Barcelona: Food, Culture, and Plenty of Plane Problems

I haven’t updated much recently, as my last post dealt with, and one of the best events of the last couple of months was my trip to Barcelona – for a whole week! My boyfriend and I have been before, a couple of years ago, but only for a few nights. A week in such an amazing city was so worth it, and allowed us to see and do so much more, and we didn’t have to cram everything we wanted to do into a short space of time.

We essentially got off to a pretty rocky start when our flight was cancelled. I’ve been going abroad a couple of times a year for about 15 years and I’ve never had this happen to me before. The worst thing was that Easyjet thought it was okay to just write up the cancelled flights on a whiteboard at the front of the check in desks. Very professional… It all worked out in the end though – we got rebooked on a flight 2 days later and extended our holiday by 2 days as well. We were put up in a hotel for those 2 nights (so we didn’t have to come back to the airport) and we actually had a great day on the middle day as we went on a day trip to Brighton, which has rapidly become one of my favourites places to visit.

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[me in front of Brighton pavilion]

When we eventually arrived in Barcelona 2 days late, it was late in the evening, and we had bit of trouble trying to catch the last train from the airport into town. The hotel was amazing though, and although not in the centre of Barcelona, it was in a quiet business district, right next to an underground station, a shopping mall, and the amazing Torre Agbar:

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We were lucky enough to get a room on this side of the hotel, so the views at night were fantastic! The room was also beautiful, although it did have a rather odd bathroom with glass walls, and the shower literally flooded the bathroom every time it was used.

This trip, we spent an awful lot of time eating and drinking! We had done a lot more preparation for this holiday, and so we knew what places we wanted to try and which were well-known and popular. This meant that we ate at some really fantastic restaurants, like Red Ant, which served Chinese tapas.

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[the insane tapas at Red Ant]

This is now making me really hungry, so I’ll quickly skip through the rest. We found amazing tapas almost every day, ate fantastic Italian, and even got some famous Vioko ice creams during our day at the beach.

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[tapas]

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[Matt’s giant pizza]

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[Vioko ice creams]

We also discovered an amazing little Cava bar, called El Xampanyet. It was just brilliant. Basically, it’s insanely popular, and doesn’t open until 7, so if you want a seat fairly soon you have to get there within about 10 minutes of it opening. The first time we went (yes, we went twice…), we were lucky because we didn’t know quite how popular it was, and we did get seated pretty much straight away. The second time, it was a Thursday or Friday (I can’t quite remember), and although we were geekily at the start of the queue, it was a good job and a big queue formed behind us before it had even opened. The beauty of the place is that it’s tiny, has amazing tapas, and, oh yeah, sells litre bottle of cava for 4 euros. Yup, 4 euros. And it tasted so good! It was such an amazing experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone going to Barcelona, even if it’s the only bar you go to!

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[cava and tapas at El Xampanyet]

Obviously there is a bit more to Barcelona than just food and drink! One of my favourite places to go in Barcelona is the Museu Nacional. It’s actually an art museum, but it looks amazing from the outside, with fountains and mini waterfalls and lots of steps and pillars everywhere. There are also great views out over the city.

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[museu nacional]

We visited the Chocolate Museum, went again to see the Sagrada Familia, went to the beach, saw the Arc de Triomf, and had a picnic in the park on one of the hottest days while we were there. We saw some of the other famous buildings designed by Gaudi, and I had the biggest and most and most expensive drink of Coca Cola on Las Ramblas.

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[lovely cranes in the background by the Sagrada Familia]

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[the arc de triomf by night]

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[Gaudi’s Casa Battló]

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[the beach]

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[more beach, editing courtesy of instagram]

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[picnic w/ cava in Ciutadella park]

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[the price of this giant Coca Cola made Matt very angry… it was extortionate]

All in all, despite the delay, we managed to have a brilliant week in Barcelona! It’s genuinely one of my favourite holiday destinations, and there’s simply so much to do! Add in the beach alongside all of the city amenities, and obviously a cheeky trip or three to Sephora, and you’ve really got the perfect holiday 🙂

 

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