Yes, while you've been hopefully enjoying the clear blue skies and warm sunshine here, I've been trying to dodge the rain in Spain on an impromptu weekend in Barcelona!
I know, I feel thoroughly spoilt having been away twice already, but Colin booked it, and we had a great time exploring the incredible sights within this diverse city.
I have loads of photos to show you, but first of all, thanks so much to all those of you kept me entertained – although on occasions somewhat nauseous – with your weird and wonderful phobias. Also some great stories about your precious pets, so as suggested, perhaps we should pick up on that one next time :)
In fact it was with the photograph of Ella (Lucy's cat) that I have in my phone, that I was able to make her birthday cake. She's 25 today – the same age I was when I was expecting her… I left the cake as a surprise for her to find when she came round to feed the kitties, and she called me to say how pleased she was with it. Awwww 🙂
Back to Barcelona!! We decided to take a bus tour of the city and as the sun was shining we picked an open topped bus which gave us stunning views of some of the incredible architecture that makes up this city. I'll be honest I didn't know anything about it beforehand – my only experience of Spain has been the Balearics or a few of the coastal resorts.
It reminded me a little of Paris with the plane trees that line most of the incredible wide roads, but the tiny, and narrow winding streets that lead off these main thoroughfares are more reminiscent of Italy. Fabulous open fronted restaurants with displays of some of the most mouth-watering tapas I've ever seen.
Exquisite confectionary and cakes beautifully lit to catch the eye. Chanel, Gucci and Jimmy Choo were just a few of the designers who caught my eye – just looking you understand – but the designer who stole my heart was Antoni Gaudi… forget accessories and think architecture! I have NEVER seen buildings like these.
Just feast your eyes on the Casa Batilo. It was actually an apartment that this amazing architect renovated between 1904 and 1906, and has stained glass windows, ceramic mosaic walls, balconies designed to look like Venetian masks and a dragon's back complete with scales, providing the roof space!
We then took a different route to see the towering spectacle that is the Sagrada Familia – a Roman Catholic church which exemplifies this man's amazing visionary genius. He began work on it in 1883 and only stopped in 1936 when his studios and the crypt were burnt… the work continues today and they don't expect to complete it until 2026!!!
It was opened to the public for the first time last month and is to be consecrated and proclaimed a basilica when the Pope visits on November 7th. It is unlike anything I have ever seen in all my 50 years and is extraordinary to think it was designed by someone who had never seen a computer generated image, or witnessed some of the amazing special effects on screen.
This is seriously something WAY ahead of its time… from there to Port Vell which is very 21st century, and full of the most enormous yachts and cruise ships. We enjoyed a few sangrias before catching the last bus home, and as the sun set over the harbour
I cursed the French Aviation authority who because of their strike forced us to come home a day early… still, at least I get to write to you and share these fab memories 🙂 I'd love to go back one day, so if there's anything I didn't get to see that you'd recommend, do let me know.
One favour I have to ask… if you have any free time this evening between 7pm and 10pm, please join me, Craig, Debbie, Julia, Charlie and a host of your favourite QVC guests as we give it our all for the 11th year, to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.
I know from reading some of your comments that it's a charity close to your hearts too, so you'll be glad to know that we've got some great auctions, amazing guests, and a few surprises too. Why don't you call in, 'cos I'll be manning the phone lines, and then I can put a voice to the names?!
Have a great week, and I'll be in touch soon,