Tuesday, 30 January 2018

A Few Days in Barcelona

For short city breaks, I love going into Europe rather than staying on the UK mainland. I find that flying on a plane makes it feel much more like a getaway than a 7 hour car ride does. And cities in Europe always have the better weather. I recently went to Barcelona for 3 nights and the weather was fantastic, even in this dreary January. We left the UK when it was snowing and 2 degrees, to land in Barcelona later that day to sun and 22 degrees. I should have packed more skirts! 
As we were only there for a little while, we decided to pack as much into the short time as possible, as well as enjoying ourselves in the process. If there was something that we didn't get the time to do we didn't dwell on it. There would be time again in the future if we really wanted to see it that badly. 

On our first full day there we decided to see the sights that were the furthest away from where we were staying. We got the train up to the top of the mountain, and from there we then got the bus (Google Maps was very helpful on this trip). The sights going up the mountain on the train were breathtaking. Photographs really don't capture the beauty enough. 

We travelled here on the Monday, so the amusement park was shut (it's only open on sundays through winter) but we still managed to get some good shots of the closed park. 

The Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, or the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was our first sight seeing spot. Located on Mount Tibidabo it overlooks most of Barcelona city. 

After we had travelled back down the mountain, we headed to Park G├╝ell. This is where Gaudi, who designed many buildings in Barcelona, turned his talents to landscaping. The park gets quite busy during lunchtime, so we decided to go in the afternoon, hoping to miss the lunch rush. Even then it was quite busy. The buildings remind me of gingerbread houses, with their gumdrop window frames and icing roofs. 

A large portion of the park is free entry, but to see the works of Gaudi you have to pay to get in. It was about €8.50 per adult for us. I would definitely recommend going into the paid for section. Theres a small gift shop, a museum, and of course Gaudi famous El Drac, or dragon. 

As we got there in the afternoon, we decided to stay until the evening so that we could see the sunset over Barcelona. The view is absolutely breathtaking. You could start to see the lights in buildings flicker on and twinkle in the distance, right up to the shore line down on Port Vell. 

As the golden sun starts to set, the park is washed over with warm tones which was really romantic. 

Day two, we decided to stay more central to Barcelona. First stop was the Sagrada Familia which is the worlds largest unfinished roman catholic church. 

Construction started way back in 1882 and works are still going on today, so don't be surprised to see cranes above it. But that also means that you could come back here again and again and it wouldn't be the same as the previous time, something new would have been added. 

I'm not religious, but the views inside are breathtaking. The high columns and stained glass windows really become quite mesmerising. 

The more you looked around inside the Sagrada Familia, the more you would see. The colours weren't just colours, they were pieces are art. The windows weren't just stained glass, they were telling a story. 

The general admission price to get inside the Sagrada Familia is €16 for under 30s. Students and OAPs also get discounts. Theres also the option to have a guided tour and an audio tour. 

Next, we headed down to Port Vell where we ate a picnic on the docks overlooking the views of boats coming in and out, the mountains view and the city view merging into one. 

There is a lot to do down on the pier. if we had more time I would have spent the day down there. 

After lunch we headed to L'Aquarium which is just further down on Port Vell. I don't think I've ever been to an aquarium before so this was a nice new experience for me. We got to see penguins and feed fish which was really cool. There were also times to go and view feeding stingrays, sharks, and the penguins. 

Port Vell is so different to the bustle of the city centre of Barcelona. It's much more laid back, and reminds me of a very warm Cornish coastline...

until you get to the beach which is nothing like Cornwall at all. I absolutely love the beach and being by the sea. Our first beach stop was Platja de la Barceloneta (or Barcelona Beach). It's quite busy here as its the closest beach to the city. If you're looking for a quieter beach I'd recommend Platja de la Nova Icaria which is about a half an hour walk along the shore. We stopped here to watch the body surfers and wing gliders in the late afternoon. 

On our last day, we had three hours between checking out of our apartment to leaving the city and heading to the airport, so we decided this was out time to do some souvenir shopping. 

First stop was Casa Batllo which is a Gaudi building. Every time we had seen it throughout our stay here it was always in the evening or at nighttime so we wanted to get a good look at it during the day. 

Then we headed into old town, specifically the Gothic Quarter first, for some lunch. The Gothic Quarter is made up of loads of little cafes and restaurants as well as shops and souvenirs. 

Then we headed to La Rambla, which is a mile long street of shopping. We stopped in the food market for some drinks too, which I would really recommend, even if it's just to have a wonder around.
A short video of our time in Barcelona will be going live on my new travel youtube soon. Keep up to date by subscribing here


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Denim in Barca

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you must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong