more so than in Tarragona, the Roman capital of Catalunya.  Within easy reach of Barcelona, about an hour by train, Tarragona, or Tarraco as it was called then, is well worth a visit.  Smaller & less hectic than the big city, it makes a pleasant day trip or weekend visit. I took the train from Barcelona down to Tarragona, but be careful which train you take.   The high speed Ave…

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Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

Activities in Barcelona: Las Festes de Santa Eulàlia

The story of Santa Eulàlia is not a happy one.  With this weekend hosting the festival celebrations in her name I thought it was high time to learn more about her. One of the two patron saints of Barcelona, (along with our Lady of Mercy), Eulàlia was the young martyr who suffered horrific torture at the hands of the Romans when she refused to renounce her Christian faith.  As the legend goes, During the persecution of the Christians during the…

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Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

You’ve gawped at Gaudi’s works, peeked in the Picasso Museum & rambled down La Rambla. And now you’re hungry. But perhaps you are hoping for something a little more authentic than the pre-packed, frozen paellas offered in many tourist traps. How about learning to cook paella for yourself, in the home of a local teacher? I am a big fan of EatWith; and a big fan of paella, so I have been waiting for a chance to combine the two,…

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