I’ve been back in Paris all of 25 minutes and I already wish I was back in Barca.
Coincidentally, I’m on the Beauvais-Paris bus having just landed. It’s 13° (are we in the Arctic Circle?!), I’ve got at least an hour before I can get into bed, and I have to wake up at dawn tomorrow to go back into the office.
Can I go back to Barcelona yet?
Thanks to my flight at the crack of dawn on Thursday, I was lucky enough to spend the whole day revisiting my favourite places and discovering some new ones before the others arrived later that night.
I headed straight from the airport to my old office, VeryChic, where I was thrilled to see that the company is still doing well and continuing to expand. I also met the lovely Melanie who replaced me and is doing a pretty good job at it! I am reliably informed that she complains less about the poor grammar of some of the freelancers than I used to. I bet William, my boss, is relieved.
I met the lovely Luce for lunch at Flax and Kale, which I believe is even better than Brunch and Cake. Luce and I shared tuna tataki, salmon sashimi, kale chips, life-changing gluten-free coconut cake, and enormous smoothies – a veritable guilt-free feast. In fact, it was so good, I went back twice more during my four days in Barcelona.
We then strolled down to the waterfront, chatting and swapping stories of our adventures since we were last together, before stopping for a glass of wine on the beach. I then left Luce for a drink with some of my former colleagues, a chance to catch up with all the office gossip. A small company with an average employee age of 25 produces an inordinate amount of gossip, and I had five months to be filled in on! Chatting over a Hendricks G&T at El Nacional, I felt like I had never left.
Returning to Luce’s flat, I discovered she had prepared a delicious dinner for us: she spoiled me with her new and improved domestic skills before we settled down with tea and a movie. I was still waiting to hear from Lucie and Lauren who were both due to arrive close to midnight.
When they finally reached me, we made our way to Port Vell marina where we were staying for the weekend. On a boat.
After getting quite delirious with lack of sleep on Thursday night as we attempted to stay up and talk, we slept late on Friday before starting the day with dancing on deck at one of the most picturesque spots for morning coffee.
Tearing ourselves away from our sun trap, we ventured into town in search of food. We went back to Flax and Kale. This time we shared an incredible salmon ceviche (“It is so delicious I could sleep in it.”) and tucked into tuna burgers and the most beautiful raw lasagne which really stole the show. We returned to the boat full and weary having raided the local supermarket for breakfast food, sun cream, and drinks. Our most significant addition, though, was Hannah, who – fortunately for us, less so for her – met us as we were leaving the supermarket and helped carry bags weighed down with eggs, salmon, and local cava.
Thus, the four Barca Boat Babes were assembled, and back on board we soaked up the last of the afternoon sun before preparing dinner. We didn’t quite smash a bottle over the boat’s bow, but we did pop a couple of corks into the harbour as our very own ceremonial ship launch. As the cava continued to flow, conversation over our delicious barbecued dinner descended into a hilarious delirium.
Soon after dinner, we amped up the music again to welcome more Erasmates on board. Friends from all the major capitals of Europe were perched around the table. After chatting for hours – the depleted alcohol the only indicator of time passing – people began to yawn and while our guests went on to drink and dance elsewhere, we settled in the galley with warming tea and continued our party in our PJs.
Lulled by the gentle rocking of the boat in the harbour, we slept late the following morning, then hurried our breakfast in a rush to get on with the principal objective of the day: sunbathing.
We snoozed in the sun most of the afternoon, pausing only for an afternoon tea of strawberries dipped in hot chocolate, and the obligatory 5pm gin.
Sunkissed and scrubbed clean, we smartened up for dinner at Surfhouse, where – almost ready to eat our own arms off – we devoured burgers and pulled pork sandwiches, with veggie crisps and moreish potato wedges. Then, reuniting with our friends from the night before, we made our way to the vertiginous Eclipse bar at the W for a drink.
One drink turned into several, as we managed to negotiate ourselves onto a table with some Americans, before some wild Swedes on a stag night invited us to join them – no question, really. It was a fab night to ring in Louise’s 21st.
Sunday morning we took advantage of the sun one last time before a recovery brunch at Flax and Kale. Sadly for me, that marked the end of my little séjour in Spain, and all too soon I was packed up and leaving the girls on deck.
There are few things more deflating than leaving behind 35°C weather, brilliant friends old and new, and the relaxation of a holiday. I now feel like the rest of you who suffered through my Snapchats when you were in the Library. Sorry. (Not sorry.)
Chanson du Jour: The Greatest – Raleigh Ritchie // Shut up and Dance – Walk The Moon // Pay No Mind – Madeon