Sophie’s Perfect Day in BCN
“Well, my perfect day would start by waking up slowly – I’m normally woken up by my cat, JC, (stands for Jean-Claude. Not Jesus Christ) treading on my head (which I don’t really mind). From my bed all I can see is blue sky and lovely verdant tree tops which is very relaxing. I’d then have breakfast sitting on the terrace in the sun. Fortunately I have a big terrace so it’s a great way to start the day.
I’d then get myself dressed and go for a walk. If you take the train to Baixador de Vallvidrera it’s only fifteen minutes from the centre of Barcelona and is surprisingly green and countrified yet so close to such a big city. If you’re lucky you come across wild boar roaming around and there are some lovely restaurants to have lunch in after your walk. But I’d get the train back to Barcelona and go to one of my favourite restaurants, L’Arròs (Passeig Joan de Borbó, 12). They do individual paellas (normally it’s a minimum of 2 people) and the kitchen doesn’t close so you can go anytime. Long lunches in the sun and good conversation with friends is one of my favourite pastimes. Get a table on the terrace if you can.
After some delicious food and ‘sobremesa’ (the Spanish term for sitting around, finishing the wine and talking after a meal) I’d cross the road to the port to see the band El Tumbao de Juana which always plays there. They are a group of really talented musicians with great energy who always get the crowd going and involved.
I’d then have a wander round the Born whilst digesting lunch. There’s always loads going on and it’s a great way to get a feel for the city and appreciate its beauty.
Satisfying the adventurous side of my personality I’d take the metro to Joanic and go to the maze in Parc del Laberint d’Horta. Whilst in that part of town I’d also pop over to the Parc del Carmel. The first time I went I discovered what looked like bunkers and upon my return found a security guard who informed us that they were bunkers from the civil war which are now being turned into a museum. A little piece of history with an AMAZING view of the city.
During the summer the Ayuntamiento de Catalunya put on loads of great free concerts and one of my favourites is jazz in the park (Parc de la Ciutadella). So I’d call some friends and make my way down. It’s just by the bandstand and the beautiful fountain. You take a picnic and blanket and sit listening to the great music. Another option would be the open-air cinema at the castle in Montjuïc. Not free this one but for a fiver you can’t complain. They have live music before and then show the films in their original version. They always put on some great films. Last time I was there I saw the Stanley Kubrick classic, A Clockwork Orange. They project the films onto the side of the castle. Very cool.
Now probably feeling a little weary I’d be thinking of heading home but not without stopping off somewhere for a nightcap, and I’d probably be persuaded to go for more than one. I’ve heard that Marula Café (c/ Escudellers, 49) is a great place for a boogie so I’d go there to dance my cares away before strolling happily home after a perfect day.”
Sophie is Director of Studies at the London Language Centre and a freelance translator and poet. She has been living in Barcelona for 7 years.
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