* February mini-tour *


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Hola.. :)

Sorry it's taken so long to get this on here but hey... Better late than never! :p

Right, it all began way back on 3rd February as I boarded the 6:00am bus to Dublin Airport.

It was gonna be a long 10 days..

Friday 3rd February

I arrived at around 8:30am and sat about for a bit before making my way through security and to the gate. Unfortunately I had WAY overpacked my 1 holdall that I use for hand luggage, to the point that it would not fit in the stupid Ryanair trolley. I gave up trying to beat it in and removed my laptop, paid the 40 euro to check the bag on and retreated to the plane to listen to the Carl Cox morning set from Space Closing Fiesta last year.

As usual, the views over the Pyrenees were amazing!!!!! 8)

Just over 2hrs later and it was touchdown in sunny ( but freezing ) Barcelona. After eventually finding the airport shuttle bus I made my way into the centre of Barcelona, arriving at Plaza De Catalunya...

I spent the next few hours taking the open top bus tour. Unfortunately I made the mistake of sitting upstairs so I proceeded to freeze my balls off for the next 2/3hrs, wearing a glove on one hand and not on the other hand so I could use my iphone for photos. :lol:

Met up with my friend and the drinking soon commenced. We all headed out for a bar crawl in Barcelona that night but as we were leaving a bar some bloke stumbled into me. I assumed he was drunk until I heard my friend shouting at me to check my wallet... It was gone!!!! The scumbag had stolen it!!

Before running off with some other shady characters he then strangely threw it back again and it landed at my feet. I picked it up and checked it to find that he'd stolen 60euro, ticket for the Barcelona match the next night, ticket for the Nou Camp tour, ticket for the Santiago Bernabeu tour and return bus ticket from Dublin back home. :evil:

A pair of cops arrived and despite my friend explaining to them that I'd just been robbed all they could tell her was..

"Yeah, this kind of thing happens in Barcelona unfortunately."

Then they walked off!! :spank:

This put a downer on the rest of the night but we carried on with the bar crawl until around 3:00am.

Saturday 4th February

Time to act like a tourist.. :lol:

I witnessed so much of this beautiful city, from Sagrada Familia to the Olympic diving pool up on the hills, Barceloneta beach, La Rambla, amazing architecture and so on....

Day had all too quickly turned into night and it was time for the Nou Camp to see Barcelona play Real Sociedad. I decided I wasn't going to let one scumbag ruin my holiday so i'd decided to buy all my tickets again after being told by Nou Camp ticket office earlier in the day that despite me having proof of my purchased ticket from THEIR OWN WEBSITE on my phone in the form of an email ( containing my seat number etc ) that i needed the paper ticket and they were incapable of using their printer to print me another ticket.

This was my seat...

The stadium only ended up about half full and there wasn't much atmosphere which was slightly disappointing. Barcelona won 2-1.


After stopping off at a shop on the way back I noticed these...


Sunday 5th February

Not much happened as I didn't get out of bed until nearly 3:00pm due to the hangover. We went straight to the bar for the rugby/football and more drinks. This was followed by another bar crawl until around 1am when I had to check into my 1st hotel of the holiday.

I'd definitely recommend the Barcelo Raval to anyone who is staying in Barcelona. The room was very nice and soundproofed so I had my laptop speakers blasting out oldschool tunes until about 4:00am as I emptied half the mini-bar. The bill the next morning was a decent 140 euros.

Monday 6th February

I left my bag in the hotel as I went to do the Nou Camp tour this afternoon. What an amazing stadium!!!!!!

Made it back to the hotel, grabbed my bag and set off for the airport. Next stop... IBIZA!!! :D:D

Arrived at the airport and this is when I started to feel the effects of a seriously bad cold coming on but I struggled on, rearranged the stuff in my bag and literally beat the bag into the Ryanair baggage checker which earned me a round of applause from the queue for Stuttgart which was the next gate down.

Just under an hour later and it was back to the greatest place on Earth!!!

No, not the airport... IBIZA!! :lol::D

I gave up on the idea of getting the bus to San Antonio so grabbed a taxi across, checked into Tarba ( again ) and stuck on the remainder of the Liverpool v Spurs match. After that I got an early night.

Tuesday 7th February

Up to early to take delivery of my rented mountain bike for the next 4 days, grab a quick breakfast ( struggling to deal with the pain I was having with my throat by now.. Dry toast maybe wasn't the best thing to be eating :lol: ) and out on the road to Es Vedra via a few different routes.




Magical place and I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who doesn't understand what I mean.

I could sit here for hours. Actually, that's exactly what I did.

Wednesday 8th February

Up early again and out on the road again by 10:00am. Todays plan was to find, with the help of McRackin's directions, Festival Club. Glad to report that I accomplished the mission!!!

Cheers McRackin! 8)


Even with the instructions it was still a bit difficult to find but well worth it!

Went down south a bit further but after seeing this..

... I turned back but ended up getting unbelievably soaked on the 1hr cycle back to San Antonio. This rain storm was the worst i've seen in Ibiza!!

Todays funny moment went to the old man in the middle of nowhere who was talking to sheep as I cycled past and then again as I cycled back past the same spot a few hours later, there he was.. In deep conversation, it seemed, with the flock of sheep...

Thursday 9th February

Todays plan was to climb Sa Capelleta and see different areas around the south coast.

Morning after the rain in San Antonio..


Does anyone know what the deal is with that house near Benimussa with the big tent in the garden and the green stickers stuck all over the area? I noticed a few of these green stickers on the back of a few cars as well... Hippies??

After coming down Sa Capelleta I cycled to the remaining areas of the south coast that I hadn't been to before...

**spot the hut for the fishing boat**


Then back through the mountains to San Antonio..

Although, on the way back I unfortunately came across 2 guard dogs which were out roaming about the mountain road by themselves. I had to get past them to get to San Antonio so I tried to go as fast as I could as I passed them but one of them started chasing along beside me. It actually looked like it would rip my leg off so as a last resort ( as I was tiring ) I kicked out to the side with my foot and it jumped back and wandered off down the road again. Phew!!!

Friday 10th February

Last full day of the bike so another 10:00am start was called for except for the fact that I didn't get up until 12:00pm. :spank:

So I decided to head to Es Vedra again and then to Es Boldado for something to eat.

I stopped off at Sunset Ashram first to take in the scenery!




When I got to Es Vedra I couldn't be bothered getting food anymore. Partly because I wasn't that hungry but mostly because I realised that I was going to have to watch my money carefully after spending so much in Barcelona.

Luckily I arrived just around the corner from Blue Marlin as a plane was coming into land.


Soon after I made my way back to Sunset Ashram where I had decided to catch the sunset. Some amazing photos followed....

A quick getaway was made back to San Antonio to have a chilled night and pack my stuff.

Saturday 11th February

This is what greeted me when I was leaving San Antonio for the airport...

I later found out that this was the day before San Antonio beach was covered in snow.

So once again when I leave Ibiza the weather turns bad... This happens every time I leave! You should all just chip in and buy me a villa so i'll not have to leave and then the weather will stay warm! :lol::p

Another quick flight of around an hour or so awaited me. For the remainder of my flights, starting with this one, I decided to wear most of my clothes rather than take a chance at having to pay another 40 euro to check the bag on. Looking back on it, what followed was quite comical. I boarded the plane wearing 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of combat shorts, 2 pairs of jeans, 4 t-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 Adidas top and 1 black wool jacket. Roasting doesn't even come close to describe the flight!! It was sad to leave Ibiza though...


But it was onwards to Madrid for the final leg of my mini-tour...


First impressions of Madrid were that it was big!!! Really, really big!! It took me nearly 2hrs to get out of the airport! Seriously!! :lol::spank:

Anyway, a shuttle bus and a few metro stops later and I was at my last hotel of the trip.

My hotel room was actually an apartment ( Muralto Apartmentos Madrid ) and it was seriously good value at 80 euro for 2 nights. In fact, it was actually exceptional for the price!! To this day I still think they've got their prices wrong.

I grabbed a few maps at reception, asked directions for the Santiago Bernabeu and set off to do the tour. Huge!!! That's all I can say!


This was only a small part of the trophy collection...

Also, the 9 European cups!!

After the tour I took a walk around a bit of Madrid. Stunning city although it didn't feel as cosmopolitan as Barcelona, which I still prefer.

Sunday 12th February

Today was the chance to do as much sight-seeing as I could before the Real Madrid match later on in the night. I got myself a ticket on the hop on, hop off tour bus. I think it was around 24 euro which is decent enough considering you're allowed on and off as many times as you like and there are 2 different routes which are also interchangeable.

The first stop was the official residence of the King of Spain.


Once again, there was stunning examples of architecture everywhere you look.

I also took the cable car over the park and back. Great price at 6 euro..


I only had a couple of hours to go before the match so I headed back to the hotel, got changed, relaxed, got some food and drinks and then left for the match.

This was far more enjoyable than the Barcelona match ( Bernabeu almost full, better atmosphere, better football, more goals ).


It ended up Real Madrid 3 - 1 Levante... Ronaldo got a hat-trick and here's his first ( a penalty after Levante are reduced to 10 men ).


After the match it was a mad rush for the metro, which was bunged!! I made it back to the hotel and took it easy for the rest of the night.

Monday 13th February

Up early to pack, check out and make my way to the airport ( i got lost again for nearly an hour and just about made it to my gate in time ). The 2hr flight back to Dublin flew in, literally.. :lol::lol:

Then after a 30 mins wait for the bus I was on the 3hr journey back home again.

This was a great holiday!! 10/10 even though I got mugged, had to spend an extra £300 more than I planned and almost died from the flu ( slight exaggeration ).

The total cost was just under £1500 for 4 flights, return bus journey, food, drink, 2 Barcelona tickets, 2 Nou Camp tour tickets, 2 Santiago Bernabeu tour tickets, 1 Real Madrid ticket, 2 bus tour tickets ( Barcelona and Madrid ), 1 night in 4* Barcelona hotel with half the mini-bar consumed, 5 nights in Tarba hostel in Ibiza, 4 days of mountain bike rental, Ibiza taxi from airport, buses, Barcelona and Madrid metro tickets and 2 nights in 4* Madrid apartment.

Full photos ( 324 )..


Videos ( Barcelona )..


Videos ( Ibiza )..


Videos ( Madrid )..


To be honest i wasn't going to put the review up after having some family stuff recently but I hope you all appreciate it...

Enjoy! 8)
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Amazing pics, footage and story Ric - thanks for posting it all up. Sterling effort especially the weather, illness and bouncing back from having your stuff nicked. Button-down pockets and one hand on your wallet at all times when out and about on the pish, mate - no point taking chances ;). Still, looking on the bright side at least you didn't get relieved of your camera this time :lol:.

The minibar bit made me laugh. Stayed in Lisbon once with a mate of mine who couldn't keep his hands off the minatures in his room and cleaned the whole thing out in one night by himself. When we checked out we were asked if anything had been consumed from our minibars. He simply replied, honestly, "yes ... the minibar !"

Cala Conta sunset looked lovely. We nearly went there on Tuesday as I wanted a last swim somewhere awesome, but the heat was out of the sun by then (after 5pm) and with no shortie wetsuit, wimped out on the idea :rolleyes:.


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your review at last!! :D

:arrow: http://www.casitaverde.com/

good to hear you finally found festival club.....

better late than never i suppose... :)

so hippies then... :lol:

great review and pictures!!!

cheers... :)

Fantastico! *as always*

btw, that crap vino,don't do it !!

cheers.. :)

Amazing pics, footage and story Ric - thanks for posting it all up. Sterling effort especially the weather, illness and bouncing back from having your stuff nicked. Button-down pockets and one hand on your wallet at all times when out and about on the pish, mate - no point taking chances ;). Still, looking on the bright side at least you didn't get relieved of your camera this time :lol:.

The minibar bit made me laugh. Stayed in Lisbon once with a mate of mine who couldn't keep his hands off the minatures in his room and cleaned the whole thing out in one night by himself. When we checked out we were asked if anything had been consumed from our minibars. He simply replied, honestly, "yes ... the minibar !"

Cala Conta sunset looked lovely. We nearly went there on Tuesday as I wanted a last swim somewhere awesome, but the heat was out of the sun by then (after 5pm) and with no shortie wetsuit, wimped out on the idea :rolleyes:.

aye, i've been advised that my wallet should stay in my front jeans pocket at all times next time i'm in Barcelona.. i'm never gonna live this camera thing down am i.. :lol::lol:

watching the sunset at Sunset Ashram was great.... i sat on a wee balcony/windowsill type thing which was sheltered from the wind and had the sun directly in front of me for about 2hrs.. cycle back was a bit cold though..


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i've decided to do a combined review of opening/closing parties... at some stage.. :lol::lol:8)
Ric I loved reading through your review, and coupled with the excellent photo's as well8)

Shame I didn't get to meet you at DC10 closing party;)