Travels with Sam 🌎

@Catgoddess_99 She’s absolutely adorable! :heart::scotland:🙂

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Just for fun… :slightly_smiling_face:

Please join in and fill in the blank with an item that you simply cannot travel without

I absolutely cannot travel without ………?………….

:iphone::teddy_bear: :alarm_clock: :womans_hat: :closed_book::scarf::eyeglasses: :saxophone: :compass: :thinking:

I absolutely cannot travel without my curly hair products :grin:

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@HelloOutThere Me too!


Let’s talk about all things Barcelona!

This city, located about 90 miles south of the border between Spain and France, is the capital of Catalonia province. There has been a settlement here since the 1st century BC when the Roman Empire had a colony here called Barcino. You can still visit parts of the Old Roman colony underneath the Gothic Quarter in the Barcelona City History Museum. The city is famed for numerous architectural masterpieces and points of interest.

When one thinks of Barcelona the first architectural masterpiece that probably springs to mind is the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família otherwise known as the Sagrada Família.

Construction commenced on the 19th March 1882 and construction continues to this day with a potential completion date of 2026. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, whose work is scattered throughout Barcelona, this is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. Gaudi dedicated his life to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of it was complete. It really is one of the most intoxicating buildings that you will ever see. There is just so much going on both inside and outside that you could quite literally spend all day gazing at the majesty of the structure!

To experience the magnificence of the stained glass windows try to arrange your visit to be there for early afternoon on a sunny day. :sunny:

Another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces that should not be missed is Park Güell, located on Camel Hill above the city. Count Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudi in the 1890’s to design a garden city, spread over 50 acres and consisting of public buildings and 60 houses. However this was never completed and the structures you see today were built between 1910 and 1914 and the park opened in 1922. The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Gaudi’s most colourful creations. The Park is world famous for its tiled salamander, a pair of fairy-tale pavilions at either side of the main entrance and the world’s longest bench which is above the Room of a Hundred Columns. This is a cavernous hall of 84 crooked pillars that was intended as the masterpiece for the estate.

You should try to find time to explore Barcelona’s Old Town or ‘Ciutat Vella’. This medieval maze of crooked streets and secret squares winds inland from the old harbour. This area includes many intriguing and interesting buildings and sights including the tree shaded parade of Las Ramblas, this avenue is well known for people taking an evening stroll and the entire area is full of exquisite boutiques, tapas bars and restaurants. Halfway down Las Ramblas, not far from Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house you will find La Boqueria. This is a large covered market which has been in existence since 1836 and includes more than 200 traders. It is a wonderful place to take a stroll, take in the ambience with a coffee or some tapas and a glass of wine.

Flanked on its northern edge by the Barcelona Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter is really worth spending some time just ambling without any purpose and exploring what you find. The area is full of stunning architecture and surprises are around every corner! You may find yourself gazing up at El Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge), although it is Gothic in appearance and blends in well with the surrounding architecture, it was actually built for the Barcelona International Exposition in 1929. Not many know but there is a curse associated with this bridge; a skull pierced with a dagger is carved on the underside. Should you choose to stand below and gaze up at this skull it will either bring you bad luck or the fulfilment of your wildest dreams! Are you prepared to take the risk? :thinking:

This is just a small selection of things to see and do in Barcelona

I know that many of you have spent time in Barcelona whether it be because you were house sitting there or just simply travelling to and enjoying the city or perhaps you have lived or live there now. Just tagging @NigelLovell @GusDC @Tatti @blissbyskye @r.wachtler @Susie123 @LizBCN @figaloprepod @Joanne @Els @Maggie @pietkuip @Colin @CoolCatAunt @richten1 @Bluehorse @wendy_chicago @cawosey @Shafofo @Esperanza @FrankieG @kimshady @Bmwoods @IanK @Verityandjulian as you may possibly have some great recommendations by either having visited or lived/living there. :blush:

Please feel free to share any other recommendations that you have for Barcelona, this can be places to visit or places to eat or literally anything you love about Barcelona! :es::slightly_smiling_face:


I was just there a couple of weeks ago!

I would highly recommend buying tickets to La Sagrada Familia weeks ahead. We were lucky we have friends who live there now and gave us the heads up and so glad we did because we saw a lot of people outside who couldn’t get tickets that same day. Would also recommend getting tickets to the towers. We did the nativity towers and saw a nice view of the city.

Casa Batlló is another Gaudí beauty I would recommend, along with La Pedrera. You can do book tickets for the same day on these two as they’re only about a block away.

For foodies Bar Del Pla has some of the most delicious tapas near the gothic quarter and I really loved l’obrador bakery in Sarrià (not much else in this hood except amazing food and bread). Our friends lived in Sarrià so we got to explore the area a lot. Gracia is also a super cute neighborhood with lots of eclectic shops and coffee houses.


Oh and I almost forgot. Between La Pedrera and Casa Batlló there is this cute coffee shop, IL Caffe DI Francesco… best Canya de Crema (custard filled pastry) I’ve ever had in my life. And if you speak Castellano (Spanish) like me, you would pronounce it as Caña de crema.


Love Barcelona! If you’re interested in cheap eats and watering hole frequented by locals I recommend Curtis Autophile a cozy bar and record store in l’Eixample. Also Restaurante De tapas Paella Bar cóctel ENCERCLE in La Vila de Gràcia has good drinks and tapas. If you have time I recommend a day trip to Santa Maria de Montserrat. I wasn’t able to visit while I was there (total regret) but I hear the views are breathtaking.


It has been a really long ti.e since I visited Barcelona. So interesting to see the progress on Sagrada Familia and that it is almost finished.

@kimshady 's suggestion about a day trip to the monastery at Monserrat is a great one. The location and landscape there is breathtaking.


Vegemite! I can’t travel without it!


Last (literally) night in Lido di Ostia, Rome’s Brighton. Shocker… the place I visited didn’t serve red wine… apparently, it’s the wrong season.


Ahh I know what you mean @Crookie as I’m the same but with Marmite! :+1:t2::wink::sweat_smile:

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Just following on from the recent Barcelona post I found this interesting Time Out article listing the 51 best attractions and places to visit in Barcelona. :es:

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Thanks for your invitation to share. What I recommend in Barcelona is:

  1. Visiting some of its fabulous libraries. For instance: the Gabriel García Márquez library, which was recently voted as the most beautiful library in the world.
  2. GAUDI: a guided tour of the Recinto Modernista del Hospital Sant Pau.
    AND, bearing in mind that there’s much more than Gaudi. There’s also architects such as Puig i Cadafalch and Domenech i Montaner. So, a guided tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana (by Domeneck i Montaner) is a must.
  3. Having a hot chocolate with whipped unsugared cream (they call it “un suizo”) with churros or ensaimadas at any of the traditional “granjas”: La Pallaresa, Dulcinea, Granja Viader, La Valenciana, or Mistral (these two last ones are the least touristy).
  4. Walking up the whole Aribau street and discovering its fabulous buildings.
  5. Taking a train to the city of Reus and visiting the Institut Pere Mata, a former psychiatric hospital for the upper classes of the XX Cent., by modernist architect Domenech i Montaner.
    I hope it helps.

If you happen to be in the West Country in the UK over this coming Bank Holiday weekend you might like to attend one of these two fun festivals.

The first is the Seaweed Festival being held in the village of Clovelly in North Devon on May 26th from 10am until 5pm. It is held to promote seaweed for its immense health and nutritional benefits. There will be a number of food outlets along the Quay, using seaweed as one of the food ingredients, and stalls will be selling a range of seaweed products. This will then be followed by live music on the harbour from 5.30pm. :ocean:

Photo on the Clovelly Village website

Photos from the Devon Live website

If you are in Cornwall then the Cornwall Street Food Festival, being held in Newquay, might be more to your taste! This is being held at Barrowfields Field from May 24th to 27th inclusive, between 11am and 10pm.

30 of the UK’s top street food traders will be serving up a diverse range of delicious dishes from Indian to Vietnamese, Thai to Moroccan, Mexican to Afghan, Caribbean to Uzbek along with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. After your savouries there are plenty of options for your sweet tooth! :cupcake:

There will also be live music at the event and evening entertainment. :notes:

Photo from the Cornwall Street Food Festival Instagram page

If you fancy watching a bizarre English tradition then you might like to attend the Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill near Brockworth in Gloucester on Monday, May 27th from 12 noon.

Every year on the day of the Spring Bank Holiday the hills come alive with the sound of cheese rolling! :cheese:

Now officially an extreme sport, cheese-rolling attracts competitors to Gloucester from all over the world who come to chase a Double Gloucester cheese down the 300 yard-long hill. The cheese used is a 3 to 4 kilogram Double Gloucester which is a hard cheese traditionally made in a circular shape and the cheese used is made by local Cheese maker Mrs Smart. The cheese is protected for the rolling by a wooden casing round the side and is then decorated with ribbons at the start of the race.

Photo courtesy of Smarts Traditional Gloucester Cheese.

For more information about this event please see “Bizarre Traditions & Customs”.

If anyone has any other recommendations or suggestions for upcoming festivals or events then please feel free to share on here.

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Gloucestershire has something for everyone. You don’t fancy watching a group of people chasing a large cheese down a terrifying steep hill? Perhaps you’d prefer watching a group of people racing up the 1 in 4 gradient of Gumstool Hill in Tetbury with a hefty woolsack on their back - 35lb and 60lb for women and men respectively?
Tetbury Woolsack Race


And the Gloucester Tall Ships Festival is also this weekend at Gloucester Docks.

You might see some of them making their way along the canal this week @pietkuip


A few photos from our visit to the Cornwall Street Food Festival yesterday in Newquay, Cornwall. :sunny::slightly_smiling_face:

@Debbie @pietkuip Did you manage to see any of the Tall Ships from the Gloucester Tall Ships Festival over the weekend?

Did anyone else attend any other festivals or events over the weekend?


@Sam_F we are in Scotland now, but did see a couple of the tall ships moored further down the canal last weekend. They may have been the ones @pietkuip saw pass by the pub a few days ago, he posted a photo in the “Who’s on a housesit now?” thread

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I was underwhelmed. This was the tallest that “my” two labradors and I saw passing through the canal at the Pilots’ Inn in Quedgeley:

Then I stayed Saturday night at an airbnb in Gloucester. I cycled to Tewkesbury, had an English tea there. And had dinner in the Docks area. Not much going on, glad that I did not buy a ticket for that festival.

Now I am on a lovely sit in the hills above Nailsworth, with a beautiful sheepdog that I will now take for a walk on the Minchinhampton common.

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