I can’t believe it’s been four months since my mum and I went on this little trip to Barcelona and that we’re already halfway through the year. Crazy times hey! Finally I have time to do blog updates! Yay.
Me and Mikee really wanted to thank my mum for all the help she gave us last year when we were going through the whole crazy buying a flat process. She came and looked at almost all of the places we viewed, she was all hands on deck when we moved in, she helped us with some of the financial stickies of buying your own place and we basically wouldn’t have been able to do half the stuff we have done without her guidance and knowledge. So I booked the trip as a Christmas gift, for the week after her birthday and just in time for Mother’s day meaning I could triple celebrate with her. I’ll try and do this a little like my San Fran post however I know how long these posts can get so I’m splitting the trip in half. Part two shall come soon.
HOW WE GOT THERE:
Our flights were booked via Norwegian airlines, direct to Barcelona from Gatwick. The flights were around £75 per person.
We met each other at Gatwick, after both getting the train. I got the overground and then a national rail train from London and mum got a train direct from Eastbourne.
HOW WE GOT AROUND:
WALKING – We actually averaged about 17k steps per day!
METRO & TRAM – We bought a 5 day Barcelona Card, it allows you unlimited transport for five days, and free and discounted entry into some of the museums and exhibitions, as well as offering discounts for certain restaurants. The card itself is €60 per person. You can also get 3 and 4 day passes which are slightly cheaper.
TAXI – We got one from the Airport to our AirBnB when we arrived, it saved us time and cost us about €30
AEROBUS – As hard as we tried to book a taxi to take us to the airport it didn’t work, so we found where there Aerobus left from, got up at 4am and walked the 20 minute walk with our hand luggage, it was quite speedy, comfortable and only cost €5,90 each so we were able to get some breakfast at the airport with our change.
CARRER DEL ROSELLÓ AIRBNB
We stayed at a lovely airbnb which was pretty central while still being quiet enough to be residential. It was super close to everything you might need like shops, two or three metro stops and ice cream… It was a fifteen minute walk from the Sagrada Familia and in the opposite direction you had the main strip with shops and restaurants so all in all it was a pretty great location. It had two rooms so mum and I had our own beds, which were pretty comfy – I think it’s the first time I’ve achieved close to 100% of sleep quality on sleep cycle. The host was Tamari and she was very helpful when we needed to figure some things out and gave us some recommendations of places to go when we got there.
DAY ONE: LA BOQUERIA MARKET AND THE GOTHIC QUARTER
Brunch was had at Gatwick preflight
Dinner was oddly Italian food from Restaurante Italiano Rossini in Plaça Reial
After we arrived mum and I decided that it would be a great idea to stock up on some food for the week. I’d read about La Boqueria and thought we might as well do some sight seeing in the process of topping up our food. We used our Barcelona card and navigated the first metro station without too much trouble. We mostly just got single lines to make the getting around more straightforward and made the most of the walks and seeing the environment around us. Once we got to our stop we walked through some beautiful back streets around the Gothic Quarter which reminded me of the tiny streets in Como in Italy, it looked like we were surrounded by some interesting shops, I loved the umbrellas on the building in the picture below. The market kind of reminded me of Borough Market in London but bigger, more colourful and with fresher fruit. We picked up some veggies, cheese and bread and wandered around looking at all the food that was on offer. Once we were done we decided to walk back to the metro and stumbled upon Plaça Reial where it was so pretty we decided to stop and have some food in the sun and I convinced my mum to have some wine before we made our way back to the apartment to get in a good sleep.
DAY TWO: SANT PAU RECINTE MODERNISTA & SAGRADA FAMILIA
Breakfast was avocado, cheese and tomato on toast Al La Me
Lunch was dessert and €3 wine at 1902 Cafè Modernista
Dinner was tapas and sangria as Taller De Tapas
Our first full day was quite full on. We’d booked tickets online for the afternoon to go the Sagrada Familia. But we had a morning to kill and ended up on a whim visiting what I would say was the best bit of the trip. Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is a former hospital and the world’s largest Art Nouveau Site. All I can say is I wish hospitals looked like that now. It was stunning. The attention to detail that had gone into the design and quality of everything in the buildings on the site was amazing, even in the former wards you had beautiful tiles decorating the walls and ceilings. When it was designed the mental well being of the patients who were going to be admitted there was taken into consideration, you can see that with the amount of space: a single patient had something like 140sq feet to themselves. There were underground passage ways made so you could get to each of the buildings without having to go outside during times of bad weather, and the garden used plants that would also offer an element of therapy through the smells that surrounded the hospital, with the added benefit of fresh, seasonal produce.
Once we were done at the hospital we had a quick break with some sweet treats and could see the Sagrada Familia from where we were so we decided to walk there even if we were going to be early. On the way I realised I’d left our tickets at the apartment so we walked right past and went to pick those up and then walked back on ourselves. We were pretty happy to have booked the tickets online as the queue to get in was huge, even on a weekday in March. Book online friends, and deffo book a tower trip just for the views. The building is as stunning as everyone says. It’s huge. The scale of everything is mesmerising. I loved that the stained glass windows were just glass and not depictions of anything, and that they ran in colour gradients along so at every time of day you’ll end up with a completely different experience of colour within the space. Saying that though, my favourite parts were the parts that were just plain white. The amount of detail that’s gone into every element of it is mind blowing. We took a tower trip, which involved a lift to get to the top, a bit of vertigo and long walk down a tiny spiral staircase. The views across the city from the top are amazing. I can only imagine how incredible this building is going to be when it finally gets finished. We’ll have to go see the final thing when it’s done.
Once we were done, we walked back to our apartment, then decided it was late enough to grab dinner. My mum had never had tapas before so we went to grab some tiny dishes from Taller de Tapas and some sangria just because we felt we deserved the treat after walking all day! Check back for the part two and I’ll give you the deets of the Botanical Gardens, Barcelona Zoo and Park Güell.