Today was a national holiday so we hadn’t planned to see things in case they were closed, although many attractions were open for free on the special day.

After a staggered breakfast we sat down to play boardgames. I made some grave errors in a game of Codenames, essentially ruining a couple of rounds by accidentally hinting, and on one occasion actually saying the wrong word aloud and picking the assassin. This was set to be the hottest day of the week. Naturally this meant it was prime time to head to the beach, yes, the first of November.

We went through the Arc de Triomf and down the huge avenue leading to the park. You could walk right through it. Balloon sellers and bubble blowers lined the path, with the occasional Selfie Stick seller.

There were some large slabs of rocks, labelled, part of the way down, outside several brick greenhouse structures (glass roofed). Sadly there was no english on the signs, so the purpose and contents remained a mystery to us. We reached the zoo, known to be home to some Red Pandas! Steph didn’t really want to go in, and Tom was set on the beach, so that’s where we went. The route that we took seemed to be a bit ‘off the beaten track’. But by going that way we had a better angle of a birds nest shaped building and we saw a different view of the city. The beach had plenty of people on, along with a few swimmers. I had taken my shoes off to walk across it and not get sand in my shoes. I regretted this not long into the walk when I saw the sheer amount of broken glass that was around, which I hoped wasn’t a constant problem, but a result of the holiday season.

We hadn’t sat down for long before a lady touting a 5 Euro massage demonstrated on Chris just to let him know what he was missing out on by saying no. This turned out to be the first of many offers. Others sellers were quite enterprising in offering cocktails, soft drinks, and beers. There was quite a breeze, which meant I was a little cooler than comfortable in shorts and shirt. Tom went in for a swim (brave!). After a while I was quite hungry, thankfully not alone, we ventured back towards the city centre. We took a slightly different route and found a street café. Here Alex opted for some Bream, I had a chorizo baguette . We deliberately didn’t have a full meal here as Steph was planning to make a pasta dish when we got back to the apartment.

The meal was delicious, and I’m very grateful to Steph for making it. We opened the bottle of Cava that the hosts provided us with. This went down a treat and went towards substantial merriment with plenty of Gin and Tonic, and beer. It turns out that the Estrella here is far nicer than back home. Surprising, huh!? Evidently the export we get isn’t the premium that they have! I went to bed with a slight headache, but very content. We had a lovely time playing games, but making sure we were very quiet as we were past the 10pm curfew for noise.