The Travelling Cake Addict

18 March 2011

Bienvenido a Barcelona!

First trip of the year. A well deserved weekend with some of the crazy people in my life, a chance for exploring and relaxing, lots of eating and a generous amount of laughs.

Barcelona is a very tourist friendly place. Barcelona is cosmopolitan, it is historic, it is cultural, it is diverse and oozes lots and lots of chic. I was amazed with how Barca had both old and new, city and beach, culture and youth in one little city. It may seem like mayhem but it works. Every building sat side by side had different characters, but it all blended in together peacefully. I loved Barca and I would so go again! We already decided where we would live!

The mounds of tourists shuffling through busy La Rambla was a bit overwhelming. Now that kinda stuff I hate...I don't like rushing on holiday (unless its to catch my plane or something lol), but in Barca I couldn't care less. It was fun and chilled, despite only having a weekend we managed to do everything we wanted to do and even had time for Siestas! haha. The city treated us very well and we even ate really amazing food. We stayed at a really fancy and plush 4* hotel a 5 minute walk from the main strip of La Rambla (the perks of having friends who get great travel discounts lol) called the Grand Hotel Central. Barca is a very walkable city and strolling through little cobblestone streets could lead you into beautiful old style squares. We found a little square called Plaza Real, it had lots of restaurants and a little fountain all boxed inside beautiful town houses with wooden shutters and tall windows. We had our favourite meals in that square.

Sightseeing is absolutely tourist friendly. If you have limited time in the City and wish to see most of the sights, then the best option is the Hop on Hop off bus! for about 22 euros per day it'll take you to all of the tourist spots and you can choose to just stay on the whole route or hop off wherever you wish to venture. We saw La Sagrada Familia, which was designed by the artist Antoni Gaudi (you will see alot of his architecture and work all over the city). A must see is the beautiful Parc Guell (also another Gaudi creation), my favorite place in Barcelona. Its colourful and bright mosaic roof top over looking its stunning city is a very busy and popular tourist spot but when you are there you kinda forget about how manic it gets..and just enjoy the view and the talented musicians scattered around the park grounds. Do have a little stroll through the gardens (kinda like secret gardens) and get a picture with the mosaic lizard that greets you on the front steps of the entrance. If you start feeling a little claustrophobic from the sightseeing, a 15 minute stroll from La Rambla will take you to the Marina and towards the beach, yes there is sand and sea!! Pick up a delicious scoop of Gelato from Dinos and watch the sunset by the marina.  

Did I mention we ate really well? Catelonia and Spanish food is yum. A trip to Espana is not complete without a steaming fresh pan of Paella or a selection of tapas!? We had really gorgeous fresh seafood paella, with juicy plump shellfish and fragrant saffron tinted rice! Really filling and perfect with a glass of vino tinto or sangria! We also tasted the well known Patatas Bravas, which is..well fried potato with an orange tangy sauce (kinda like a burger sauce lol). A must try is the Pa amb tomaquet which is fresh bread (yes broke my Lenten promise >.<) rubbed with garlic and fresh tomato and olive oil on top and for dessert try the Crema Catalan which is like a Creme brule but with more of an orangy custard taste. I really wanted to try the Churros from a traditional Xurreria served along side a thick hot chocolate, it will be on my to do list when I return.

Barca was refreshing, beautiful and clean. It reminded me of how much more I needed to see on my doorstep. Only an hour and half flight away and you are in a different world but never to far from home. I think for new travellers Barca is a great place to venture to. Its easy and cheap to get around and you can see a lot in just a few days.

Barcelona por favor! and thank you to my crazy travel friends Gemmalina =P and Magnetron Fats!


Roanne said...

I think you made me miss Barcelona so much more having read your titilating digestible entry about your visit there. Isn't it the most amazing city ever? I could truly see myself living there- love the pictures that go with the descriptions. Parc Guell is also my favourite place in Barcelona, so scenic, wild and untamed in a preserved time and place. Great stuff.

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