||[Jul. 26th, 2005|06:52 pm]
The first of three wedding related posts. Hopefully I've remembered everything about the stag do, despite it being 3 weeks ago, but I'm sure people can chime in in the comments if I have :)|
We'd decided quite early on that we'd head to Barcelona for my Stag Do. Because Dave couldn't commit to being able to come, I ended up organising most of it! After much debate, we selected the weekend of the 1st-3rd July, two weeks before the wedding, for the weekend. Flights were booked, a hotel was arranged, and then we just had to wait!
In the end, Dave did get the time off, so headed out the day before. He quickly located the hotel, but they'd overbooked, so he ended up elsewhere. We were slightly worried, but decided to ignore it. Dave took this change of hotel in his stride, and quickly headed off to select some drinking establishments.
The rest of us had decided to converge on Heathrow for half two. Ross and Alex got there early, while Simon+Dom+Myself got stuck in traffic on the M25, so were a little late. Olly overslept quite badly, so we checked in without him, and found the bar. Olly got there so late he thought he'd been bumped, then everything got confused and we didn't know if he'd make it or not. In the end, he announced he had got a seat, turned off his phone and legged it through security. We waited, but somehow missed him charging past us, so we were late on waiting for him!
Once we had everyone on board, things went fairly smoothly. We didn't get any food, despite the claims of our tickets, but we did make it to Barcelona on time. After waving to Alastair outside the airport (he was heading back from a conference), we jumped onto the train to town. Because maps were a bit thin on the ground, and stations had different names to the metro stations attached to them, we were rather surprised to emerge into the sunlight at the right place not that much behind schedule!
Dave met us at the metro, handed out stag do tshirts (Dom got the one with the tasks, I got the gay icon one, and everyone else got drinking ones), and guided us to the hotel. We dumped our bags while Dave got in the first round, and we planned for the evening.
It was around 10pm at this point, so we decided to head towards the centre, and stop for food at the first place we liked the look of. After passing lots of places that either didn't have space, or claimed their large tables were reserved (perhaps the obvious stag do tshirts were a bad plan....), we found a pizza place. Unfortunately, we had to wait while they grew the corn to make the flour for the pizzas, so we ended up drinking rather a lot on empty stomachs. We also got to watch some fairly bizarre goings on in the square, but later examination of the guide book showed that was only normal for there!
At about midnight, we'd finally been served food, but were feeling a bit sleepy from the wine. We dived into a nearby bar for dodgy redbull knockoffs, and then headed off slightly buzzing....
We fairly quickly located the square we wanted to be in - lots of outdoor bars, and several indoor clubs. Unfortunately, the stag do tshirts didn't go down well with the bouncers, and we weren't allowed in. Instead, we grabbed some seats outside a bar, and watched the hen parties go by.
Unfortunately, the drink + sudden sugary intake didn't sit well with me. So, I headed off to find a suitable bin, while the others got rather friendly with a couple of hen parties. Once people had stopped getting covered in lipstick and eating girls underwear, we settled in for a quiet pint or three. Around 3, some of us headed back to bed, and the others went to find a club.
On Saturday lunchtime, everyone except Dave (who had met a nice young lady the night before, and was sleeping it off) crawled out of bed. We wandered about pondering brunch, spotted a few nice restaurants for the evening, then found a stunningly good value all-you-can-eat place. Once we'd eaten all we could (stomach), we pulled out the guidebook and headed into town.
We managed to have quite a cultural afternoon. We saw lots of impressive buildings, squares and streets, went around the main cathedral, looked out over the city from the roof of the cathedral, headed up Las Ramblas to the Gaudi buildings, the usual gothic quarter stuff. After that, we headed to the Segradi Familia, the unfinished cathedral, and the more brave among us walked up to the top and back. The views were great, the heights and missing guard rails less so....
With the sight seeing complete, we headed home for a powernap. Dave showed that the RAF really has changed him by turning up early, rather than his usual late, so we got a beer in before going for dinner. Since we were all a bit smarter, we had no trouble getting a nice table in one of the seafood places on the marina. After a nice seafood meal (that saw Ross and Dave devour a quite impressive pile of shellfish), we headed off for a club.
Returning to the same square as on Friday night, we located a nice bar and enjoyed a quiet (two) pints. Olly and Alex headed then headed home, while the rest of us went to a club. We got in without any trouble, and found a spot on the dance floor. The mixing was shocking, but a few good tunes did turn up (before getting butchered). Ross got very friendly with a girl, but around 5am hunger set in, so we headed off in search of food. Alas Barcelona lacks late night food vendors (but there was no shortage of people offering cans of beer), so we went to bed hungry.
We got up a few hours later, made our way to the airport, grabbed some breakfast, and headed home. Everyone was a bit tired, but had had a great time :)
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