I won't lie. It's not easy leaving 21, 22 degree warmth and sunshine and arriving home to 10, 11 degree cold, fog and rain! The mountain of laundry wasn't a pleasant sight this morning either.
On the plus side I now know I have a higher cycling (and saddle pain) threshold than I previously thought. The trick was to get back on the saddle the next day and keep going! Although it feels as though we did every square inch of Barcelona I am pretty sure we've left plenty for a return visit.
As usual, holidays teach you a lot about your family; not least of all how they handle being stuck in an extremely small, extremely hot lift. One with panic (it's E's worst nightmare come true), one with humour (J wrote a naughty word in the condensation of the mirror), one with slightly uncharacteristic British manners, M said, very politely, in response to the silly man's request to be patient; 'I don't wish to be patient, it's too hot to be patient, please hurry up!' And finally, ever practical, all I could think of was that my damn shoes weren't going to be suitable for breaking the tiny window for some air, but I was happy to break my elbow if it came to it.
Thankfully we escaped before window breaking was necessary and were able to laugh about it. As it happens we then discovered, and not for the first time, that photographs of hotels and rooms in Barcelona can be particularly misleading. We found ourselves in the unfortunate position of being without a hotel at all at 11pm at night. Luckily we found a cafe with wifi and were able to book something a taxi ride away with one minute to spare before the websites would only have taken bookings for the following night. The following morning we found a gem of a hotel back in the area that we wanted to be and booked it for the rest of the holiday.
We were next to a wonderful cafe for coffee and croissants each morning. Bike hire was very close too. The best find, however, was a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of gluten free options, lots of choices that the children loved, beautifully presented and all health conscious dishes. Jake would live on smoothies and fresh fruit platters if he could.
I may have bought a few woolly souvenirs! I need the gloom to lift a little before I can photograph them!