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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