So last weekend we were lucky enough to have a few days of escape, and that escape was to the beautiful, chilled and spirited city of Barcelona. I had been to the Catalan capital before but a good few years ago and was very much looking forward to exploring and enjoying the city all over again, and to swap the cold of the UK, to the warmth of sunny España. Just a couple of hours flight out of London and a twenty minute taxi from the city centre, it was a really easy start for all, additionally Wes had been learning Spanish leading up to our trip and naturally, dived in with the poco españo he knew, which definitely added some fun.
We were staying at the hotel, Casa Bonay (more on this next time) and within minutes of dropping off our bags we were wandering around the El Born district, getting lost through the winding lanes, taking far too many pictures of window boxes and washing hanging from the pretty buildings and drinking wine in little Tapas bars…..perfect!
Barcelona is a real beautiful mix of culture, style and the added bonus of the beach. It is vibrant and rich in architecture, with Gaudi’s creations dotted around the city, a pretty amazing food and drink scene, palm trees galore swaying in the breeze, with the beach 15 minute from the centre and well it is just a very, very cool place to be….Of course we just fitted right in. You can do as little as you like or jam pack it all in, I feel we sat somewhere in the middle, we walked everywhere clocking 17 kms on our first day…..I know? and just took the city in our stride, usually with a snack or two as we went on our way. Just a little note, due to bad organisation/hectic schedules pre leaving for Barcelona, we didn’t manage to book into any of the main sights, for example Gaudi’s Park Güell and Casa Milàor or the Savalador Dali museum, the queues were insane for everything, so we opted happily to spend time walking and seeing rather than queuing and waiting. However, I do recommend booking way in advance, especially if there is something really specific you were going for.
So with our comfy (ish) shoes on we walked the length and breadth of the city in 2 days, eating and drinking under the Spanish sunshine, (and at some points rain) as we happily skipped and soaked up the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region!
What we did, Where we went, What we saw.….
• We were staying in the Born district, so spent a lot of time around here. With it’s rusty orange and pink coloured, slightly tired, but very pretty buildings, fairy lit and narrow medieval streets and balcony galore. It is also home to some of the best restaurants and bars, which we happily sampled a few of . Lovely little boutique shops I may have purchased a few too many pieces of crockery from. It is quirky, very pretty and a little hip…but by far my most favourite area of the city.
• We Walked all the way up to Park Güell , which was about a 45 minute walk up hill, but completely worth it, allowing you to see the not so visited areas of the city and a peak into the every day outskirts. Park Güell was beautiful, (minus the street sellers and their dyed coloured doves, what is that about?) but just strolling around, under the ? the park felt a million miles away from the city. There is also a beautiful white house in the centre with the most incredible garden filled with lemon and orange trees and beautiful blooms…. dreams of living there were certainly had!
• From the Park we headed over to the Carmel Bunkers, for panoramic views of Barcelona, the bunkers is where anti-aircraft guns were installed in the Spanish Civil War. A 15 minute walk from the park, this felt like a little smug find and completely worth doing, away from the tourists, it was us, the view and a few locals with picnics and beers taking in the city from above, the views were pretty amazing.
• A Sunday morning with coffees and croissants in hand we wandered to the sights of Casa Milàor, Casa Batlló and Gaudi’s renowned unfinished La Sagrada Familia, before heading to Platja de Bogatell, yes walking again, paella at and cold white wine with views out to the sea at Xiringuito Escriba it felt as if we were on a real Summer holiday.
• One of the best things on the trip by far was a visit to La Boqueria , a huge market filled with fresh, fresh produce from fish to cheese, to crepes to fruit and vegetables all under one roof. There were also lots of tables and bars you can pull up a stool to and feast on shell fish and Cava. I loved the cones of cured meats and cheeses, which we went back to on or last day. An amazing market and makes you want to move to Spain just so you can do your weekly shop there.
Were we ate…
Brunch at Picnic, great breakfast and juices, and Alsur Cafe where I had the most amazing eggs Florentine but did question myself and still am, why I didn’t choose the grilled cheese toasted sandwich?
Lunch at Xiringuito Escriba, fresh fish, paella, all on the beach, perfect holiday lunching.
Dinner at Bar Mut, a really beautiful restaurant. There are no menus, staff just advise what to have, a really fun way to try new dishes in a really lovely setting. Elsa y Fred. A really quirky little place, we ate up at the bar and tucked in to delicious Tapas, I’d walk back to this place for another taste of their Patatas Bravas.
Cocktails at Libertine, a beautiful, chilled out bar with tasty cocktails.
So just three days, a lot of sights, a lot of eating and a lot of walking but all in harmony with the wonderful feeling of escaping the everyday. However ‘poquito’ our stay was in the vibrant, spirited, rather cool, beautiful Barcelona, we jumped into and relished the Barcelona vibe with utter relief, enjoyment and ease….leaving with hope that this city’s vibe had rubbed off a little onto us.
Next time our stay at Casa Bonay.
Floral print Dress |Zara
Blue wrap dress | H&M
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Thank you for reading x
All photos taken by me or Wes Venn.