Exploring Barcelona

imageIt’s the end of my trip to Barcelona. It’s a slightly strange feeling – it doesn’t seem to have flown by, and yet at the same time only seems like it was two minutes ago that we landed.

I think, considering that we knew nothing about the city, we were incredibly lucky in our choice of hotel (despite the concierge adopting a permanent expression that reminded me of a young child sucking on a lemon), particularly for it’s easy access to the main metro line, the beach and the Gothic Quarter, which fast became my favourite place.

When we visited Paris five years ago, we tore around the city as quickly as we could in an effort to see as much as possible in the time we had. As a result we were tired, grumpy and our feet hurt, so this time we adopted more of a Spanish approach to sightseeing, taking a siesta in the middle of the day, leaving late in the morning and going to bed later at night. Despite this, we saw everything that was on our wishlist, and more.

To be able to describe everything that we experienced would take forever, so I decided to just share the main snippets:

La Sagrada Familia – so beautiful that it made both of us (who are staunch atheists) quite emotional. I’ve never seen anything like it – totally worth the three hour wait.

The Gothic Quarter – we walked around here a number of times and each visit revealed something new. I loved the cathedral, the little winding streets and the extremely talented buskers who were performing traditional Spanish music.

Casa Battlö – we didn’t go inside, instead deciding to sit on a bench at the front and stare. Absolutely gorgeous – I loved the colours.

Eating traditional, authentic Spanish food, particularly the paella I ate on the second night. Amazing.

The best busker ever – a guy got on the metro with a portable karaoke machine, and proceeded to perform Dire Straits ‘Walk of Life,’ badly. I joined in… of course!

The Magic Fountains of Montjuïc – a glorious show set to lights and music, and on a warm and clear night it looked absolutely beautiful!

Getting caught in an epic thunderstorm outside La Boquiera Market – I was screeching and laughing as we ran through the torrential downpour, much to The Bloke’s embarrassment.

Seeing the view of the city from Parc Guell, and walking round Gaudi’s house. I was also amused at the graffiti which said ‘Tourist Go Home’ as we walked up there. It’s always nice to feel welcome!

A man, dressed as Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress, stood on the balcony of the Museum of Erotica as we walked past.

The view of the sunset from the plane.

Timing our visit to the Picasso museum perfectly, and being able to walk straight in without having the queue.

Discovering the fruit juices and empanadas at La Boquiera market, which was next to the hotel. I was hooked on the pure raspberry smoothies and the mozzarella and basil empanadas, and must have eaten my own bodyweight in them during my visit.

Within an hour of arrival, witnessing a huge fight in front of our hotel, which resulted in one guy being knocked out cold. The Bloke and I watched from the balcony as the police and an ambulance arrived. So did a guy in the room next to us, who was wearing just a small towel. I’m not quite sure what was more horrifying – the fight, or my neighbours dangly bits.

The Beach: I loved it while I was there (despite us being fleeced for €24.00 to use a sun lounger and a parasol). Unfortunately, despite applying factor 50 on my entire body my feet and shins were burnt to a crisp, swelling up to twice their size for the rest of the trip. Lots of cold foot baths, cream, ibuprofen and slow walking, and thank goodness my shoes expanded easily!

Now I’m back in the UK, and after two months I start working on Monday. What an unbelievable time, for which I couldn’t be more grateful…

What about you guys? How has your week been?

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64 thoughts on “Exploring Barcelona

  1. I love Barcelona. I was lucky enough to have worked there a few years back and the city is wonderful. I’m so glad you found the gothic quarter. So many people miss it yet it’s one of the best parts of the city.

      • It’s not as interesting as it sounds. I was working for a multi-national on a project to install a new computer system across Europe. I was there to understand their commercial operations so the new system didn’t cause the Spanish business to collapse when it went live.
        It’s a beautiful place and the people are lovely. I still have many friends who live there.

      • It sounds very interesting to me (even if it makes my brain hurt a little). The people were great – absolutely loved the Gothic Quarter, it was my favourite place! What was your favourite?

      • It was the same for me. One of my colleagues took me on a tour and explained all the places of historical interest. The best moment was seeing the locals dance tradition ring dance I front of the cathedral steps one Sunday morning. Wonderful!

  2. Two things: I had the best paella ever in Barcelona four years ago too!. You’re working Monday? I thought you were going into full time blogging. What’s you’re new job?

  3. Barcelona is beautiful! I have good memories from visiting it once, ages ago though.
    Great pictures, suzie – thank you for sharing. 🙂

      • It was back in 2007, I was 20 back then. We made some good memories there, my husband and i 🙂 Visited some exciting places in Barcelona – a colorful city.

      • I enjoyed La Sagrada Familia, the name just has a ring to it when you pronounce it; I remember repeating it because I enjoyed saying it. Tibidabo was FUN – the train ride upwards was steep and scary though but also a great experience. Parc de Guell was beautiful, vibrant and colorful – amazing. We also did some art galleries and a football match – Barcelona against some other team.

  4. Sounds a wonderful holiday Suzie. I loved the story of the guy in the towel,,,AWKWARD!! What beautiful photos. Those coloured fountains are gorgeous and that church (or was it a cathedral)? was stunnuingly beautiful. I like the sound of the museum of Erotica (!). I did not realise that Barcelona had so much to offer, Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 🙂

  5. I loved Barcelona when I went, and the Sagrada Familia was quite easily my favorite thing. Casa Batllo is very cool on the inside too–Gaudi was a genius–but the exterior is so spectacular that I understand just sitting and taking that in.

    • I hadn’t really heard much about him until a few years ago, and i’ve been hooked ever since. I could have stayed all week sitting in the cathedral… one of my favourite moments of the year!

  6. Wow,… in my instagram account @seiko09 I’ve a lot of photos about Barcelona’s best places to visit, check out , and when you’ll come again you can visit the places that you couldn’t this year….

  7. Oh, you’ve captured the city beautifully, bringing back some lovely memories. Sounds as though you had a wonderful time 🙂 Good luck on Monday, hope it all goes well. Make sure to take some of that Barcelona glow to work with you as well xx

  8. You have beautiful images! How do you always get cool word pics on your title pages? I was borrowing google images but apparently one can get sued for that now so I just have words haha.

    • Thanks – all of the photographs in this post are my own I promise, and after being scared by a post I read about being sued I’ve started replacing the ones I haven’t credited (mainly because i couldn’t find the original source!) I instagramed some and I’ve started using a few apps to help me with the words. My favourite on the iPhone is Studio and my favourite for Pinterest style pics is now Canva, but I know lots of people use things like Pic Monkey. All are free, but have in-app purchase options which i refuse to use….

      • Is it okay to but-in… *buts-in anyway 😉

        I use (for the most part) my own photos now, and yes!, Suzie, Pic monkey is great for enhancing, adding to ect. There is a site that has free images that you may be interested in, for those times when you don’t have a suitable image of your own, it’s called UnSplash and it allows you to do whatever you like with the images without needed to credit back.. you can crop them, change them add to them on pic monkey in the same way you would your own photos.

        Hold on, I’ll see if i can grab the link…

        … I’m back… here you go 🙂 >> https://unsplash.com/

        Great post, Suzie… gorgeous images! I’m glad you and the bloke had such a lovely time. Sending healing vibs (and fairy dust) for your purple legs X

  9. Oh wow, I love Barcelona! I’m so glad you saw the best of it AND discovered those incredible fruit smoothies 😍

    • Thanks my lovely! It’s awful when it happens isn’t it – I was just lucky that my shoes were easily expanded! Gaudi’s stuff was just amazing – I hadn’t really heard much about him until a few years ago, and I know that there was so much more to see!

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