Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Barcelona 2014 | Park Guell and Sunshine

On the third day of our holiday we got up early and headed to Park Guell. This was one of my favourite places we went to over the holiday! It was so lovely. On the way we stopped for pastries for breakfast. We found that food at the hotel was expensive so it was nice to be able to get some breakfast cheap locally (the massive croissants were 1 euro!) 

We got the metro to the Park Guell stop, and then the walk was about 20 minutes, which was all up hill, they even have escalators in the middle of the road as some parts of the hill were so steep to climb up! We walked round the top of the Park and got some amazing views, and then decided to go and buy tickets to enter the main part of the park. Using the tickets from the previous day (the museum tickets) we managed to get cheaper entry which was useful! 

Looking round the actual park was amazing, there was so much to see, I really enjoyed it, I think it is definitely something that should be seen and getting the metro there was easy enough. We went for a late lunch in town and I had the nicest vegetarian paella. 

For the rest of the afternoon we lay by the pool enjoying the last bit of the sun, that evening we headed out for tapas and tried lots of different dishes. It was an amazing (but very short) holiday and we found that we could definitely do Barcelona in a short amount of time for not too much money! Before we went we had been warned about the crime level in the city but I found as long as you were very aware, and kept hold of your bag, then it was quite easy to stay safe. There was definitely more that we could have seen, but Barcelona on a budget worked really well!

Barcelona 2014 | City Break

After finally all having finished our degrees, we decided it would be nice to have a girly city break, and seeing as we wanted to be near a beach as well we decided Barcelona would be the perfect place.

We booked a couple of weeks beforehand through Expedia, where we sorted flights (Monarch), transfer and hotel (Confortel Barcelona). The aim was to do Barcelona relatively cheaply and get to see as much of the city as possible in a short space of time, we definitely achieved this!
Leaving early in the morning meant we arrived in time for lunch, after problems with our transfer not turning up (we ended up waiting for 2 hours!) we were lucky enough to be able to check in early. The hotel was lovely and our rooms were clean and spacious. We headed out for lunch on Rambla del Poblenou which is a street full of restaurants, shops and cafes at reasonable prices, we stayed outside the main city as we wanted to be close to the beach. The rest of our first day consisted of a walk to the beach and down to the harbour, cocktails on the beach at a really nice beach bar, Chiringuitos and a picnic from the local supermarket back at our hotel. We sat on our roof top to watch the sunset.

The next day began early as we got up ready for a walk down the quiet Las Ramblas in the morning, it gets very busy just before midday so we wanted a chance to look round properly. We found the Gothic cathedral and the Gothic Quarter which was amazing, and went to the Barcelona History Museum, which was 5 Euro as we are all students. This ticket enabled us entry to many other attractions in Barcelona, so we would have been able to use this if we had been staying longer. For lunch we found an Italian restaurant which was very reasonably priced for high quality food. I would definitely recommend this restaurant as the service was great and food was so yummy.

We headed to the Sagrada Familia after lunch and rather than going inside we walked round the exterior and found a place across the lake looking straight at the Cathedral which was lovely. We decided upon going to the Casa Batllo and Casa Mila afterwards, however didn’t go inside either. Unfortunately the Casa Mila seemed to be having building work done as it was completely covered by a sheet! But at least we got to see it!

Up until this point we found everyone to be highly friendly and helpful, however on the metro home we experienced our first (and only) look at the pick-pocketing we had been warned about. Although it was quite scary, everyone on the Metro ensured the pick-pocketer didn’t escape with the bag that she had taken which was quite reassuring.

We had a picnic dinner on the beach and spent the rest of the evening on the beach followed by at a beach bar with Sangria.