Friday, March 23, 2007

Discotheque time

Saturday night was a blinder! Adam finished at 11 'o' clock so as we had a knock off drink we found out that it was Veronika's birthday. Veronika is a new Czech girl who has joined us with her boyfriend Lubosh and we decided to have a good old welcome/birthday night for her. Before we could blink the champagne was out chased down by vodka shots, this led to everyone being quite jolly so when the idea of heading across to the town dance was suggested it was met with enthusiasm by all but the least daggy of us (Lubosh).
The town dance was just like a primary school disco except people were aged between 18-40 with a scary percentage being near the upper end of that range and I think we actually doubled the population of the disco (there were only 8 of us). We had locals from the pub come across with us and shake their booty like mad, especially when the Irish jig came on, it being St Pat's day and all.
It really is hard to explain just how strange the scene would have been from the outside, a load of Eastern European chicks and Aussie dags having dance offs with locals who normally take some convincing to get off their bar stool.
After the dance wound up we headed back to Veronika and Lubosh's room for some Czech version of the palinka/rakia that we sampled on our holiday. We are pretty good at knocking the stuff back without the gag reflex kicking in these days but what we didn't realize was that this version was about twice as strong, bringing the night to a somewhat earlier end that it may have otherwise met. Probably just as well seeing as we were all working the next day, but it really was just one of those nights where everyone clicked and it was great fun.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Photos: Sagrada Familia, Arc De Triumph in Barcelona, Girona, Narrow cobbled streets in Girona, Beautiful Collioure.
Last Monday we said goodbye to The George for a week and set off to Barcelona. We spent four nights there enjoying the lovely weather (around 20-25 and sunny) the brilliant Tapas and the very beautiful city.
The city- or at least the central areas we wandered through- was walkable, with tree lined avenues, not too bad traffic, lovely buildings and a great feel to it. It really felt like a livable big city.
We took an open topped bus tour to see a lot of the sights like Gaudi's Sagrada Familia which looked like it had grown out of the earth and looms over the city. It isn't even finished yet so it'll be even taller still one day.
We managed a trip to the Barcelona zoo on one day which was pretty cool, they even had a dolphin show, yay!
The highlight of our stay in Barcelona was definitely the several tapas bars we spent some time (and some money-whoops) in. It is pretty hard for us to sit at a bar with a bottle of wine and the most amazing food lined up in front of us and not stuff ourselves silly. After having visited the markets and seeing all the fresh (still crawling) shellfish and seafood it was great to drop into a tapas bar and sample some of it.
On Friday we trained it up to Girona which is the town closest to the airport used by Ryanair (Ryanair is Europe's biggest budget airline-very handy). We spent a day and a half wandering around Girona which was an amazing place full of winding cobbled roads and topped with two massive cathedrals and placed alongside a river choc full of carp. As we didn't really know much about Girona before we turned up it was a really nice surprise to find such a pretty town.
The following day we headed out to the airport to meet Gavin and Marius, two guys from the George, and we all got picked up by Big D to head for the South of France.
Gav and Marius were both down to do some work on Mr Clark's house in Collioure and we just tagged along for a night, a fantastic night at that.
We started at Cafe Sola for a few beers and some yummy ham and cheese tapas thingos, catching up with Mr Clark and hearing from Gav all the goss we'd missed from being away for four nights. Mr Clark spends most of his time in France and seems to know everyone in the 2500 pop. town so there was lots of introductions and handshakings.
We then headed for a nearby pizza joint for tea after which Mr Clark headed home and we headed back to Cafe Sola for some more beers and some weird cocktail thing the barman kept feeding us.
We had been told of a local bar to visit by Mr Clark so we made it our next stop. The bar has been decorated in Art Deco style and was great, when we entered everyone was up dancing at the bar and singing along to a French song, the place had a great atmosphere, hard to describe and the middle aged owner/barman kept flicking everyone with water from champagne glasses. By this stage we were getting along nicely and Adam, Eva and Marius decided to give Gav a bit of a dance lesson. Two Aussies and a Pole dancing with a Scot in the South of France, funny stuff.
Not meaning to put a downer on the sound of this holiday-it was great- but getting off the plane in Glasgow in the freezing cold rain was quite a low point, we can see why people don't smile as much here as in Spain or France!