My first attempt at visiting Spain was one to remember. That’s the time I missed my flight and ended up in Zurich, which for the geographically challenged, was quite an adventure. Wait. Where is Zurich???
So this next attempt, I was determined to actually make it there. And guess what? I DID!! YAY!
Barcelona has a ton to offer, and with only two nights and two full days, it was going to be challenging fitting it all in!
La Sagrada Familia
Or better known by me as The Sangria Family, hehe. We decided to book this one in advance, and I’m so glad we did. When we arrived at the La Sagrada Familia the line was quite long, and not only for pay on the day tickets, but also for online bookings. There is a tower you can climb, well take the lift to the top to a viewing deck, and this was part of the pre-paid ticket. Unfortunately due to the rain and all round miserable weather, we weren’t allowed to go to the top out of safety. This kinda sucked a lot, as I was really looking forward to it.
Luckily the building itself made up for the slight disappointment of not seeing Barcelona from the top.
The church is AMAZING! So much detail both inside and outside. You could easily spend hours looking at all the carvings. It’s hard to believe the building has been under construction since 1882. You have to wonder what kind of dreams Gaudi had to be able to come up with such a magnificent structure.
In keeping with the Gaudi theme, I visited Parc Guell. This was also breathtakingly beautiful. I didn’t get a chance to really walk around the free part of the garden, even though it looked beautiful. I was more interested in going inside to see the water fountain, the mosaic benches, and the view from atop one of the structures there. The time, effort and detail in this place is incredible.
The Other Sights
The hotel I was staying in was in a really nice hip area of Barcelona, so I spent a lot of time on the Sunday walking around with no plan, and just stumbling across interesting things.
The weather was amazing for this, it felt like a winter’s day back home. Cool wind, but warm sun.
As you wind through the narrow streets you stumble across tons of cathedrals and interesting buildings. Being a Sunday, day of prayer, you could hear the church bells ringing, and in some of the cathedrals they had organ players, belting out tunes, which was super cool.
Outside one of the churches in the square, there was a brass band playing tunes, and a heap of people dancing around in a circle, I guess it’s a traditional dance, looked really fun nonetheless.
One of the things I was looking forward to the most was the TAPAS and SANGRIA!! And luckily for me, they were no shortage on that deliciousness.
I had scoped out some markets on the internet prior to going to Barcelona that I wanted to visit. The markets I visited were like Famer’s Markets, there were stalls and stalls full of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, cheeses, breads, and sweets. Here was where I fell in love with Turron 🙂 it’s basically a form of nougat, that has tons of different flavours. Naturally I had to sample them all. I ended up buying two to bring home with me, butttt they totally didn’t even make it out of the airport (yep I ate the lot before I got on my flight, whoops). I can highly recommend the coconut and chocolate flavour.
We also managed to squeeze our way into a seafood bar, where they served fresh seafood tapas style. We had prawns, squid, tuna, salmon, peppers, bravas and the most delicious baked vegetables in the world. It was all fresh and seasoned so simply, with sea salt, and olive oil.
Another one of my favourite restaurants was directly out the front of our hotel. This place was super busy, but we managed to have a seat at the bar, which was actually quite cool. Again we ordered practically everything on the menu which I could eat, and SANGRIA. The sangria came in a glass bottle, and was premade, and this was actually the most refreshing sangria I’d ever had, the perfect mix of red wine and sweetness. Also another highlight of this meal was the tomatoes. The dish was quite simple with 4 different varieties of tomato with tuna and olives, but the flavours were out of this world.
The final meal in Barcelona was at a restaurant that served gluten free breads, WINNING! This was accompanied with 4 different styles of cured meats, and duck, olives, squid, homemade sangria, and finished off with vegetable sorbet! The sorbet wasn’t very sweet and was a weird texture, but still very delicious.
So that was Barcelona…… I could definitely see myself coming back for summer. The beaches looked really nice, and relaxing. And I can finally say I’ve been to Spain…. YAY!!!
Peace out for now….