Barcelona – A Hen Do After She Said I Do
According to Wikipedia a Hen Do or a Bachelorette party is a party held for a woman who is about to get married. It is modeled after the Bachelor party, historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding. Hen parties were uncommon until the mid-1980’s and they are not at all common in Brazil.
As it turned out the Bride was already married when we set off for a long weekend of debauchery in Barcelona mid May 2014, but this Hen Do was not, in fact, your typical Hen Do with crazy games, male strippers, and serious alcohol consumption, although the later was indulged by some more than others…you know who you are.
In any case, whatever happened in Barcelona WILL STAY IN BARCELONA, but I thought I would put together a collection of some of the things we got up to during our long weekend away in the beautiful Catalonian capital.
We left London early on Friday morning (16/05/14) from Gatwick. There were 9 of us : Caroline (bride) and her 3 friends Fabiola (Brazilian), Servula (Brazilian) and Victoria (University friend and organizer of the hen do), Carol’s mother in law Vanessa and her friend Beverly, myself, my sister Virginia (bride’s aunties) and my daughter Chloe (Carol’s cousin).
We stayed at some lovely apartments not far from Las Ramblas. We rented 3 apartments: I shared with Virginia and Chloe, Vanessa and Beverly shared another and Caroline, Servula, Fabiola and Victoria shared the top floor apartment.
Our first planned activity was a tapas tasting session at a lovely and traditional Spanish Restaurant. It was a great place and we managed to get a table outdoors since it was a sunny day with pleasant temperatures. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful, but I think we made a bit of a mistake here…we left it up to the waiter to bring us a selection of tapas since we could not make our minds up for what we wanted and so he made some suggestions and of course he chose the expensive selection, and he kept bringing more and tastier Tapas. But they were truly yummy and I loved them all. The sangria was also very nice, or so I was told since I don’t drink alcohol and had orange juice instead. Few jugs of sangria later and we nearly fell off our chairs when the bill arrived, literally!
Since I don’t drink alcohol, I was the only sober one, boring…I know, of the group and just as well, since after our feast of delicious tapas, Victoria took us back to the apartments, to give us the instructions for our next activity. A game of “find the tourist attraction and have your photo taken with a ridiculously large inflatable“. We were separated into groups of 2: Virginia and me, Servula and Fabiola, Carol and Chloe, Vanessa and Beverly.
Victoria handed each team a “HOLA” bag, hello in Spanish and also the bride has a nickname of Lola, which contained a map of the attractions + inflatables. The rules were that the team that got most silly pictures in front of the designated tourist attractions would win.
My heart sank, for starters, I can’t read a map and judging by the state of my partner Virginia, tipsy on sangria, she could not read a map either, in fact, Virginia could not stop laughing. Pleading eyes towards Victoria were a waste of time as she ruthlessly sent us on our way and then joined team Carol and Chloe (now…guess the team that won this particular game?) yes you guessed it Carol and Chloe of course, I wonder if having Victoria had anything to do with that ha ha ha?
Virginia and I decided to walk…or rather stagger down to Las Rambla and managed to find it by asking various people for directions, as we walked around we got a little distracted with this very interesting place. There were all sorts of things going on here. It is very lively area with street artists, music, human statues etc.
Since we could not make any sense of that silly map, we thought that the best way to get to our first tourist attraction was to cheat a little bit and get a cab, but even with our cheating and getting into a cab, we still lost miserably and only managed to snap one picture in front of the beautiful Gaudi masterpiece The Sagrada Familia. Gaudi spent the last years of his life in the construction of this amazing church. The work is not yet finished, but even with all the scaffolding and building work going on it is a stunning building and a church unlike any other.
On Friday night, at the end of our first day in Barcelona some of the girls went to see a Flamenco Show, but unfortunately I was just too tired and decided to have an early night, Chloe and Virginia also decided to call it a night, since the next day was going to be busy again.
Day 2 was the highlight for me, Victoria organized a fabulous boat trip. It was amazing to see Barcelona from the water. We had our own power boat complete with our very own Capitan, drinks were also included.
After such exhilarating boat ride we needed some food and a rest, we walked along the beach for a place to eat and after our meal, we relaxed at the beach for a while enjoying the sunshine and warm temperature.
After some time to chill out and relax we decided to go for drinks at the IceBarcelona, it seems Ice Bars are becoming very popular all over the world. I have been few times to the Ice Bar in London and have enjoyed the novelty of it. The Barcelona Ice-bar is very similar, and as you get in you are given warm coat and gloves. Everything inside the bar is made of ice, including the ice-glasses that you are given with a shot of complimentary vodka, there are different flavors to chose from. It was rather bizarre that only a few minutes ago we were just across the road enjoying the warm sun and the beach. Some of us started regretting to be wearing flip flops and shorts. But it was great fun.
On our last night in Barcelona, we started the evening with cocktails at a rooftop bar, followed by a lovely meal and games at a posh restaurant. The poor bride endured a game of Mr. and Mrs., but she did well and proved to know her groom extremely well.
Early Sunday morning we caught our flight back to Blighty. We were all bleary-eyed and very tired, poor Virginia had a very bad stomach ache throughout the night and so she spent the flight home holding a sick bag. I drove her back to her home in London, since I had left my car parked at the airport, and then made my on way back to Dorset.
I will definitely go back to Barcelona to explore further, it’s a wonderful city and a weekend is not enough to fully appreciate all that this great city has to offer.