So recently my boyfriend and I ( Amy ) jetted off to Barcelona for a few days.
On the 29th March, the alarm went off at 3:30am to catch the 7am flight to Barcelona. Feeling very tired and sorry for ourselves we dragged ourselves out of bed and drove down to Luton Airport where we parked the car and then caught the flight. The flight on the way there was very painless apart from nearly falling asleep and then being woken up by something or other, every, single, time.
We arrived in the beautifully sunny Barcelona at 10am where we caught a taxi to our hotel – The Best Western Hotel Dante in the Eixample District. The Example District is known as a business district and is also a very new part of Barcelona. Upon arrival I was blown away by how stunning all of the buildings are. Even if it is just above a supermarket or a block of flats, the intricate designs and stunning architecture is really something to talk about.
After checking into our hotel and unpacking slightly, we decided to try to keep awake and head off to our first adventure. The first thing we decided to do was to visit Camp Nou. We brought a metro card so we have ten journeys all over Barcelona. ( It’s exactly the same system as the London tubes, easy! )
Upon arrival at the tube station I was quite shocked at the surrounding areas of the stadium, it is very run down and poor. Interesting considering what is in its neighbourhood. When we entered the stadium all we could see was a massive crowd of people and loads and loads of flowers. Feeling very confused we walked over and saw it was a memorial for Barcelona legend Johan Cruff who had recently died of lung cancer.
The army of people and flowers where absolutely stunning and after taking it all in, we decided to head into the stadium.
In the stadium we saw a lot of the grounds, stood right next to the pitch, saw the guest players changing rooms, and sat in the reporters box. For a stadium that is 59 years old, it is very impressive.
We spent a good couple of hours in the stadium but then the tiredness hit us like a brick wall so we set off back to the hotel for a nap.
That evening, because we were so tired we settled for a little pizzeria right next to our hotel called ‘Ill massone’. Gorgeous stone oven cooked Pizza and delicious fresh Pasta, it really ‘hit the spot’ that night. After dinner we headed to a cute cocktail bar over the road where we sat outside and had a couple of cocktails surrounded by the Spanish locals. However, still feeling very tired we headed to bed early, ready to get up early the next day for another day in Barcelona.
After a great night sleep we where up at about 10am to start our day. As we stepped out of the hotel we were greeted with a wave of heat. Something you don’t really experience in England, so we were very,very happy. This day we had a ticket to do a ‘hop on, hop off Barcelona bus tour’ – something I highly recommend for people wanting to travel all over Barcelona! We where about six blocks from ‘Plaça Catalunya’. A major square in the heart of the Bari Gòtic area of the city. The large, open square is lined with seating and the ornamental gardens contain beautiful statues with wonderful water features. This is where the East route of the tour begins. Getting on the bus the first stop for us was the ‘Sagranda Familia’. But before arriving at this stunning cathedral we drove past Port Vell and Barceloneta Beach, all places we where going to visit later on. La Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s magnificent unfinished masterpiece which has been under construction for 131 years and they estimate it will need another 10 years to finish.
Today was a very hot day, reaching 25 degrees so was perfect for standing back and taking in this beautiful master piece and what it has to offer. Unfortunately the line was way too big to enter the cathedral so we stopped for a bite to eat in a cafe right next to the cathedral. A sandwich and a smoothie with a fantastic view. We walked around the outside of the cathedral, took loads of photos and then hopped back onto the bus to hear to Park Guell.
Park Guell was designed by Gaudi and contains amazing stone structures, stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. Again, fortunately the next opening to go into the main part of park was 7pm and at about 3pm in the afternoon we didn’t fancy waiting all that time, but there was still plenty of grounds for you to walk around, most of them, to my dismay, being uphill. At one point, I hopped on my boyfriends back for a piggy back and a little girl turned around and said ‘Mummy, why is he carrying her?’ EMBARRASSING! So in 25 degree heat and with jeans and a shirt on, when we reached the top I was overjoyed. The view was spectacular from the top. Being able to see most of Barcelona including the Sagranda Familia and all of the main sights was breathtaking. (So was the walk..)
On our way down we stopped at an ice-cream parlour claiming to have ‘The best Ice-cream in Barcelona’’. I can DEFINATELY vouch for this. This was the best ice-cream I have ever had and just thinking about it makes me want some. This definitely made the trip down a lot easier.
Next on our agenda was Tibidabo. This hill is Barcelona’s highest point, so you can see the whole city from here. There is also an impressive modernist church, called the Sagrat Cor (Sacred Heart), a planetarium and the oldest amusement park in Spain (complete with original rides).
We where so excited to get up this hill to have a go on all of the rides, only to hear by the bus driver that the rides were closed today. We were a bit gutted but decided to still galavant up there anyway. To get up to Tibidado, you have to take a Bus and a Cable Car. Cut a very, very long story short, getting on about two wrong busses, ending up waking to a local school and missing the cable car stop, we gave up and got back on the bus to go back to the hotel.
When we got back to the hotel we had a little rest, got freshened up, put some warmer clothes and headed back to Plaça Catalunya where we caught the bus again to Barceloneta beach. These buses are amazing as they run as late as 9:30pm. We walked down the promenade where we were met with one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen.
At this point I was feeling very content and happy with life just walking along the beach with an amazing view infront of me. After walking the length of the promenade we stopped at a beach restaurant to have some typical Spanish Paella. At this time I had never had Paella before and disappointingly my first experience wasn’t to great.
The Next day we aimed to be up early but after a late-ish night and accidentally turning off the alarm, it turned into us getting out late morning. First stop was the famous La Rambla where we walked up and down stopping in all the cute shops.
At one end of La ramble is the ‘Mirador De Colom’. The Columbus Monument, which opened in 1888 during the Universal Exhibition, stands at the end of La Rambla, near the sea. You can take a lift inside the column to the viewing gallery at the top, 60 metres above the ground, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the port. We didn’t decide to do this but it is probably a great thing to do.
After spending a lovely morning around La Rambla, we hopped on the metro to the train station to get on a train to Montserrat Mountain. The Benedictine Monk retreat at Montserrat offers you some of the most spectacular mountain views of Catalunya. To be honest with you the only reason we wanted to go to this place is because we had seen someone do this –
My boyfriend being a serious thrill seeker was more than keen, me, not so much!
To his dismay, after an hour train ride and another 30 minute tram ride up the mountain it had all been fenced off so no one could climb it! Regardless of this however, the view was the best I have ever seen. ( even better than the last two mentioned! )
Words cannot describe the views from this mountain, they are just out of this world.
After finishing up at Montserrat, we decided to go via the Barri Gòtic. ( The Gothic Quater) The Gothic Quarter is so stunning, we walked around for a couple of hours going down all the cute alleyways and popping into some shops, before retiring for the day.
That evening we decided to try the other typical Spanish dish, Tapas. We entered a lovely tapas bar along Placa Catalyuna called ‘Cachitos’. We indulged in smashed Eggs and Sausage, a mini Burger, Ham Croquettes, Chicken Croquettes and 2 portions of Patas Bravas. ( A-MAZING) I think the idea of Tapas is that you don’t eat a lot, but we did the complete opposite and had a complete feast but my first experience of Tapas was delicious!
This unfortunately was our last day and night in Barcelona but we headed back for the night feeling very content knowing we had done and eaten everything we wanted to!
The next day we caught the what was meant to be 11am flight from Barcelona to Luton which ended up being three hours delayed, but hey ho, we had the most amazing time in Barcelona and I definitely would 100% recommend it to anyone!
I hope you enjoyed reading my experince, as you can tell we packed a lot into just a few days. If you’ve been to Barcelona, comment which was your favourite thing to do there, or if you’re planning a visit, feel free to ask any questions!
Heres a link to video I of the trip – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lt-Z_Njv4w
See you next Monday!