As we reluctantly left Paris and devoured our last macarons, we actually had a pretty smooth flight to Barcelona
However walking to the train line and waiting for 25 minutes with a 13kg backpack is not the greatest way to start a trip. Nor is not knowing what any of the train stops mean because they're all in espanol - the limit of my Spanish is " no hablo espanol " very unhelpful.
We pulled up at a train station that looked like the name of the station our host had provided, but it was hard to tell.
After asking people if we could borrow their map we realised it was in fact our stop and we darted off the train and onto our connecting one to Sagrada Familia.
Our first view was pretty incredible -
But being lost, sweaty and still carrying the backpacks was dampening our Spanish mood.
When we got to our host apartment we only made it worse for ourselves by reading safety tips about barcelona and how not to get pickpocketed and robbed.
Sufficiently paranoid and starving by 4pm we decided to try some paella to settle our stomachs, paella was good, the gypsy man was not.
Helena firmly (I say firmly very loosely) said NO to a gypsy trying to sell us bracelets, he did not take this well. Apparently the firm no prompted this response
"No? NO? F*ck you no, this is barcelona, f*ck you"
Man walks away and comes back
"This is barcelona, you can't say no, f*ck you"
Hmm yes. Not the best start at all.
We sucked it up and decided to go to Las Ramblas, one of the busiest markets in Barcelona.
Feeling a little shaken, we figured out how to calm the nerves
As we wandered down the markets we were suddenly taken aback as we were the centre of attention to two lovely tourists who couldn't stop taking our photo
Day 2 -
This morning we woke up a little late and had some innovative strawberries on toast for breakfast as we were told everything would be shut for Good Friday. As we walked down the street it was flooded with people and open bars, restaraunts and shops - perhaps a little miscommunication?
A leisurely stroll took us to some delicious gelato
The salty beach air and warm enough weather to not wear a coat
Some tasty tapas
And of course, more sangria...
We walked around the beach and embraced the sunlight, then head back to our apartment, but not before stopping to get some fartons
All up we had a much better day and ended up feeling more positive towards Spain, baby steps!
Day 3 -
Today we decided to tourist it up and take a guides bus around the city. It was actually a really handy hop on hop off service that allowed us to see a lot of the city minus the waking...which we have done a lot of.
We saw some amazing architecture including the Gothic Cathedral
Which lead us to the gothic quarter...
Which lead us to this amazing hole in the wall cafe that we almost walked past, called Mescladis.
It had mixed colourful chairs,
old school phones and type writers
Excuse me whilst I take this call
and other bits and bobs which gave this place a really unique charisma. Plus the food was super tasty
We stopped to take some cool photos
And got back on the bus to head to Las Ramblas for a second time.
Only this time we had our sights set on Boqueira, the indoor produce markets.
And we may or may not have gotten churros on the way...
We also may have gone shopping again too..
When we got to the market it was absolutely PACKED but full of amazing fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, nuts, chocolate, juice - you name it!
It was full of tourists (including ourselves) but it was lovely to see locals still using it for daily Spanish life.
The trouble is, try getting two girls who generally don't like seafood to try and stomach it...
Struggle street my friends.
However in our time of need, we turned to our one true friend this trip. Yep, you guessed it, sangria...again
Our last day in Barcelona, otherwise known as Easter, was rather drab! We had a bit of gloomy weather but we decided to head up to the Parc de Montjuic to see the best view of the city. The park is also home to the Olympic swimming pool from 1992, such an incredible view
We took our happy snaps
We packed our bags for the end of our trip and decided to treat ourselves with more sangria...
Traded Easter presents
And caught the cable car over the mountain
And we stopped by the markets once more. Only this time we found some real goodies, an amazing vintage collection of old war medallions, vintage cameras *drools*, sunnies, Beatles nostalgia, and a pretty ring I picked up for 12€
But I did get some fairy floss
And ate it like a lady
A litre and a half in fact