Yay! I’m back! Sorry for the downtime but Christmas time was really busy over here! I will slow things down a bit in the new year, but I’ll try to update the blog at least once a week so stay tuned! Right now I’m on holiday so I have time to catch up and prepare some entries for the next few weeks and I’m really looking forward to tell you more about some of the amazing trips I took. Like this one from earlier this month, when I took three of my besties to Barcelona for a long weekend. What an amazing time we had there!
Barcelona is and will always be one of my favourite cities in the world, it offers so much and it is very easy to reach if you live in Europe. It’s excellent for shopping, dining and going out at night, there are some amazing museums, the architecture is really unique and… tadaaaaaa…. there’s even the beach! What more do you need?
I already blogged about the top 10 things to do in Barcelona a few weeks ago, but I just wanted to show you some pics about what we did this time around. Some of the things I already talked about in my last post, others I will cover in another blog post that will come soon. A few I will comment briefly in this post, just because I don’t plan writing about it later.
We arrived in Barcelona late on Friday night, I had booked us in a nice hotel right in the Gothic Quarter, an excellent location for starting to explore the different neighbourhoods. After a nightcap we went to bed.
We started off quite early on Saturday morning with a nice breakfast in one of the many bakeries in the Gothic quarter. I just had to order one serve of churros y chocolate, yum! Then we went to visit La Catedral, more on that on another post. In fron of the cathedral was a very cute Christmas market, what I really appreciated about it was that the items sold were very christmassy, which isn’t always the case at the markets in my country.
Then we slowly walked towards Av. Portal de l’Angel for some shopping, heading towards Casa Battlò. I can’t believe how long it took us to get there, not because we were walking slowly, but the many pretty shops tempted us far too many times.
After a short lunch break, we finally made it to Casa Battlò, which was one of my highlights of the trip. It was really wonderful and even though I really liked visiting Gaudi’s La Pedrera during one of my previous trips, I think this house was much prettier. Just have a look at the pictures and I’m sure you will understand…
Then it was time for more shopping on the Rambla de Catalunya before we went for some tapas to a typical Spanish place.
The following day we had breakfast in a cute café on Plaça de l’Angel, before heading to the Picasso Museum, which I think is another must-do in town. I loved the building and the location, between all the narrow streets, and of course the art was just amazing! We all enjoyed the visit very much!
If you read my last post on Barcelona, you know that I had never been inside the Sagrada Familia because of the thousands of people who want to enter the cathedral at the same time as you, but this time I had booked us tickets on the internet, so I had no excuse. We arrived there a bit before our entry time so we just walked around the magnificent building to take pictures from all the different angles. Wow, wow, wow, just look at all the details! No wonder it’s taking ages to finish!
Getting inside was surprisingly easy, we had to queue a few minutes to get the audio guides, but that’s it. We took some more time to study the facade and then we went inside. Wow, what an emotional moment! We all had goosebumps, one of my friends even had tears running down her cheeks it was so beautiful! The colours and the lights were just amazing as you can easily see from the pictures. So if you ever go to Barcelona don’t make the same mistake I did, just visit the Sagrada Familia the first time you’re in town, it’s definitely a must!
After visiting the cathedral from the inside, we decided to take the elevator and go to the top of one of the towers. It was cool to see the details of the facade from up there, and the view was nice too, but to tell you the truth I don’t think I would go up again. We decided to walk down instead of getting the lift, hoping to see something more, but it was a quite scary descent, especially the last bit. When we arrived at the bottom of the tower we all had to sit down and rest for a while because of the scare of the steep stairs :)
Then it was time to split up, while my three friends went to Parc Güell, I headed back to the centre of town, ready to explore grungy El Raval area. I loved it there, I visited a few gothic fashion and some secondhand clothing shops. Some parts were a bit dodgy and I wouldn’t want to go there at night, but I felt safe during the day.
Then I reached Plaça Reial before heading towards Port Vell, passing through parts of El Born quarter. I loved walking through those lesser known parts of town, with more authentic shops and far less tourists. I reached Port Vell just in time for an amazing sunset and met up with my friends again for dinner in Barceloneta.Our third day in town was dedicated to the markets and the beach. We started off at the Boqueria which was just next to our hotel. We arrived there a bit too early, they were still setting up the stalls and a few parts were closed, but the positive thing was that there were far less people than usual. I had visited the Boqueria many times before and I’m always quite impressed, I still think it’s the nicest food market I have ever seen.
Later we moved to the Mercat Del Encants. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was fun anyway. After a short stop in a shopping centre it was time for the beach, yay! I love that area of Barcelona, you are in a big city but at the same time you are at the sea. Of course, being December, the area was quite empty, but it was still lovely to stroll along the promenade.We then walked through the narrow street of Barceloneta quarter before heading back to our hotel and getting ready for a nice dinner of paella. The following day we just had a few hours for some more shopping before heading to the airport and catching our flight back to Switzerland. Barcelona, it was a pleasure and I will be back soon!