Barcelona, December

Week 25

11/12/17 – 17/12/17

With a 5 day working week ahead, I am trying my best to stay positive. This day next week it will be my birthday, then we go home next Friday for Christmas. I thought that my Granny would be getting out of hospital last week, but unfortunately not. Therefore, I’m anticipating home even more. On Monday night, we decided to have dinner at a place called Wok To Walk, as we had absolutely no food in the apartment. First you choose your base (we had egg noodles), then your toppings (I had broccoli and peppers and Marty had chicken) and finally your sauce (we both had teriyaki). We thought €7 was a bit steep for some noodles, but the portions were huge and they tasted really good. We then did the dreaded weekly grocery shopping that we had missed on Saturday.

It is now Wednesday, and this week is going pretty quickly. I am so excited to go home next week, even though we were home in November. The Christmas season just isn’t the same in Barcelona. It’s 15 degrees during the day and there’s not a cloud in the sky, while Belfast is covered in snow and ice. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the decorations, and although we have a tiny tree and some tinsel on the wall, it doesn’t compare to my family’s huge tree, wreaths on the fireplace and icicle lights on the windows. I have so many magical memories of Christmas at home, including my birthday, and I cannot wait to get into the real festive spirit next weekend.

On Wednesday evening, we made dinner and then walked into El Gótico to go to my favourite shop, Flying Tiger. I’ve been feeling creative lately, so I have decided to make Christmas cards this weekend. I bought a card kit, glitter tape, glue and some gingerbread Santas to munch on while I create my masterpieces. All of my Christmas shopping is finished, and I’m not looking forward to the wrapping next weekend. It’s Thursday and it has just been confirmed that my Granny is getting out of hospital today! After almost 2 months, my Granda will finally have his side kick back and won’t be on his own. All I wanted for Christmas was for her to get out of hospital, and now she is. (Well, some presents would be nice too).

My birthday weekend starts this weekend (making Christmas cards, drinking hot chocolate and watching movies). I’m starting to wonder if I’m turning 21 or 81. Marty bought candles in Flying Tiger and mentioned getting some prosecco for the weekend– he’s more excited than I am! He keeps reminding me that it’s a “big birthday”, but honestly it just doesn’t feel the same without my friends and family to celebrate with. Maybe he’s just looking for an excuse to eat cake. Hanne and I had planned to go to Costa Coffee again today, as it is our last Friday before we go home for Christmas. I had been saving myself to try their gingerbread latte, which wasn’t gingerbread-y enough for me.

On Friday evening, we made quesadillas for dinner and watched TV. We were both exhausted from the week and needed to unwind before we go home to the craziness. On Saturday morning, we reluctantly got out of bed to do our shopping – our last grocery shopping of 2017! In the afternoon, we took two buses to IKEA, as we needed a lamp and a new candle for our room. One of my favourite day trips is going to IKEA;, walking through the rooms, smelling the candles and then getting a snack at the extremely cheap café. One of the main reasons we went, was to get hot dogs and fries at the café. However, they didn’t have the veggie hot dogs that they have at home, just veggie meatballs with mixed veg. Marty wasn’t impressed with his hot dog either, so we left feeling very disappointed. It wasn’t the IKEA experience we were hoping for. It was a very strange afternoon, and for the first time in almost 6 months, we were bored. We usually have either visitors, shopping or some adventure planned. But this weekend we had planned to relax, i.e. sat looking at each other all day.

On Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the Christmas markets at Sagrada Familia. They sold the usual things; trees, decorations and the Catalan tradition Tió de Nadal (shitting Christmas log). These markets also had food stalls, which many of the others don’t. Of course, everything was extremely overpriced and it cost us €5 for churros, €8 if you wanted Nutella. We had to be back for 3pm for the football, during which I made my own Christmas cards. In the evening, we took a walk over to Maremagnum Shopping Centre, where I got a new red nail polish for Christmas. I attempted to do a bit of packing, before making dinner and preparing lunch for work. While we were eating dinner, our German flatmates had prepared a plate with German biscuits and chocolate, and left it beside our bed! It was such a lovely surprise. Now it’s time for a busy week, starting with my birthday and finishing with Christmas Eve.

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