Monday, 2 February 2015
I think Barcelona and I can’t help but sing (in my head - I'm not that cruel!) the tune to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Maybe it is because the words aren't that difficult to remember... Barcelona....Barcelona... It’s not, in my opinion a great tune, but it does get stuck in your head.Barcelona itself is a vibrant city located in the Catalonia Region of Spain, the city itself is a must visit whilst in the region playing golf. Two amazing cathedrals; Barcelona Cathedral- or to give it the justly deserved correct name the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia and the giant Sagrada Familia Basilica of Gaudi fame, which is still work in progress.
With plenty of restaurants from cocktail stick ones where you select the tapas of choice, usually on a large cocktail stick and pay per cocktail stick making it a great way to try a whole host of tapas, to a myriad of other restaurant choices, bars and places to while the evening away under the dying Spanish sunshine.
Staying at El Prat in La Mola and playing the two golf 18 hole golf courses on site, there are actually 45 holes of golf here, all of Greg Norman design. The DoubleTree Hilton is a very short walk away, in fact buggy transfer from the hotel to the club house is probably the best thing to do, and I'm sure the hotel will oblige. The two 18 holers are similar but do offer different challenges, both equally pleasing to the eye, both incorporating the natural landscape with ease. The Pink course is the main one and is slightly harder to play, but both are quite playable to all golfers. Some fairways gather to the middle, great for the straight hitters amongst us, but hit it slightly wayward and the banked fairway edges add another dimension to the approach shots. Other fairways have trees to negotiate. Many of the golfers were Spanish, this added to the atmosphere, especially in the clubhouse. The greens rolled well, the fairways were not overplayed with divots to dig yourself out of, bunkers were manageable the sunshine and the relaxed Spanish atmosphere and what you've really got is tranquillity, and a great place to spend a few days golfing and relaxing or pop into Barcelona, its only 25 minutes away.
The clubhouse, with its ample patio overlooking the course is a great place to sit and watch golfers playing but to also sample their very good food.
The hotel on site was welcoming from the first moment you step over the threshold, decorated in eye pleasing neutral colours the hotel opens its arms to visitors. Rooms are spacious and comfortable and the spa pool area is lovely, offering spa treatments and relaxation.
From the lobby make your way downstairs to bar which spills out onto a patio area - a great place to meet for pre-dinner drinks.
Other local golf courses are Llavaneras. A lovely established private members golf club with panoramic views. The open holes are a bit tight, but once over this, it opens up to a beautiful, good conditioned golf course, which could be enjoyed by any level of golfer. The clubhouse overlooks the 18th green, and a great position to banter with your buddies putting out. A friendly and welcoming clubhouse, who again attracts a lot of local golfers, who, if you’re Spanish is up to it, will happily chat with you, especially when the red is flowing - amazing how much easier a foreign language is when a bottle of red is open.
Barcelona International Airport is within easy reach as is Barcelona City making this a wonderful long weekend or with more golf courses on offer and the variety of things to do in Barcelona would also suit a family holiday.