21/08/17 – 27/08/17
This week was pretty uneventful compared to last. Reading the Daily Mail from 9am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday can get pretty boring. I stayed an extra half an hour Monday to Thursday this week so that I could leave at 4pm on Friday to see my beloved mother, father and brother. They better appreciate it. I skipped out the door on Friday and met my family and Marty in a bar just around the corner from my work, hugging each of them with teary eyes. Despite the fact that it felt as if we hadn’t been apart, it was such a relief to see them and I slowly sank back into my comfort zone.
We headed to their AirBnb by metro, ensuring that everyone took care of their belongings. We were aware in advance that the apartment was a little out of town, but it was too late to look for something else. Out of town was an understatement. I’m almost sure I saw a tumbleweed. We stuck out like 5 sore thumbs, trailing suitcases through the most un-tourist-friendly area I’ve ever been in. Marty and I waited outside as they checked in, only to be trampled on by a dodgy looking man and his even dodgier looking pitbulls. The look on my Mummy’s face when she came out of the building said it all. This weekend taught me that I am a lot more like my mother than I realised. Not that it’s a bad thing.
The apartment had been advertised as two bedrooms with a private bathroom. Nowhere did it mention that there were other people living there. The guy that met them spoke no English and made them feel extremely uncomfortable. We’ll come back to this after, it’s far from over. As it was still quite early, we decided to visit La Sagrada Familia. Again. I’m really not cut out to be a tour guide. After the oos and ahhs at Gaudi’s magnificent architecture, we went for something to eat at Michael Collin’s Irish Bar. Marty and I had come here when we had just arrived in Barcelona and were still homeless. It is a really authentic Irish bar and the staff are so friendly.
At about 8pm we headed to the Magic Fountains of Monjuïc. They were as magical as always except for the French woman that squeezed herself and her toddler into the middle of me and the man beside me. It was rather irritating considering we were there over an hour before it started and she strolled up 5 minutes before and took a seat. To make the situation even worse, the child kicked me and hit me on the head, to which I whipped my ponytail round to give them a dirty look. It obviously wasn’t as subtle as I thought as when they were leaving, the woman turned round and mumbled French abuse at me. Au revoir, bitch. On the metro back to the slums, we witnessed a pick pocketing attempt. A family were getting off when a group of four tried to snatch their bags. Despite the fact that they failed, they sat sniggering to themselves. I felt very uneasy for the rest of the journey, but my Mummy reassured me that her gel extensions were out and ready to attack if they so much as looked at us. You can take the girl out of West Belfast.
We stayed at the creepy apartment that night, as I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my family alone in the middle of nowhere. During the night, we heard someone using the toilet, but assumed it was one of us. It wasn’t. The next morning, my Mummy peeked through the bedroom door to see if it was safe to go to the bathroom and was greeted with an ”hola” in the corridor. We needed to get out of here. We travelled to our apartment, whilst searching for somewhere else for them to stay. Our flatmate owns a company called HostelGalaxy, so he kindly helped them to find another place. He even offered to take them back to ‘the hood’ to get their belongings. When they returned unharmed, we decided it was time for some lunch and the beach. After the beach, we did some shopping at Maremagnum Shopping Centre, where we got fresh fruit ice lollies. They were well needed and well deserved. We then travelled to their new accommodation, which was right in the city centre and didn’t have creepy men in the corridor. We got ready for dinner and went to our favourite restaurant, Il Mercante di Venezia. The food and service were excellent. As usual. We then took a stroll around Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, before treating ourselves to some ice cream at Chocolat Box and having a drink in Dunne’s Irish Bar. My Mummy and I had ”Tutti Frutti” cocktails, or ”Frutti Tutti” as she wrote on Facebook. I think it might’ve been too strong for her. We finished a wonderful day with a sleepover at their new room, and had a not-so-wonderful sleep thanks to my Daddy’s snoring.
We had breakfast on Sunday morning at a place called El Tio Pio. Marty, Conor and I had pancakes, which arrived about half an hour before my Mummy and Daddy’s food. Not impressed. We then took the metro and a bus to the famous Parc Guëll. We were going to buy tickets but the next entry time was an hour and a half away so we decided to walk around the free parts. It’s such a beautiful park, with the works of Gaudi, of course, and amazing panoramic views of the city. It was a very hot day and we all died a little bit walking up the slopes, but it was worth it. We had dinner at Flaherty’s Irish Bar again, and this time Marty got his roast dinner. Woo! We waited until the football was over, then we took a walk along the beach, to a little viewing point of the sea. We sat there for a while, watching the planes come in along the sunset. Then we travelled back to their apartment for the dreaded goodbye. But remember, it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. 3 weeks on Friday to be exact.
*Ornagh felt left out so she added a cartoon version (bitmoji) of herself into the family photo