A Barcelona birthday

So far I've told you all about Gaudí, Tibidabo and Montjuïc, but now it's time to tell you what we did to celebrate my birthday in Barcelona, the reason we were there after all! Given that I am a big fan of the beach, we headed there to soak up some sunshine. The weather was a skin-warming 27°C, which meant that lunch in the sun had to be done. Just look at the blue sky!

The beach area - which I'm widely classing as Barceloneta, Port Vell and Port Olímpic - is dotted with different types of art. Roy Lichtenstein, famous for his Pop Art, created the sculpture below for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The picture of me is my interpretation of... OK, OK. I'm just leaping on the beach!

The Barcelona fish is another sculpture that was added to the city for the Olympics, and this one is by Frank Gehr. Some are weird, some are wacky, but most of them are quite impressive!

After a birthday lunch on the beach front - we went to Agua, which was worth it for the location, though I wouldn't say the food was anything special - we headed to Barcelona Zoo. Home once upon a time to Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, it was the giraffes that I was there to see!

After visiting the other animals we tried the Picasso Museum but sadly the queue was nearly two hours long. He might be one of my favourite artists but I didn't want to spend any of my birthday in a queue. We decided to continue on the Barcelona bus tour to see more of the sights, before heading back to the hotel for some cake. This rainbow cake came from Sweet Dreams, a random bakery we passed, but one worth searching out!

At the top of the Hotel Princess Barcelona, where we were staying, you'll find the Desigual Loft. Desigual is massive in Barcelona as the company is based there; it's a very funky space! There is also a swimming pool that overlooks the sea, but it was windy and far too cool for a dip. Definitely worth a peep and a pose though! 

After changing into something a bit more suitable, we headed to Arcano for my birthday dinner. Ranked in the Top 50 restaurants in Barcelona on TripAdvisor when we were there (April 2014), we weren't disappointed with our Catalan sausage starter and steak mains. 

As an aside, I have to say that the TripAdvisor app is excellent, especially because it uses the GPS on your phone to point you in the direction of where you need to go. You can keep your data switched off and avoid being charged European rates. It's something I'll download for every city break from now on.

Right, I better get planning next year's birthday. It's the big 3-0 next time. Eek! x

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