Omg. I’m FINALLY WRITING AGAIN. I took a really long hiatus from the blog because I was finishing up my thesis and had some personal issues to take care of, both in terms of health as well as relationships. I had a big breakthrough today (exciting announcement soon) and it just inspired me to get back to writing.
So F.C. and I took off recently to Spain for 19 days and I am so excited to share my experiences with you in a series of blog posts! Our first stop was his city of Barcelona.
Let’s start with saying, Barcelona is a really cool city. It has a crazy amount of things to see and do and is so Bohemian in it’s own way. I also happened to be there during the terrorist attack on the 17th of August that occurred in Las Ramblas and it was just unreal to see the spirit of the people and their solidarity against it. On a less sombre note though, here is what not to miss in Barcelona:
1. The Gaudí Trail in Barcelona
You just can’t go to Barcelona and ignore the presence and spirit of this famous architect. Right from the MASSIVE Sagrada Familia, all the way to Park Güell, Gaudi’s architecture gives the city it’s oomph and character at every turn. Travel agencies like BarcelonaExclusivePrivateTours will make sure that you feel the difference in the ambience there. Start your day at the Plaza Catalunya, and spend your day walking to Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. Casa Batlló has a great virtual tour in 3-D and this house is so quirky and weird at every turn! La Pedrera is slightly less imaginative, but is a walking history book of his work.
Back after a long hiatus. So much has happened! I finished my master’s degree and took off on a lovely 20 day trip to Spain Feeling energized and happy to be back on the ‘gram! Missed you, instafam, and can’t wait to share my moments with you. This was taken at Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona, not far from the Ramblas on Day 1.
While walking down Barcelona’s streets, you’ll find some highly unusual buildings that defy a traditional sense of structure. It’s all thanks to the city’s favorite architect – Gaudí. On my trip, I had the pleasure of visiting Casa Battló, a really interesting nautical themed home with a bone like exterior , a dragon skin like roof and nautical interiors ⚓️ . (let’s not forget the mushroom fireplace? ) #NirvanainSpain . . . .
After Casa Battló, it was only natural to go see La Pedrera, another Gaudí work of excellence. the interiors looked like a tropical forest, whereas the exteriors resembled a stone quarry. Not many people may appreciate it, but you see examples drawn from nature in his work that results in some quirky designs. Always a method to his madness. P.s. did you know I wanted to be an architect before I started high school? I didn’t do it because I can’t draw #NirvanainSpain . . . . . #Barcelona
Know a building still under construction from 135 years ago? Well, you’re looking at it right now. 2028 is the estimated year of completion for the #SagradaFamilia, another Gaudí project which he obviously didn’t get to see; in fact he had a tram accident a few years after groundbreaking. It’s phenomenal, I have no other words to explain it.
I would suggest carrying a really good pair of walking shoes, because Barcelona is definitively better seen on foot! While Park Guell is gorgeous and reminds you of an alternative Smurf-land, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Sagrada Familia. It is breathtaking at every turn. If you’re a student, you’re in luck as these places usually have better rates. You can also choose to skip the queue and save time by buying online tickets. While La Pedrera and Casa Batllo are relatively easy to see in one morning, it would be too tiring to then see both the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. I would spread these attractions out over three days.
2. Eat everything – from the Boqueria to a Michelin star restaurant
I finally got to experience a @michelinguide restaurant in Barcelona. Went to @restauranteangle by Jordi Cruz and this was possibly my fav dish off the menu – the sweet corn taco with foie gras and mole. Delicate and creamy all at once #tasteBarcelona #Spanishcuisine Are you a foodie that loves to travel? Is trying a Michelin restaurant high on your list anytime you make it to a destination that has one?
As a lover of food, I must say that Spain is FOOD HEAVEN. Living in Dubai has its perks with lots of restaurants to choose from, but unless I have a tasting scheduled, I scour through Zomato regularly before I decide where to dine. Barcelona is very different though. It’s a good place to eat at every turn. We went to the Boqueria with an already full stomach but couldn’t help helping ourselves to the pastries, a high quality jamon ( thin slices of aged pork) and turrons. A place near F.C.’s served the most divine porras (a cousin of the churro) to be dipped in the thickest hot chocolate. Jordi Cruz’s Angle restaurant had a divine and light foie gras sweet corn taco that melts in your mouth. Everything from the salty to the sweet, the crisp to the fluffy, Spanish cuisine has a life and poetry of its own. If you enjoy Michelin star-dining, I would recommend skipping your visit in the month of August as most of these restaurants are closed. Try the paella at Barcelonata, it’s fabulous though a bit heavy on the pocket. Try not to eat at the Ramblas as it’s unnecessarily expensive and it’s too touristy. If you’re looking for something truly alternative, maybe venture into Boca de las fades, a gorgeous fairy forest-themed bar.
Nope, not an enchanted forest..but a bar! This bar is called @elboscdelesfades (Fairy Forest) and it’s simply magical in there! It’s right out of a fairytale and has a section for oddities too. A bit on the expensive side, it’s decent for a drink or two and is child friendly. Something quirky to check out in #Barcelona. #NirvanainSpain
3. Get lost in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
Possibly my favourite sight of the city after the Sagrada Familia. The Gothic Quarter is by far my favourite place in Barcelona. Besides its narrow streets and Assassin’s Creed vibes, it is nothing short of enchanting. My favourite street is Petrixol, where there are charming chocolatiers (food, of course!), a French gourmet store and vintage bookshops. Another favourite is the Carrer dels Tallers, where there are alternative shops, a really interesting Korean bao place and a few tattoo studios.
And there you have it, three things you just can’t miss in this great city! Check out places to stay in Barcelona here. Have you been to Barcelona? What’s your favourite thing about the city?