So time to own up: this global traveler is 50 in 2015 and after a cracking 40th birthday celebration with the boys in Nice, Barcelona has been chosen to fly the flag for destinations looking to attract the mid-life pound!
Our rather high-ranking group of revellers will include gentlemen from the armed forces, the UN, the government, the city and industry so we will be spending the occasion in the finer restaurants and attractions of Barcelona rather than getting down and dirty with the Stags.
Several of our gang have been before, so we know what is what and we know that, whatever the rest of the weekend will hold, the last morning will be spent at Maremagnum in the middle of Port Vell, buying pressies for the families who have let us all off the leash for the weekend!
La Marina en Barcelona area plays a large part in the city’s tourist offering with the Maratime Museum and the Museum of the history of Catalonia plus entertainment centres such as the Barcelona Imax and its huge Aquarium, but round past the Imax and the Aquarium, or across the floating bridge called the La Rambla de Mar, a link which takes visitors from the marina to the famous las Ramblas, is the city’s rather swish shopping, dining and entertainment centre, Maremagnum with its own restaurants, cinemas and shops.
As you will see from the pictures it holds a fantastic position in the city, comanding excellent seaside views (if you can tear your gaze away from the racks and shelves of international brands covering jewellry, fashion, footwear, tech and interior design). Football fans will also be interested to know that FC Barcelona have their official merchandise shop here too.
The range of restaurants is just as eclectic: Spanish tapas rub shoulders with Asian street food, modern American burger joints and stylish cocktails bars.
My destination of choice is the Terrace at Maremagnum where visitors are treated to a 360 degree view of the city and the sea whilst being entertained by a variety of events throughout the year. As I write Downtown Christmas market is filling the space but you can expect concerts, workshops and other pop-up events .
Access is really easy too with shops being open from 10am to 10pm every day of the year so unless our flight is really early (which I guarantee it wont be) we will be able to spend a few pleasant hours there before we head home to the wives and the family.
For those arriving by car (you might need a big boot for the shopping) get off at exit 22 of Ronda Litoral, you will find 24 hour parking if you get distracted!
Public transport is also good (it is, let’s face it right at the heart of Barcelona!) with a huge number of buses coming past. Look out for L3 Drassanes or L4 Barceloneta if the Barcelona Metro is your preferred mode of transport.