Day 1: We arrived in Barcelona, Spain about mid morning after a short flight from London. Although the flight was short it was a bit of a bumpy one and Shaun didn’t have much leg room at all, however I guess that’s what you get with a no thrills cheap airline!
We caught a taxi from the airport to our apartment which was also an experience (I have never felt so unsafe in a taxi before). The driver kept looking down etc and was not paying attention to the road but we made it to the apartment safe and sound. After checking in we decided to go explore La Rambla which was about a half an hour walk from the apartment but it was meant to be the central part of Barcelona so we were keen to see it. Once at La Rambla we started stopping at sights along the way including Placa de Catalunya which was a courtyard that had sculptures and fountains, La boqueria markets and we even walked all the way down to the waterfront.
The waterfront was beautiful, with plenty of palm trees around it was like something out of the movies. We walked over one of those bridges that can collapse and we explored what was on the other side. We found a mall that had a whole heap of restaurants on the top floor, it wasnt set out normally though, These restaurants all had balconies that overlooked the water and it was like an indoor outdoor flow so there was a roof on the top floor but there wasnt a wall the entire way around so you could just walk out to the balconies and feel the fresh air coming through.
That night we went to the gothic quarter area for a walk around and ended up having dinner at a local restaurant. We ordered a whole heap of different tapas including potatoe brava (which is just roasted potatoes with a dipping sauce), squid, meatballs & chicken. We also ordered a jug of sangria & a fish bowl of beer, we decided we were not huge fans of the sangria but at least we had tried it. Overall we loved our first tapas experience because who doesn’t love tapas!
Day 2: Today we decided to venture out to an outdoor spanish architecture museum, however on our way we found a number of stops.
Our first stop was the Barcelona arena, while we were walking to the architecture museum we noticed a massive fountain in the middle of a roundabout then by looking around we noticed that people were standing on the top of the Barcelona arena viewing the city. We investigated and found it was only 1 euro to go up to the roof of the arena which was super cheap so we did exactly that. The views from the top were awesome and there were actually restaurants on the roof top as well so if you wanted you could have lunch or dinner up there. While we were up there we noticed a whole lot of fountains in the distance so we decided we wanted to go check that out.
We walked down to the fountains which ended up being the Font Magica Fountain with many other surrounding water features. In the same area are the Les Quartre Columnes and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the area is surrounded by water features so it is really beautiful.
After seeing all the fountains we headed to the architecture musuem however once there we could actually see into the musuem grounds (as it was outside) and we decided it wasnt worth going in as it was just models of houses that we had actually already been seeing around the place. The musuem was on the top of a steep hill so there was actually a great view of the city from the entrance which was a bonus. We went for a wandar around that area and found what we think may have been an old spanish riding school, there was actually a horse being ridden in the grounds when we noticed it. We continued walking and found a big look out with great views of the city and then we walked back down to where we started so we could catch the metro to Barcelona Beach!
I had read that Barcelona beach was one of the best beaches in the world so we were looking forward to checking it out. After a quick lunch stop (pizza with spanish chorizo yum yum) and a quick gelato stop at a place called eyescream.. weirdest concept honestly it was a block of gelato that they would then shave under a machine and then they would add little lolly eyes to it as well as two sides of other lollies.. it did taste good though so that’s the main thing. Once at the beach we were kind of surprised it was a pretty beach but it wasnt like anything we expected, there were lots of bars down it so small bars actually set up on the sand and you could hire beach loungers for the day as well. We walked along the beach and even tested out the water but it was a bit to chilly even for Shaun, whilst walking we ended up bumping into a couple that we had met on our pub crawl in Edinburgh which was very random but we chatted to them for awhile and then we headed off to a bar on the beach for a cold beer in the sun 🙂
After our beer we decided we would head back into La Rambla area and go to the La Boqueria markets again as the juices were awesome and we figured we could get dinner there. We just walked to La Rambla as it wasnt to far from the beach and we had a nice stop on the way for some spanish churros and chocolate. We found there to be some different stalls open at the markets and we ending up finding some lollies that looked like they were on steroids they were literally the size of our hands! After a successful evening at the markets it was time to head back to plan for our next day of adventures.
Day 3: Our last full day in Barcelona.. Today was the day to squeeze in any of the main things we had missed. So first of all we were off to La Sagrada Familia which is a large Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Parts of the church are still being built so part of the church is new and the other part is old. We went through the church which had a range of features including mosaic windows that provided different coloured lights throughout the church, they also had some massive organs and the whole place had a gothic feel to it.
After our visit to the church we headed to Park Güell which is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (just like the church) and built in the years 1900 to 1914. The park was up a massive hill so you had to walk up a massive hill and then catch an escalator then walk some more but it was definitely worth it as the views over the city were awesome.
After the Park we headed to the La Boqueria markets again so I could get my juice fix for the day! We also got these waffles that shaun had been wanting to try so it was a waffle then it had mini kit kats all over it and was drizzled in chocolate sauce. It seemed like a good idea at the time buy my gosh it was rich!
That night we had dinner with my friend who also came to Barcelona with us, we found a nice restaurant and had some of their Tapas which were the best tapas we had in Barcelona. After dinner we went for a walk and saw a few more sights in the area, one was a building called Casa Batllo which was designed by Antoni Gaudi and had the same gothic look as his other pieces and the other was another building designed by Antoni but this one was called La Pedrera.
Day 4: Today we had to head to the airport but before we left we went to the markets one last time.. yes I became a juice addict. We also searched the seafood area of the markets for squid ink as we were hoping to get some for my aunty. Unfortunately we never found any however we did find it quite entertaining that the crayfish, lobsters and crabs were all still moving on the ice so it just showed how fresh the seafood was.