Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We Want to Go with Oh to Barcelona!




We loved Barcelona when we first visited in 2008 and have been itching to go back ever since. Because Barcelona is a city that is, quite simply, alive. In Barcelona there is a sense of more. More colour, more sunshine, more flavour, more life. It has energy, personality, charm. It appeals to everyone - artists, athletes, adventurists. It is urban and seaside. Young and old. It's everything you expect it to be, and nothing like you thought it was. And we can't wait to discover it all over again.


When we get to BARCELONA we want to:

1. TAKE THE PAELLA CHALLENGE. You know what they say, those who cook together stay together. Or something like that. Either way, a love of cooking is something that this art history student and thrill seeker have in common. That, and the love of a good competition. So when we heard about Barcelona's Paella Challenge our response was immediate: Yes, please!

We'll start the Paella Challenge with a tour of Boquiera market, getting tips on selecting and using local, seasonal products. Then we'll go head to head with other cooking teams in a private kitchen in the Gothic Quarter, preparing a three course meal with a given set of ingredients and a tight time limit. Our vocabulary might be a bit rusty, but we'll take the competition up a notch by opting for the more difficult option of having the paella instructions provided to us in Spanish! ¿Es pot passar la sal?

To the winner - the spoils. And extra helpings of our favourite Spanish dish.

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2. TAKE TO THE SEA. Barcelona is a young, vibrant, and active city, and its atmosphere is contagious. This makes it the perfect place to try something new, and perhaps even a little daring. When we Go with Oh to its flagship city we'll take to the sea, kitesurfing along Barceloneta, the city's urban beach. With spectacular views of the city, the water, and the sand sprawling before you, this is perhaps one of the most picturesque cities in the world to leave your worries on the shore. We'll warm up before kitesurfing at the Barceloneta's outdoor gym, and cool down afterwards at Icebarcelona - the city's beachside ice bar.

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3. TAKE A LIFE DRAWING CLASS. Barcelona boasts of a rich artistic history, and has provided inspiration to such influential Spanish artists as Joan MirĂ³, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Antoni Tapies. Viewing their works in museums is an unforgettable occasion, but what better way to fully experience the art of Barcelona than to actually put pencil to paper in a Barcelonan life drawing class? Jess studied fine arts briefly in university and will return to the studio to experience this completely unique immersion in Catalan art. As a perk, she'll also get to meet local artists and pick their brains about Barcelona's contemporary art scene.

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4. TAKE A HIKE. Montserrat literally means 'jagged/serrated mountain' in Catalan, and it's not hard to see why. Just an hour by train from Barcelona, this multi-peaked mountain is home to the Benedictine Abbey Santa Maria de Montserat, known for its famous Virgin statue. We'll travel by train, cable car, and funicular to ascend the mountain, where we'll check out the abandoned hovels in the cliff faces that reclusive monks used to live in. Then we'll hike to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak of Montserrat at 1,200 m/4,000 ft above sea level. It's a long way up, but the view is worth it.

On our way back into the city we'll stop by the Sagrada Familia for a photoshoot with our Oh car. And after all that hiking, we'll be happy to return to our Oh-Barcelona apartment and put up our feet with a glass of sangria. We love this pet friendly pad - isn't that Gaudi mural fantastic?


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5. TAKE A RIDE. We hear that Barcelona is a very bike-friendly city, with over 120 kms of bike paths. So when we Go with Oh to Barcelona we plan on taking full advantage of this. We will peddle through the city at sunset, exploring the Gothic Quarter, waving to Columbus in the Old Harbour, taking in Gaudi's masterpiece in progress, and making our way to the Olympic Port. And we want you to be right by our side, which is why we'll be capturing our tour on video to share with you.

We'll end the night at the Magic Fountain, built for the Great Universal Exhibition in 1929, for a spectacular musical show. Water, colour, music - it's a beautiful symbol of what Barcelona is all about.

BONUS: When you book with Oh-Barcelona you benefit from discounts on over 50 awesome attractions and tours around the city, this bike tour (and Icebarcelona, see above) included!

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Did you know Barcelona is Oh's flagship site? Yes, it all started here, in a tiny office of 25m², 15 years ago. 1,000,000 room nights later, Oh is the trusted host of savvy travellers in 10 European cities. Pretty impressive. So of course, when we Go with Oh to Barcelona we want to meet the Oh team. We hear they are an international (and well traveled) bunch. And we love meeting people who are passionate about where they live. We can't wait to swap stories and travel tips with them over tapas at a local's bar (any recommendations?)

Can you help us Go with Oh to Barcelona? Send a tweet or email (they're pre-loaded with messages - easy!) or create a Facebook post to let Go with Oh know we're the best bloggers for them. 


Not only do we have a great story to share, but Go with Oh wants to help you get the most out of what Europe has to offer. And we live that motto everyday.


With Go with Oh, there's something for everyone. Get in on the fun! Tweet your best Berlin travel tips to @GowithOh for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. You can also enter to win one of four fantastic travel prizes - Samsonite luggage, an iPad, a Panasonic camera, or  €500 worth of holiday accomodation - on their Facebook site. What are you waiting for?

- Mike & Jess


psst...are you a pinner? We've also created the #GowithOh tag on Pinterest. Head on over to check out our #GowithOh board for great travel ideas, and tweet us if we've missed your favourite.

6 comments :

  1. Fabulous post for a fabulous city. I blogged about my trip to Barcelona, too, since it was really inspiring! Have fun!

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    1. Thanks Igor! Would love to read your post about Barcelona, could you send us a link?

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  2. This looks like an amazing opportunity! Good luck!

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    1. Thank you Verge! And once again, thanks for featuring our blog this winter.

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  3. Barcelona is a beautiful city! Not one of my favorites out of all the cities I visited in Europe, but if I had the chance I would definitely go again! :)

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