We landed from India into Europe, exhausted facing a cold, grey, wet Barcelona. Brrrrr.
Was it really necessary to pay the extra premium for the apartment with an outdoor pool? It certainly seemed worth it when we were booking it, sweltering in 40° Indian heat. But now we're here in drizzly 19° European spring, it feels rather foolishly optimistic.
Thankfully the rain was just a brief shower, a slight drizzle, a mere sea fret (I do love how many noun phrases we have for precipitation). Whatever you called it, It didn't last long and we enjoyed some serious seconds in the pool. I think that's about how long it took the kids to swim to the side and haul their soft selves out of the chilly waters having jumped in at the deep end. Brrrrr again.
The following day we flew to Ibiza, after checking the job vacancies at the English School we passed on the way to the airport! Are we ready to give up this amazing life and settle back in the UK. Time's running out for the jury on that one. We were meeting up with Riles and Lizzie in Ibiza, well to be precise, me and the kids were meeting Lizzie and her kids,, whilst the Dad's attempted to survive a stag do on the party isle.
We'd last seen the Riley's in Sydney, where they had kindly lent us a car and their camping gear for an awesome trip to Treachery Bay.
Camping in Treachery was just a tiny bit different from the villa in Playa d’en Bossa. Perhaps a wee bit quieter. But as it turned out both were fun! We'd hired a villa just a short walk from the beach complete with an outdoor pool (solar heated, brrrrr….) and four bedrooms so for the first time in some months we had the luxury of a separate room from the kids.
One thing we've certainly gotten used to during our time away together is a closeness that comes whether you like it or not from spending every waking hour and most of your sleeping hours together. No snore goes unheard, no trump goes unblamed on Otto, except Donald, obviously.
Now, Ibiza was not high on my list of European family destinations, but circumstances had brought us here, Kaney, and we, the left behind mums, were going to find the alternative to the club scene and attempt to have a fun family filled holiday, albeit for only six days.
The white isle did surpass my expectations and many of my fears were allayed. Turns out, it doesn't have to be horrendously expensive and there is stuff to do for kids. Even the party beach of Playa d'en Bossa was pretty peaceful, at least in the mornings. The afternoons on Bossa beach did see a slightly unusual sight. From about 2pm onwards there began a parade of single sex groups, walking up or down the beach with a purpose. Elsewhere beaches are generally populated by people laid prone, impersonating starfish, most definitely stationery and thoroughly relaxed, soaking up the sun, but not here. Everyone seemed to be going somewhere although it wasn't obvious where. Perhaps there were some secret party destinations at either end of the beach and the revellers were marching between them or perhaps it was an en-mass desperate search for a spot on the beach free from the seaweed that kept ruining those perfect selfie shots. Whatever they were up to, it made for some fun people watching opportunities for those of us who were contently sedate. Or at least it did, once we'd put aside our anxiety that one of the groups of posing pedestrians might just be the stag party, tiny pink briefs and all!
Thankfully no contact was made and when we weren't building and burying with sand on the beach, much of our days were filled in games of hide and seek and tiggy off ground around the villa. It was lovely for the kids to all meet up again. One of the sad truths of longer term travel for the kids is despite meeting hundreds of friends of all different nationalities, they often never see them again, so it was wonderful for the children to call catch up with Charlie & Oliver again and to see them all getting on so well together, plus it allowed Lizzie and I to have a holiday too!
Another highlight was the kids arena on the way from our villa to the beach. Inexpensive, and replete with trampolines, electric cars, indoor soft play and a great high ropes course for 4yrs and up. It was great!
Once the dad's arrived, somewhat broken from the stag, we ventured out and about a bit. We hit the nudist, gay, family friendly beach (only in mainland Europe can all these coexist). Plus, we found sanctity in the old town where a storming of the fort led by balloon swords was the rowdiest thing by far.
The old town is beautiful, full of windy cobbled streets and great restaurants. The freezing boat ride around from Bossa was definitely worthwhile.
All too soon our six days of fun was at an end and yet another goodbye was on the cards. The Riley's were flying back to London, ironically our habitational town before our adventure begins and we were back to Barcelona.
We stayed for a few days with a fun family in the hills north of the city in Terrassa, famed for the Castellers, these are the death defying human pyramid towers popular in the region. I do love the cultural traditions that involve human endeavour, bravery and an element of physical risk. I'm a firm believer that we humans don't push our bodies enough to fulfill our potential (me, massively included in this). It's great to see the risks of human towers standing five rows high! Bravo!
A brief return to Barcelona for us to ponder again the possibility of making it our permanent home. In other words, Mikey checked the late night transport back from the Nou Camp and I chatted to parents in the park. Undoubtedly, we fell in love with Barcelona, after having a passion for Spain in general. Maybe one day….
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!