It’s 17.30 on Sunday, 7 December 2014 after a long-haul flight from Delhi. By the time we clear customs, collect our bags it’s nearly 19.00 and we catch the tube to our Airbnb flat in North London. The first experience of the London Underground was as expected – timely, fast (enough) and expensive.
We got off the station and then the ordeal began of looking for the flat we were staying at. I still remember it was 5° Celsius and windy. We had two large bags with two smaller hand luggage. I can still recall how tired we both were and the cold felt like it was piercing through our bones. To add to our misery, we didn’t have a local mobile phone, which meant no Google Maps, which meant it took us over 2 hours to find the flat that was only 15 minutes walking distance.
Over the next few days we concentrated on settling down and updating our wardrobe (at Primark, gawd!). While the job search was on, in the spirit of being a true FOMOist we jetted off to Barcelona for Christmas. The plan was to spend Christmas in Barcelona and come to London for New Years.
As the fate would have it, our flight on 29 December was cancelled and we were “stuck in Barcelona” till 2 January 2015. It was possibly the best thing that could have happened, thanks to Easyjet who paid for food, hotel and all other expenses while we were there for the additional 3 days. Needless to mention, a great time was had!
Some of the highlights from Barcelona:
- Tapas – I know it’s a bit unnecessary to mention, but tapas is what only Spanish should do, especially grilled squid in parsley oil = YUM!
- If you’re a fan of seafood, it doesn’t get better than La Paradeta in El born. You point and choose what you’d like cooked for you and devour the seafoody goodness.
- Enjoy a glass (or a bottle) of wine at Bastaix in El Born. It is an atmospheric little wine bar in front of Santa Maria Del Mar church with excellent range of wines and great range of food. If you’re lucky enough (thankfully we were), grab the only table upstairs facing the window so you can get a birds eye view of the hustle and bustle of the little square in El Born.
- Everyone knows about the infinite beauty of Barcelona Cathedral and awe-inspiring architecture of Sagrada Familia, but one of our favourite piece of Gaudi architecture was Casa Battlo. It is a residential block of flats that was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is still occupied by its dwellers.
This trip to Barcelona proved to Mrs FOMOist (Gee) and I that the months of planning, the fear of uprooting ourselves and moving to an unknown city without any friends, family or jobs, the freezing cold, the numerous layers of clothing, my very first experience of wearing long johns was worth the gamble.
3 thoughts on “London and first taste of Europe”