My family and I had been planning a trip to Catalonia, Spain for a long time and we decided to finally go there. We only visited Barcelona and other rural places from Catalonia because my uncle ( who's name is Liviu ) lives in that area, so we had a free place to sleep.
We arrived in Spain, specifically in Barcelona's International Airport ( El Prat ) at around 7:00 AM, took a seat in the airport and waited for a taxi to come by so we can go to my uncle's. After a short period, the taxi took us to Liviu's house near the Barrera de la Vidala natural reservation. Been arrived, my mother recommended that we slept for a couple of hours before going on a visit-streak to enjoy the full experience of Barcelona.
It was around 11:00 AM and we had just woken up. Liviu made a delicious traditional Spanish breakfast consisting of Croissants de la almendra ( croissants with almonds ) and vanilla coffee to go with them. One we fulled our bellies, my uncle gave us his car to go visit the heart of Barcelona and some other shopping places or restaurants. We fist went to Las Ramblas, the center of Barcelona which represents a tree-lined boulevard that stretches across the heart of the city, with space for pedestrians along its center and cars on either side. It embraces many restaurants, shopping places, parking lots and many other entertaining bistros, bars, night-clubs. We decided to spend the whole day here and I will now tell you how I spent mine. First, I told my family to meet at the begining of the boulevard ( Las Ramblas is approximately 1.2 kilometres long ) at 8 PM, then I proceded to cover all the distance between the head and the tail of this big-sized avenue. Along the way, I admired all the human statues I could see and offered them each some money for their great efforts ( just for reference, try standing stone-still for 1 minute, I bet you can't do it! ). I even had a painter draw a portrait of me and it turned out to be one of my favorite paintings! While shopping for clothes and souvenirs, I found a vendor selling the famous churros, so I decided to try some and instantly felt the need to buy more and more. It's a delicacy from Spain and a must-try, excuisite-flavoured desert.
The clock turned 8 and I met up with my family at the begining of the boulevard to take Liviu's car and go back to his place. After arriving, we sat down with my uncle and talked about the thing's we've all done that day, before going to sleep and preparing for the second day in Barcelona.
We woke up and ate breakfast, consisting of the famous bikini from Catalonia, a sort of grilled ham and cheese on white sandwich bread and of freshly squeezed orange juice. After filling our bellies, we started the journey to visit the wonders of Barcelona. My father told us that Liviu recommended having a drink on the 7th floor of La Isabela, Hotel 1898, a famous terrace known for it's splendid view over Barcelona city, so we went there. After enjoying a nice non-alcoholic green mojito, we "sailed" to one of the wonders of the modern world, the famous, unfinished and splendid ( little said ) roman cathedral, La Sagrada Familia. As you probabily know, this jaw-dropping building is designed by the catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the legendary character that sprinkled Barcelona with architectonic jewelries. I was so lucky to had visited the Sagrada Familia, along with the other diamonds of Barcelona. Next, we took the car and drove to another wonder tought by Gaudi, the impressive Casa Batllo. At the price of just $25 for the admission, you can visit one of the buildings Antoni had used all his ingenuity and knowledge to build, plus you can visit the Casa Amatller for free. Casa Batllo is a must see place to discover a new world.
We remained in the world of Antoni Gaudi by visiting another reflection of Gaudi's artistic plenitude, Park Guell. It is a UNESCO-listed monument and a public park system composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona. At the main entrance, you can find Gaudi's multicolored mosaic salamander, popularly known as "el drac" ( the dragon ). Much of the park is still wooded, but it’s laced with pathways. The best views are from the cross-topped Turo de les Tres Creus (Turó del Calvari) in the southwest corner.
It was a tiring day, so we met at the car after visiting Park Guell and drove to my uncle's, where we chilled for the rest of the evening.
On the third day, we slept a little more than we had planned. It was no problem because we hadn't planned anything to do this day other than relax and enjoy a beach day in Barcelona. Meanwhile we were arguing about where to go, Liviu cooked us breakfast. It was a delicious omelette and a nice glass of orange juice to get us the dose of energy we needed to get our day started.
I came in Spain with a purpose and that was to visit the pitch of the great champions of Spain besides Real Madrid, the Catalans , or widely known as Barcelona or Barca. They are my favorite team of football ( soccer ). I still don't know why, but the security guard didn't let us take a glimpse of the stadium, probabily because the rules had changed over the past years ( I've came here one more time when I was little and at that time, there was little to no security ).
After "visiting" Camp Nou ( the pitch of Barca ), we decided to spend this day on the Barceloneta Beach. It is a public beach which contains free Wi-fi, several lifeguards, a lot of seats, restaurants, bars and cafe's. This beach is right close to the city, making it easily accessible. For lunch, we ate the traditional dish of paella ( which is a plate of seafood curry with rice ) and Fricando ( which is one of the few traditional Catalan dishes that stars beef ) for dinner.
After we ate breakfast, we took the car from the garage and went straight to Casa Mila, one of the "casas" we hadn't visited the other day because we forgot. Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is located just a few blocks away from Casa Batllo and Casa Amatller on Passeig de Gracia. This is the last civil work designed by Antoni Gaudi and it represents a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is another icon of Barcelona, but still not as popular as Casa Batllo. We walked by La Pedrera and didn't see many people visiting this place like we saw at Batllo. We chose to buy a private tour showing us the inside of the Casa while storying us about the building and it's designer, Gaudi ( this tour averagely lasts for 1-1.5 hours ).
We walked 10 minutes until we arrived at El Nacional, a highly rated tapas restaurant. For lunch, we had canelons ( cilindrical type of lasagna, filled with beef, tomato sauce, basil and ricotta cheese ) and paella, because we highly appreciated the flavor, creaminess and the sea-food taste of the one from the other day.
We went back to Casa Mila to take our car and drive to the Gothic Quarter, the old city center of Barcelona. For us, it was truly one of the highlights in the capital of Catalonia. Wandering its labyrinth of narrow, cobblestone streets will surely take you back in time. Also a quick tip, go shopping, like we did, at the small boutiques and go eat tapas or cava at the small restaurants. Just near the Quarter sits the Barcelona Cathedral, so we walked 5 minutes to arrive there and we were definetly not dissapointed! The church was built in the 13th-15th centuries and it still reigns till this day. Near this beautiful church there is one more historical, splendid and beautiful piece of art named the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral.
After this long and amazing day, we had dinner at the Bodega Biarritz. It is a popular yet tiny restaurant that serves tapas heavy with meat and cheese. The meal was delicious, just the perfect dish before saying "goodbye!" to this exquisite city. We were done eating so we returned the car to Liviu, my uncle and said goodbye to him before leaving with a taxi to the airport to catch the plane to our home country.
I hope this itinerary helped you plan your trip to Barcelona! If you are irresolute on which country you want to visit next, please leave a watch on my other itineraries! Safe and splendid trips, traveller!
#catalonia #barcelona #cathedral #casabatllo #lasagradafamilia #parkguell #unesco