FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Last year when I was still in advertising, one of the guys I worked with quit his job, packed up his Land Rover and went with his girlfriend on a 5 month adventure through Africa. They didn't really have much of a plan. They had a map, a tent and craving to discover and explore.
They've documented this awesome adventure on their newly designed blog Pass the map. Jeff taking incredible pictures and Kerryn being beautiful and designing these awesome infographics below from some of the countries they went to.
They also made this flipping amazing stop motion video recording all the place they've taken Andy the Landy. I love it. Their next adventure is to India! So keep checking back for updates.
THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
If you haven't heard already Black Betty is having a pop up shop at LALALUX in Parkhurst. So if you want to go spoil yourself with some jewels today is the last day!
They're open from 10am - 4pm. I think it would be a perfect lunch break activity. Find them on 50 6th Street, Parkhurst (Next to In Good Company).
I got one of their rings ages ago at Mr & Mrs, and I just love the scratched gold look. I picked out a few of my favourites from their new Treacle range below.
Thanks to Black Betty for sending me these beautiful pictures. All taken by Lar Lesley.
WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
(1. Casa Mila 2. Park Guell)
Something you literally can't avoid doing in Barcelona is admiring the many works of Anton Gaudi. His work is all over the city from pavement tiles, to lamp posts to massive structures.
We saw a fair amount of his work, and it's probably the strangest, coolest architecture you'll ever see. When designing he was inspired by nature, so all of his work has a very organic feeling to it. You'll see pillars that look like tree trunks and buildings that look like water.
The one day we walked up to see Casa Mila and went further up the hill to Parc Guell. It was a hot steep walk but it was so worth it to see his work in real life, and explore this incredible public park he built.
We also went into Gaudi's house which was very small, but interesting nonetheless. I wouldn't say it's a must, but it was cool to see some of his furniture design.
Gaudi's ergonomic benches all around the park, they were so comfortable! I was flipping tired at this point of the day.
The awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia, his famous unfinished work.
They started building it about 130 years ago and they estimate that it will only be completed in 2026. Gaudi's joke about this incredible church is that his client isn't in any rush.
I definitely recommend you go inside (with an audio guide), and up one of the towers. The inside is actually complete and it is absolutely incredible. The light, the ceilings and the stories carved into the walls are mind blowing.
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (free entrance after 5pm).
Parque de la Ciudadela (A lovely park for a picnic). We stayed right across the road so went there a few times just to chill.
THURSDAY 29 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
If you're headed to Barcelona on a budget one place you have to know about is La Champañerîa Can Paixano. It's a meat and cava (champagne) bar and was probably the most awesome place we went to in Barcelona.
It's a tiny space so it fills up fast (so you're drinking and eating pretty much shoulder to shoulder with everyone...but thats part of the fun). You slowly make your way to the bar, order your pink Cava (A really delicious Rosé champagne they make themselves) and a Bocadillo (a hot sandwich with chorizo or whatever you like inside), and you enjoy the atmosphere. The Spanish guys behind the counter are always shouting out orders, and constantly pouring champagne - we found the service was excellent - our glasses were never empty ;)
The vibe is amazing. It's loud, the space is so tight and you are forced to make friends with the strangers next to you (Most likely a local or another tourist you can swap stories with). You are guaranteed to spill your champagne (as they fill it to the brim!), and you most likely won't be able to decipher the menu boards (just order a hot Chorizo Bocadillo - it's amazing). Also don't look down, apparently the sign of good bar/restaurant is how dirty the floor is (Don't worry it's mostly wrappers and serviettes and spilt champagne).
A glass of Pink Cava goes for 1 Euro, and a Bocadillo goes for around 1.65 Euro. If you order tapas or croquettes those go up to about 3.50 - still the cheapest tastiest meal you'll have in Barcelona.
La Champañerîa is located near the Barceloneta Beach/metro and it’s on a road Calle Reina Christina. Once you find the road, it may seem like a quiet street - just keep walking til you find it. There's no signage, but you'll know once you've found it!Tip: Get there before 8pm to get a good spot.
TUESDAY 27 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
I visited such an awesome sweet shop in Barcelona called Happy Pills. It is a tiny shop styled like a pharmacy. You get a little pill bottle and can pick and choose your poison. At the till you can also get little stickers for the pill bottles that say "cure for lovesickness", "pills for man flu" etc if it's for a gift.
I wasn't actually supposed to take photos but it was way too cool not to.
FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Dylan's birthday is in a week and I always freak out because I have no idea what to get him. I spotted this incredible Gentlemen's Travel Kit on the House & Leisure blog this morning and design like this makes me weak at the knees.
Here's a little bit more about the background behind this project by Farewell co:
"[This was] A one week project from concept to completion that combines branding, typography and product design into the 'Gentlemans Travel Kit'. The kit incorporates a hand-crafted selection of travelling essentials, that are also available individually. The circle icon with a line through is based on the old Nomad symbol, meaning 'Good Road To Travel'.
These products are all essentials you would keep on you everyday and/or travel with."
For Dyl I particularly love the wooden Opinel knife, the iphone cover and glasses case. What a beautiful brand! Well done guys.
WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
I thought that for my very last post on Barcelona I would do a guide of sorts, and a bit of a round up of the things I loved and would recommend.
If you visit Barcelona in summer the last thing you're going to want to do is spend all your time (and money) in museums so it's best to pick one or two paid and do them properly, and of course do all the free things!
- Gaudi's Barcelona (I wrote a whole post on all the Gaudi's that we saw). You can go into both Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and Sagrada Familia but the tickets are quite expensive so I would do one of them properly. We did Sagrada Familia and loved the views from the towers. The inside was also mind blowing, and something you just HAVE to see if you're there. Apparently they have Jazz nights on the roof of Casa Mila, just look it up as there were none while we were there.
- Artist's museums: I'm ashamed to say we didn't go into any of the Picasso, Miro or Dali museums. I think they are worth it, but after the Tate Modern (London) and the Stedelijk museum (Amsterdam) we had gotten our fair share of modern art. I have heard from so many people that Dali's house is worth the visit (but it's a day trip outside of Barcelona).
- Free sites: There are two public parks as mentioned in this blog post - Parque de la Ciudadela and Parc Guell (Gaudi's park on top of the hill). Here you'll see a lot of beautiful architecture for free :) It's nice place to go for a picnic and a browse.
2. Eating and drinking
There is no such thing as breakfast in Barcelona. You can find a decent coffee or cafe con leche, and a sweet pastry at most of the little cafes and probably only after 10 or 11am (croissants and magdalena's were a staple).
Lunchtime is during siesta so everybody flocks to the coolness of the cafes and restaurants where they serve a set menu for lunch (which include 3 or 4 courses and a drink!). It was a bit confusing in the beginning but it makes sense that they would have a loooong lunch during siesta so they only offer a limited menu. We were always moving so we often went to the supermarket and just bought a baguette, meat, cheese and a huuge box of cherries for lunch! Water is also so much cheaper at the supermarkets. Don't pay more than 1 Euro otherwise you're being ripped off.
For dinner you have to find a tapas bar (which there are plenty) or if you're on a budget and want to drink and eat really well go to La Champaneria. I wrote all about it here. 1 Euro champagne. Enough said.
For the in between:
- A cute place to satisfy your sweet tooth
- The coolest ice cream shop you'll ever go to!
- A sweet little cupcake cafe that I didn't go to.
- If you're hot and thirsty grab a Granita! It's basically a slush puppie but it was the best thing ever on a hot day!
Barcelona is famous for their signature Spanish brands such as Zara and Mango, but you can go to Sandton City for that. Rather go find the awesome little boutiques in the Gothic, El Born and Raval hoods. We stayed in El Born and found so many beautiful shops nearby! In the tour guides they tell you to stay away from Raval as it's a bit offbeat, but it has some of the most interesting and unique shops and a very cool vibe. I found Kling there, which I have only dreamt about in internet land :) I could have spent hours in that shop!
La Ramblas: This is something all the tour books tell you to go do but I found it quite overrated - it's very touristy and what you probably miss are all the amazing old buildings lining the street and the hidden markets off the main street.
We did a bike tour of Barcelona through Fat tire bike tours (like we did in Amsterdam) and it was incredible. We had the best guide that made all the history and the facts fun and memorable. We went all over Barcelona and ended off with lunch on the beach.
I would really really recommend doing this early on in your time there! You get your bearings of the city and learn sooo much about where you are in short space of time.
5. Beaching it
We didn't spend too much time tanning on the beach, I think we got our full fix here and here. What most people don't know is that the beach in Barcelona is completely man made and didn't exist before the Olympics. They bought sand from Egypt and rented trees from Hawaii. How bizarre right? It also erodes every year, so every year they have to build up the sand banks again. (I've heard there are some much nicer beaches up the coast.)
We did spend two glorious evenings on the beach and did some night swimming after dinner (sorry mom, luckily there are no sharks). We had chocolate and champagne and watched the sun go down. I recommend this!
This will depend on your budget. There are some awesome apartments in the El Born area where we stayed. It's so central and there are a lot of cool places right outside your front door. This hotel looks awesome and not too expensive.
7. Sim cards
Go to Orange! Their staff speak english and you can get a sim card pretty quickly with some data for a few days :) You'll want this for navigation and instagram obviously. (Just remember your passport).
8. Guide books
If you want an awesome non-touristy guide to Barcelona try LE COOL (Thanks Casey for this recommendation). It's the guidebook for people who hate guidebooks.
If you want something quite comprehensive i'd go with Lonely planet.
Lastly enjoy yourself, drink champagne, dance in the streets and allow yourself time to stumble upon some gems!
WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER, 2013 / COMMENTS 
So as you might have picked up I went to an amazing festival in London called Latitude last month. One of the absolute highlights for me was Alt-J.
They were so so good live, and everybody in that that tent was dancing and singing, and going crazy.
That's why i'm so excited for round two here on SA soil. Alt-J are playing at the Vodacom in the City in about a months time, along with boys noize, the hives and skunk anansie at Mary Fitzgerald square and I have two tickets to give away to one of you!
To enter all you have to do is:
Leave a comment below telling me who you're most excited to see live.
For extra entries:
1. Share this post on facebook.
2. Tweet about it, using the hashtag #VITC2013 and don't forget to include me in your tweet.Tweet
I will draw a name on the 20th September 2013. Good luck!
The competition doesn't stop there:
You can also win 10 double VIP tickets for voting for which local band you'd like to see join the lineup. Go here to pick and vote. I'd personally love to see Beatenberg live, so my vote is for them!
WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
This is another cool place we went to in Barcelona called Eyescream and friends. A super cute concept ice cream shop! (Edit: Just found out the same people who created Happy Pills, created this store!)
What you do is pick a flavour ice cream (which is a very unique ice cream: a shaved taiwanese style ice cream (but made with italian gelato), and with a texture somewhere between sorbet and ice cream), then you pick the friends (toppings) that you think will get along with that flavour, then you put eyes to the face and voila - you have your Eyescream and friends!
If you're going to the beach in Barceloneta - they're right there on the main road.
Paseo de Joan de Borbó, 30 08003 Barcelona, Spain
MONDAY 26 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
While planning our Barcelona trip, I sought out all the advice and tips I could get on where to go and what to do. One of the first people I went to was Kat Cameron, a long time blog follower and all around lovely person : ). She sent me back a massive email full of things to do and see. She also invited us over to her apartment for supper and sundowners on your first night in Barcelona!
We had had quite a bumpy start to our trip (we missed our flight from London due to train delays), so we arrived in Barcelona a little bit hot and bothered but going to Kat and her husbands beautiful home was like an oasis! They made us Mojitos from scratch and we had a traditional South African braai. It was such a lovely balmy evening and we chatted until 2am!
Have a look at few snaps of the night and her beautiful home! Ps. How flippin' cute is she? I absolutely love her style, and you must see her draw!
Thank you Kat, for all the tips and for your hospitality. It was such a treat meeting you and your husband! You really spoilt us!