I know, you’re thinking who on earth are the ‘Butch Girls’? It sounds like it could be some female wrestling tag-team (might have to Google that!).
Let me explain. ‘The Butch Girls’ are my wonderful group of school friends that still keep in touch and do stuff together 31 years after first meeting at secondary school.
I’ve come to learn that this is actually quite unusual, to still be in touch with girls from secondary school. And whilst it’s true that we have been in and out of each other’s lives, especially during our 20s, these girls will undoubtedly always be in my life.
So, why are we called ‘The Butch Girls’? We can’t really remember where it came from. None of us are particularly masculine or as the name may suggest, that we might bat for the other side (or is that the same side?!). I remember the reference ‘Butch Girl’ first came up at my 18th birthday party… a long, long time ago! It seemed to stick and we’ve been ‘The Butch Girls’, ever since! I suppose if you happen to see us strut our stuff to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush’ it might explain it! It really is something to behold!
Anyway, this weekend was time for our annual getaway. I worked out that it’s our eighth year now of doing something together. It started when three of us went to visit one of the ‘Butches’ who now lives in Germany back in 2011 and it carried on from there. We still make Germany a bi-annual thing and visit somewhere different in between – this year it was Barcelona.
Now, I’m not going to give you a blow by blow account of what we got up to in Barcelona – most of it is the classic ‘you had to be there moments’ and we certainly had plenty of those; I’m certainly not going to try and recreate them on a blog. However, I did want to share with you my thoughts on this Spanish city.
We stayed in the Gothic quarter of the city in an apartment which was a stone’s throw away from Dr Stravinsky’s Cocktail bar (just for reference), which actually took us three nights to find as it was so well hidden! It was a perfect location and I recommend staying in this part of the city if you can. Lovely bars and restaurants are close by along with the wonders of the food market and great shopping.
What can I say about Barcelona. It’s so colourful and beautiful… and crazy-full of little streets that you can get lost in. It’s literally like something out of Harry Potter – you get easily get lost in these interconnecting alleys within the Gothic quarter and with my hideous sense of direction, I was just glad there were five others with me who knew their way better than I did!
If you go to Barcelona, I totally recommend grabbing a bike from one of the many hire shops as a way to see the city. We took ourselves down to the beach and cycled along the promenade stopping at a couple of bars for food and drinks, and then more drinks. The sense of freedom felt amazing and so much fun… once you get out of the crazy streets and are able to use the cycle lanes without the fear of crashing into someone!
We learnt during the weekend, whilst sitting with a man in a cafe (we don’t normally sit with men in cafes, but there was only one table left and we kind of gatecrashed it!) that the beach in Barcelona was man made before the Olympics in 1992 to make the city more interesting. They certainly succeeded – it doesn’t feel like you’re in a major European city when you can you cycle to sea and sand just 10 minutes from the city centre. So, if you like sea, sand and sun with your city break, this ticks all the boxes!
You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting the famous Gaudi Cathedral. I have to admit, I’d never heard of it before (architecture isn’t exactly my forte) but this ‘wonder’ of a cathedral is mind blowing! You could literally look at it all day and still find new things. There are mixtures of so many different styles, some beautiful, others odd and some bordering on ‘Vegas’! It has never been finished, but when it is (somewhere around 2026), it will be the tallest of its kind.
Barcelona shopping certainly has something for everyone. If you’re after department stores, you can find them down on the rowdier Las Ramblas, or you can take in the beautiful boutiques which are found in abundance in the Gothic quarter.
On Las Ramblas you will find plenty of tat and weird stuff if that’s what takes your fancy. My particular favourite was packets of plants and flowers that will grow to look like genitalia! Nice! Whereas if you fancy a little accessory treat, like a new bag or scarf (like I did!) then you won’t go far wrong with the little shops that can be found in many of the winding alleys through the city centre. I’m actually a really lazy shopper but even I managed to pick up a couple of pretty little things over the weekend.
With restaurants and bars a plenty, along with shopping, beaches, culture and plenty of red wine and Sangria, I’m pretty sure I will see you again soon Barcelona!
Until next time,
Love & hugs from TOMD xx