Wednesday, 7 June 2017

What I Did In Barcelona

I have finally added a new place to my travels, in the beautiful spanish setting I went for a girly trip with my sister and mum. Barcelona offers both a city break and beach bum lifestyle, naturally I was looking forward exploring but also making time to lay about in the sunshine and fully relax. Keep reading for my four day in-depth diary of my second vacay this year!

Friday 19th May

Waking up in the early hours of Friday to catch our flight we landed in good time to enjoy our first day in Barcelona. We had pre-booked the Sagrada Familia also known as the Placa De Gaudi on advise that you can avoid long queues or miss the chance see it due to sold out tickets. The building started by Gaudí at the end of the 19th century is something I was completely blown away by. The amount of work and attention to detail in this cathedral is like no other I have seen. Although it is still a work in progress, I was truly amazed by the sheer size of the building, the sculptures and thought behind it. With so much effort on the outside the interior does not disappoint, with sky high pillars that reach up to the roof, every coloured stained glass windows that reflect a rainbow across the floors and gold detailing on the ceiling creating a dream-like effect, it is something you have to see. 

On the hunt for tapas we discovered the modern beauty this city has to offer through its street art. With walls covered in graphite, the feeling of old and new sat together in perfect harmony showing how this city plans for continue. I for one actually like this form of self expression especially when it is done well, my favourite being the scull I posted on my Instagram here. On our hunt for food we also passed the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, which is another architectural beauty. We found a suitable stop to tuck in to the local Spainsh cuisine and of course a top up of sangria before heading back.

Saturday 20th May

Another early start had us heading to the famous Park Güell. A place designed by Eusebi Güell was intended to provide attractive housing for the upper classes, based on the English 'garden cities'. Although only two of the houses were complete the setting is stunning. It is rumoured that the gatehouses were inspired by Hansel and Gretel, and maybe it was my inner child that appreciated all the elements that related to the story. One of my favourite parts was the winding tiled bench which you can see across the city to the sea. Again if you are visiting, 100% worth booking tickets ahead online to guarantee entry.
From one of the city's iconic landmarks to another, somehow we end up strolling past Arc De Triomf by architect Josep Vilaseca. The entrance to a palm tree lined path which brings you to Parc de la Ciutadella. We perched ourselves for the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and taking in the lively atmosphere the city holds.

Later that evening my sister and I went to the square to cheers and celebrate her turning 24 just as the clock struck twelve. The nights are certainly a lot cooler so I would advise a jacket, but there really is something for everyone. We opted for casual drinks but if you are looking for a step up there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. A few glasses later and a red rose each we headed home at a reasonable hour not to waste the day ahead.

 Sunday 21st May

Sunday started slightly later than usual to catch us up on those lost hours, and after grabbing breakfast on the go we were off to spend at least one day at the beach. We decided to walk which turned out to be a good decision making our way though the small alleys and ageing mansions of the picture-perfect Barri Gòtic Quarter. This very traditional area was a vision to walk through with little boutiques and independent cafes sporadically placed, you were constantly kept interested. The breeze hit once we arrived at de Ja Barceloneta, a thriving port filled with people and entertainment. We continued walking until the sand was under our feet, finding the perfect spot with both sun and shade. I popped on my headphones and forgot how much I loved the feeling of being close to water. Although I have been close to it (i.e Venice)  it is not the same as the beach, which I haven't been to in like three years. I think that is what makes Barcelona so special, you can have the city break and the beach, the best of both worlds. We stayed here until the the crowds began to fade away and finished our night with a classic Paella.

Monday 22nd May

Of course what would a trip be without a little shopping? Having read about Passeig de Gràcia we headed that way and beyond to the Avda Diagonal for high fashion and couture, a girl can window shop. I was mentally adding 100 things to my basket! Once you are here look out for the Casa Batlló which stands out with its colourful and unique deisgn. The building itself is an apartment block, dramatically remodelled by Gaudí in the early 1900s, and is now open to the us to view his swirling interiors and woodwork. We didn't have time to look in as we had to rush off to catch our flight home, boo. 

If I ever go back I would have loved to have seen the Font Màgica de Montjuïc, which we sadly missed due to our lack of research. It is only displayed on certain days at specific times so be sure to check this before you go. I love a good fountain especially after my wish came true at Trevi Fountain on my trip to Rome, which you can read about here. I've heard the museum's are a must-see too but the weather was just to beautiful to spend our days inside! 

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