Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Barcelona, Spain: NYE in Catalana

I arrived in Barcelona just after midnight on what was now technically New Years Eve. Once I was all checked into to the hostel I was informed that Barcelona was going to have it first fireworks NYE celebration since the new millennium celebration 14 years earlier. I was incredibly buggered and wanted to be well rested before NYE in one of the worlds most famous party cities so I was off to bed.

After the hostel finished going through a map of the sights with a group of us I only had one, although very important, question... "Where is the nearest 100 Montaditos?" I ended up at a Basque Pintxo chain for lunch that just happened to have 0.70 Euro beers and 1 Euro pintxos on Tuesdays. I decided to create my own NYE event on Couchsurfing starting at this bar at 8:30pm. My first day in the city and I'm already organising parties... what could possibly go wrong? Before the party commenced I met up with Pau, a Barcelona local that attended one of my CS BBQs while living in Brisbane, for a tour. On this tour I discovered it was a Catalan custom to wear red underpants on NYE for good luck. So once I returned to my hostel I went into the bathroom only holding a red pair of underpants and came out holding a blue pair... now I had a genuine reason to ask everyone "What colour panties are you wearing?"... and I did.

The Party!

About 20 people had confirmed their attendance. I arrived at the bar to discover it was now closed. The first person I messaged the bad news to invited me to hostel to help him drink a bottle of whiskey so I bailed before I met anyone. I managed to recharge my phone, reply to all the messages (well only the ones via spanish SMS and whatsapp) and reorganise to a central location 2 hours later. It turned out to be an awesome night that involved drinking in the street, a bar, pushing people out of a full so the doors could close, running to the fireworks while eating the 12 grapes in 12 seconds (one for each month, Spanish tradition), catching the fireworks, cheap pizza and a club.

That's all I've got
The next couple of days I just chilled out and changed hostels.

I met up with a Barcelona girl that I met in Nice a couple of weeks earlier for a tour and drinks. She has a very interesting and intriguing life. Her weekend "boyfriend" is a pilot  that flies between Dubai and different European cities. She is his weekend "girlfriend". She flies to a different European city every weekend for free with free accommodation... it's one way to travel on a budget.

The next few days I spent exploring Barcelona.

Christopher Columbus pointing the long way to South America

Barcelona is incredibly touristy and expensive compared to the rest of Spain but good if you want to party. Also, as with a lot of Spain the local language isn't Spanish it is Catala/Catalan/Catalunian (in Catalan/English/Spanish).

The bus to Lyon was cheaper than Toulouse so next stop Lyon, France!

Lessons Learnt:
Check a venue will actually be open before organising a party.
Regardless of whether you think something is right or wrong it can still be fun to talk about... in the case above I would probably do the same.
You don't need to be in a city very long to host awesome parties.

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