It’s no secret that my boyfriend and I love to travel, so when he suggested we take a break and go on a citytrip to Barcelona, I was in. I had never been to Barcelona before and didn’t really know what to expect. At school we learned a bit about Gaudi and the work he had done in the city, I really wanted to see his work. Whenever I go somewhere new, I get excited about going shopping there and my friend Niki who had been recently told me Barcelona wasn’t as good as she had expected shopping wise, so again I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We got up early in the morning and drove to station to get a train to Brussels where our flight was leaving. Because our day started so early, we arrived relatively early and had a whole day ahead of us. With our stomachs rumbling we set off in search of food after dropping off our suitcases at the hotel.
Luckily the famous market we wanted to visit, La Boqueria, was only a stones throw away from the hotel. This place was a food paradise, I’m sure we could have stayed in Barcelona a few weeks and go to the market every day and still not tire of it. We tried a bit of everything, ham, fresh fruit, fried fish, calamaries… mmhh all of it so tasty, even writing this and uploading these pictures are making me hungry. We ended going back quite a few times.
After this we moved on and went for a wonder in town. Dominick had been to Barcelona a few times before and vaguely knew his way around. This was to be my first taste of shopping in Barcelona and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t buy anything yet but I was glad to see there were plenty of shops to my liking. We even saw a Tiger shop. I hadn’t started my new job in Brugges then and being really excited to start, I wanted to have a look at the spanish version of my new workplace.
Al this walking around had made us hungry again. We spotted a small chocolate cafe, where they sold about almost everything chocolaty and went in for a spot to eat. My god, it was delicious! I had a chocolate cake with a runny center, it was one of the best deserts I ever had and it wasn’t to heavy.
While we were enjoying our desserts we decided to go visit Sagrada Familia. It was quite a walk but it was worth it. Construction started all the way back in 1882 and due to low funds is still an ongoing project to this day. It truly is a beautiful place. I had learned a bit about Gaudi’s master piece at school and I have to say the school books don’t do it justice.
We paid €15 each and spent quiet some time inside, I’m not sure how long. Every time we thought we had seen everything there was to see, we turned the corner to find there was more.
We ended our day with what was probably the best food we had during our stay. Dominick had been to this restaurant before and said he really wanted to go back. There weren’t that many other people in the restaurant at the time, so we got to choose where we wanted to sit. The staff were very friendly but there English was very limited. As it turned out my boyfriend had been a bit modest when he said he could speak a small amount of spanish.. He was almost fluent!! At least in conversations, not so much food wise. The menu was in spanish only and Dominick was able to roughly translateeverything.
We didn’t take a picture of our starter but this was, no doubt, the best thing we had during our stay. I’m pretty sure it was beef, with a spicy sauce along with potatoes and yellow sauce, no idea what it was, but it was divine.
The next day we got up bright and early. We went to a all you can eat breakfast buffet, which was pretty good, although we were disappointed when we went back the next day and we found they had actually served up the leftovers from the day before and most of it was stale!
After breakfast we made our way to park Guell, I don’t know where I got the idea but I thought the park would be closed for maintenance, but after a few inquiries we were happy to hear this wasn’t true. We were really lucky with the weather, it was nice and sunny all morning.
The park was divided into two parts. One part was open to the public and anyone could walk around and enjoy the scenery and the other was for paying visitors. We decided we wanted to see the whole thing and purchased tickets. You may have noticed I have a bit of a diy bandage thing going on, I fell on my hand a day before we left for Barcelona.
I’m disappointed to say I wasn’t able to get one photo of the green birds that roamed the place. They were so cool, I think they were some kind of parrot. However we did bump into Pol the pigeon.
Before making a quick stop at the gift shop, we made our way to a fish restaurant I had read about. A few weeks before we left, Dominick and I went out and bought ourselves a Barcelona book with all the must-see’s and best places to eat. I had been put in charge of the dinner planing and finding the best restaurants. I spent hours looking up places and reading reviews and made a long list of options marking the addresses on the included map. And I forgot it at home.. All I had with me was a notebook where I had scribbled a few notes in about places and La Paradeta was one of the few.
With a little help of the maps on our phones we were able to find the fish bar in one of the many tiny little streets. If anything it really reminded me of a fish market. We came in and were asked what we would like, were we eating in and did we want bread or salad.
We ordered tuna steak, calamaris, king prawns, salad and bread. We were given a number and told to take a seat and to collect our order when our number was called. It was delicious! Especially the calamaris, they might have been some of the best I have ever had. When we first got the plate we said were never going to finish this. But ended up being sad when it was finished.
This was to be our last afternoon in Barcelona so what better way to spend it than to go shopping! I found plenty of thing I liked, two pairs of shoes, a coat.. I loved stradivarius, I hadn’t heard of this shop yet and Pull and bear, which I hadn’t been to yet. As for Mango and Zara and such being cheaper, it is true. I bought a dress in the sales in the mango and in Belgium it was still full price a month later. In the Bershka I got a tshirt that was €2 cheaper than in the rest of Europe. But I have to say shopping for men wasn’t that great. There wasn’t that much choice and very few shops.
We couldn’t go to Barcelona and not have Tapas, that would just be wrong. So for our last dinners we went to one of the many Tapas bars along the Ramblas. We had walked past this one quite a few times and it was always packed, which is always a good sign. As I am writing this up a month later and have let to much time pass, I couldn’t exactly tell you what we ordered, except it was a lot. The dessert however I can tell you was a white chocolate mouse, a brownie with baileys ice cream and a kind of orangy creme brulet.
I have to say, we overslept a bit the last day. So our plans to go for one last wonder in la Boqueria before leaving for the airport didn’t go through. We did however have time to go for a quick meal close to the hotel. No trip is complete without a pizza! I had a carbonara which wasn’t that great. As you can see in the picture I wasn’t too happy about going home!
I had a great time with my boyfriend. Everywhere and anywhere we go, we always have a lot of fun and that’s what it’s all about!