Hi friends! I know it’s been way too long since my last post. Work has been picking up again, and I’ve been trying to disconnect over the weekends since a large part of my week is spent online. While I prepare my next post, I wanted to share a few of my favourite Barcelona memories with you. I visited Barcelona with three Kiwi friends in July, and the trip has me convinced that Spain is my spiritual homeland.
After a few days in Barcelona, I seriously regretted not extending my trip to include other Spanish destinations (particularly San Sebastian!)
La Boqueria market was a daily favourite of ours. We picked up fresh juice and essentials for our picnics and beach days. It was interesting seeing which stalls were the most popular amongst locals. Some of my favourite stalls sold empanadas, paella, and fruit smoothies made right before our eyes.
The first place we went upon arrival was the beach. Just add water, and I am as happy as a clam. I love the ocean (lakes are okay, but the OCEAN is so much better!)
Barcelona is home to some of the greatest artwork in the world. Everywhere you look, you’ll see hints of Catalonian architecture. Parc Guëll is a testament to Gaudí’s genius, with hundreds of photo opportunities (thousands of tourists as well, so go early!) The Picasso museum is a must-see as well! You’ll be amazed at the sheer volume of artwork both men created in their lifetimes! Annie and I missed out on seeing Salvador Dalí’s home (still kicking myself) but it’s an excuse to go back.
Those who know me (and let’s be honest, those who don’t) know that I’m food-obsessed. Just take a look at my Instagram account, and you’ll see hundreds of photographs documenting my latest culinary experiences. Barcelona has PAELLA, tapas, and octopus. Need I say more? Also the sangria delicious and cheap enough to drink on any occasion.
Taking a 3-hour siesta during the work day is perfectly acceptable. And dance parties emerge at all hours of the day. Dinner is consumed much later and every day is a cause for celebration.
We didn’t spend much time cycling in Barcelona (we did a lot of walking, swimming, and DANCING, however) but there were many options for bicycle renting.
Public transport in Barcelona is also top-notch. Annie and I were easily able to access our hostel from the airport as well as the many neighbourhoods we visited during our stay.
I wish I had more photos of our hostel, Casa Gracia. The common area had some of the coolest design features, and the nicest of any hostel I’ve ever stayed at! It boasted a stunning library (where we were able to book many of our excursions and tours) and a beautiful kitchen (with free breakfast!) We had a 4-person room, which was perfect. Hostels are very hit or miss, and this one was a gem.
On my last night, we splurged on a boutique hotel, Barceló Raval, in the heart of Barcelona. Even though we had tickets to see Pendulum that night, it was incredibly difficult to leave our hotel with its rooftop pool and bar and stunning 360 degree views of Barcelona! It was the perfect send-off!
I can’t fully articulate my love for Barcelona, but it was a mix of the food (Oh, the paella! Oh, the sangria!), the artwork, and the beautiful natural surroundings. My love of salt water knows no bounds, and Barcelona has all the trappings of the perfect seaside city. Lengthy, boozy meals followed by evenings dancing under the stars are not only for special occasions, they are a way of life in Barcelona. Spanish culture in all its spontaneous glory truly resonates with me and the artistic, well-designed and environmental set-up of Barcelona makes it a worthwhile destination. I would return in a heartbeat.