Hi everyone, long time no blog! Sorry I have been a bit absent recently, we got back from our Top Deck tour of Italy only yesterday and it was very full on. I’ve managed to get this written out though so I can get started on the Italy post soon.
Barcelona seems like such a long time ago, even though it’s only been a few weeks. We headed off from Seville via train and arrived in Barcelona on June 2nd. I had heard great things about this city so I was looking forward to escaping the Seville heat and seeing what the second largest city in Spain had to offer.
Our Airbnb was a little far from the city centre, so we took the metro multiple times a day. I must admit it was nice for a change after walking everywhere in Lisbon, Lagos and Seville. On our first day, we had booked in for a food tour. This was such a good start to our time in Barcelona and we turned out to be the only people on the tour – so it was great to be able to chat to our tour guide about the city. He could speak six (might have even been seven!) languages fluently and spoke to us about the political struggles happening at the moment and a bit about his opinion on how the city is going to cope moving forward. It was really interesting hearing his experiences over some amazing food! We started off in a fresh produce market and ended up in a restaurant for lunch. We tried octopus (my favourite at the market), cod, croquettes, tomato bread, calamari, risotto, anchovies, vermouth, and the best thing to come out of Spain – patatas bravas. I could eat these everyday (and I think I actually might have…).
We took another Sandemans walking tour as well, which gave us even more information on the history of Barcelona. We wandered through the Gothic Quarter, past the Sagrada Familia and down La Rambla. Our guide gave us the best recommendation for dinner – so we were at La Fianna a couple of nights in a row! Highly recommend them for 2-for-1 cocktails and delicious tapas.
We also visited Park Guell – unfortunately on a drizzly day. We seemed to hit Barcelona in the middle of an average weather week. Seeing photos of Park Guell online gave me pretty high expectations, which weren’t really met when we got there. It was still worth a visit, but didn’t come close to the palaces and parks we had seen in Sintra and Seville.
The highlight of Barcelona for me was La Boqueria food market. It was amazing – so many vibrant food stalls selling fresh produce, chocolates, meat, cheeses, breads, the list goes on! I highly recommend going on an empty stomach and tasting as much as you can. Jeremy and I tended to share everything we bought so that we could try more. We had fresh pineapple & coconut juice, dumplings, pork buns, empanadas, apple tarts, gourmet chocolate, noodles, Mexican curry tortillas and chocolate covered strawberries. You could have easily gone back the next day and had entirely different food.
We also wandered through La Ciutadella Park and saw the fountain – which in my opinion was a lot better than Park Guell (and it was free).
Jeremy and I headed to our beachfront accommodation for the last couple of nights and checked out the beach, mall and La Rambla Poblenou. We also had a delicious paella near the beach for dinner one night.
Overall, although I’m sure some people will disagree, I didn’t really see what the huge fuss is about over Barcelona. I’m not sure if it was the average weather, but it just didn’t meet those expectations for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed our time there, but compared to the places we had been, it was probably at the end of my list. Although, it was by far the best food we had tried on our trip up until that point which is always a plus in my books!
I’ll get working on the post for Italy, it was absolutely amazing so stay tuned!