As many of you will have realised by the incessant holiday spam we’ve just got back from a fab week in Barcelona and had such a great time, I thought I’d round up some of the best bits.
We’d been to Barcelona before so we’d seen most of the sights already and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but city breaks always end up being a bit manic and I always come home, way more tired than when I left! Trying to cram as many things in as possible in the shortest amount of time, ticking off all the places recommended, remembering to eat (like Dem would allow either of us to forget) etc. But as we’d been to Barcelona before, we could take everything in at our own pace, stop where we liked, have a lie in here and there, and to be honest it was glorious.
Barcelona – settling in
One of the things I enjoyed most about Barcelona is that there are no set meal times, there’s none of this Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner business. If you’re hungry, you eat. Eat all damn day if you want, it literally doesn’t matter. Croquette potatoes and a beer at 10 am? You do you.
We arrived late afternoon and headed for tapas at Lonja de tapas on the recommendation from our hotel. Everything was so bloody tasty, ordering 5 plates to share was more than enough and I’d definitely recommend the Iberico Ham and fried Camembert! Although everything was yum, it did feel like somewhere that tourists go and the price reflected that, so if you’re looking for cheap eats this place won’t be for you.
Seeing the sights
Although we’d seen Arc di Triomf a few years before it was firmly on my revisit list, so after weaving our way through Parc di Ciutadella (lush waterfalls – lots of green) we headed straight there. I love architecture when I’m on my travels but show me a building or museum in England and the eye roll is almost audible – note to self, stop taking London for granted!
We were staying in the Gothic Quarter which is all stunning streets, packed upon stunning streets. Honestly, Barcelona makes everything and anything look good, walls plastered with graffiti – street art. Rows upon rows of washing adorning every street – how quaint. That lingering smell that seems to follow you around wherever you go – you get over it.
While Dem was taking one of his many work phone calls of the day I was lucky enough to stumble across Amorino, who sell THE coolest rose ice-cream creations. Nothing normally shuts me up for longer than a second but this was a masterpiece. So I thought I’d just casually stroll over to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Ma and snap a few candid photos with it. Well, that did not happen. FYI you have approximately 30 seconds before the damned thing starts melting, so most of it ended up dripping down my leg, all over my hand and ending in a very hot and sticky walk to find somewhere to wash it off – you’ve been warned!
Plaça de Santa Maria is a great place to stop and people watch discreetly under a pair of sunnies – which is one of my fave hobbies. Buskers will come and go and you will literally want to give all of your money to them as they’re all so talented, before Dem reminds you that it’s his money you’re giving away and we kind of need it for the rest of our trip. Pfft, details!
As for the architecture, Gaudi, what a lad. There is so much to see and you instantly feel immersed in the beauty of the city. Well as much as you can be when Dem is walking 3 paces behind trying to close a deal with his wireless headphones plugged in (the ones that look like mini electric toothbrush heads) .. yes those ones.
On our stroll up to Parc Guell we stopped off at Mercado de La Boqueria because, well to put it simply, a girl gotta eat. With stall upon stall of gorgeous looking pinchos (small snack, eaten in bars, traditional to Northern Spain) fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, you name it they have it. Do take cash, no apple pay here ya’ll and do also watch your pockets, pickpockets are known to operate in this area.
Right so if any of you have been to Barcelona and walked through Las Ramblas you’ll know it’s the heartbeat of the city, shops, bars and cafes line the street and it’s just so lively. There is also a lot of men keen to get you to their coffee shops… well that’s where their sales pitch starts, “coffee, you like coffee, marijuana, cocaine.. come with me. I mean that went from the first date to third base, real quick, and it wasn’t just one time, we must have been asked about 7 times on our walk. I was getting a bit paranoid that we looked like the dodgy type to buy what they were selling before Dem reminded me that I was just a being anxious little shit 🙂
I loved Parc Guell even though it was a train ride and an incline walk to get to from the Gothic Quarter, it’s well worth it. You can visit the Parc and walk around for free, but tickets to the Monumental Core need to be bought before you can go in. With views over the city that will literally take your breath away, naturally, I needed some grammable material. Cue insta hubs. Dem’s latest tactic is taking a bunch of pictures and then just walking away. Are they good, are they bad, am I squinting, have you cut half my head off? Who even knows, because the phone is away and he’s off and I’m likely to end up with a comment about the selfie stick being stuck in unimaginable places for challenging it (romance is not dead).
Our first couple of days were so chilled out which is exactly what I needed before embarking on the second half of our trip – our friends wedding/lads holiday. Checking out of our hotel and into an AirBnb for two days of solid carnage. Turns out I’m not a lad, I’m a 29 year old lightweight that can’t play drinking games until ridiculous hours of the morning with a bunch of guys, surprising that! But I can honestly say the wedding and venue was well worth the two hour drive from central Barcelona to Girona complete with 5 vomit stops (oh yes) and inability to look anyone directly in the eye for fear of accidental vomit. Keeping it classy as always!
So my tips for Barcelona are – make a three day trip instead of two as there is so much to see. Eat as much Tapas as you physically can, stroll by the beach, bring comfy walking shoes and prepare to use them oh and enjoy! xx