Barcelona – Bicycles, protests, and Conrad

A few days of R&R in a Barcelona hostel killed the first few days of my wait until heading over to Ibiza for the wedding. I had allowed 21 days to make the journey down, which seemed like a sensible idea having never done any long distance cycle touring before, so I was suitably satisfied at my 15 days.

First on the agenda was finding a suitable establishment that could deal with the repairs to Claudette’s bottom bracket and headset. Some handy internet searching from back home led me to Espaibici in Barcelona city centre. Thankfully, I was taken pity on and a enthusiastic worker chatted through my issues in English, assured me that Claudette was in good hands. I wondered off through Barcelona, readjusting to the concept of having to walk places for the next few days.

My visit to Barcelona had coincided with protests against the high rate of unemployment. These took over many central parts of the city, and I happily spent several days wondering through, soaking up the excitement, anger, and energy.


The hostel was not without it’s entertainment, and falling in with set of American firefighters on holiday made for a dangerous drinking combination. The afternoon after one particularly big night out, I was wondering around Barcelona feeling  decidedly sorry for myself, when my good friends Conrad rang me and announced he had just arrived. I was confused. Unbeknown to myself, Conrad and I had spoken the previous evening, and made the last minute, unplanned plan that he would fly out to Barcelona the following day and we’d tear up Barcelona together. So he did, and Conrad and I in a hostel bar is even more dangerous than the firefighters. Another big night, followed by a terrible day. Conrad sums it up.


The ferry to Ibiza beckoned, and Claudette collected, and cycling better than ever before after some great work by Espaibici, I was off. Half the hostel decided to catch the same ferry, which made for another rather messy evening.


I couldn’t wait to go to the wedding and have an opportunity to sober up.



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