When me and my sister spontaneously decided to go to Barcelona, all I had in my head for the four weeks leading up to the trip was the word "Barcelonaaaaaaa" - in the voice of the person in the advert where they were all on the train to the wrong place, and ended up in Barcelonaaaa. A prize to whoever can remember what the ad was actually for...
Anyway. I kind of always had in my head that Barcelona was a big beach destination, and that we'd probably run out of things to see or do in the five days we were there. How wrong I was!
Barce is an absolutely incredible city. The capitol of Catalonia, and the 2nd largest city in Spain, it boasts some beautiful art, architecture, and winding alleyways you're bound to get lost in (we embraced this on our first day and wandered around aimlessly and quite happily with our takeaway mojitos!) :o)
Our first day started though with a nice walk from Gracias (the area we were staying in) towards the city centre, with a pit stop at an impressive bakery for a breakfast of almond croissants, mini chocolate doughnuts, and fresh muffins. Mmm. Well we need our energy for the walking tour we were due to go on that day...!!
Before the walking tour started, we familiarised ourselves with the Gothic quarters...
... and happened upon a lovely little restaurant, Tosca! (C/ Sant Pere Mes Alt 8). We settled in for our first tapas meal of the trip - a bargain 3 dishes (some AMAZING calamari, Spanish sausage, and rustic potato wedges), drink, and dessert for 11 euros. YEAH. Everything was delicious, and we vowed to go back on our last day for lunch again.
Tummies full, we embarked on our walking tour, and discovered things like the big palace on the Plaça del Rei public square, the Gothic Barcelona cathedral on the Pla de la Seu, and Picasso doodles that had been replicated on one of the huge buildings in the square (so legend has it).
The flag of Barcelona (The Senyera) had an interesting backstory... According to a 14th-century legend, the four red bars on the yellow background represent when King Charles the Bald drew his bloody, war-wounded fingers across the golden shield of Wildred the Hairy (Count of Barcleona) as a sign of gratitude. were drawn, as an act of gratitude. I probably love their names the most. Hairy and Baldy?! Best friends ever.
One of the other things we were told about was one of the famous traditions in Barcelona, where 10 grown men make a human tower, and then a young child climbs to the very top (oh, not to worry... they wear a helmet...) The tallest one of these towers ever got has been celebrated in the form of a steel monument in the city, which we had a little peek at too.
At this point, we lost our tour guide.
So. Left with little other choice, we bought some street mojitos ("Strojitos"), and wandered. This led us to the Placa Reial, and Las Rambla (a big street in Barce, lined with pretty trees and a popular tourist spot!)
Dinner that evening was at Estel de Garcia, and again, was delicious. We plumped for chorizo and bacon/camembert tapas to start, then a prawn and green been risotto and seafood pizza for mains. Washed down with plenty of cava :o)
We couldn't have asked for a better start to our trip!
Day two photos up soon... just another few hundred to get through...