4.30am, 21st April 2014 - I'm awake, I'm packed and I'm on my way to John Lennon Airport!
Mr.Man and I decided to head on over to Barcelona for 4 days to celebrate our one year anniversary in style!
After an early start, we boarded our 7am flight to Barcelona and where on our way! The flight was only 2 hours but we managed to land almost 30minutes early! We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Barcelona airport, my first of many oh so epic fresh crusty baguette with cured meats (seriously, these things are so good!) before hopping on the Aero Shuttle to take us into the heart of Barcelona.
After a 25 minute bus ride and one missed stop we hopped off the bus and went in search of our hotel, H10 Montcardo. Turns out missing our intended stop was a blessing in disguise as the wrong stop we got off at was actually a hell of a lot closer to our hotel! We walked for about 20 minutes, our suitcases behind us, until we found our hotel.By now it was around midday and check in wasn't until 3pm. Luckily for us, our room was ready and we could head straight up! I was made up, we where both so tired from the early start we needed a nap!
Our room was on the 1st floor, and we could hear everything from the street noise to the metro underneath the hotel. We where so tired we managed to sleep through it and had a good 2 hour nap, waking up feeling much more alive and fresh, ready to start our holiday!
One of the selling points to our hotel was the roof top bar and hot tub. We headed on up to have a look and...WOW!!!. Those views! We could see the bustling city sprawled before us just waiting for us to explore! From the Mediterranean sea, to the Olympic Park and the infamous Sagrada Familia. Bonus points scored for the hotel! We quickly headed out to see what we could see!
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Port Vell, a beautiful harbour with one of the best 'decks' I've ever seen. They have what they call a floating platform, which is basically a large dock that goes right out onto the water - with no safety railings or fences, just deck - then ocean! We also explored the Mare Magnum, a fantastic shopping center in the heart of the dock. I might have made a cheeky purchase or two in Rituals!
Grabbed a much needed quick and easy bite to eat at the McDonalds in Mare Magnum - chicken sandwiches taste so different and much nicer in Barcelona! then left Port Vell to head in land towards Las Ramblas! We saw so many different little stalls and street entertainers, bars, restaurants, and the entire place was just alive with tourists and locals. It was busy - but not as busy as it would get later on in the week!
We arrived on a bank holiday but you wouldn't have thought this was the case, everywhere appeared to be open and busy!
We came upon a large square filled with restaurants so decided to pick one out at random and grab some much needed tea. Turns out random isn't always the best idea, the place we ended up at wasn't the best. We waited over an hour for our food and when it came, it wasn't the best. I had salmon which was actually pretty nice but the chips ruined it. Mr.Mans steak was more like an over sized slice of beef sandwich meat and pretty crappy. Not the worst meal we've ever had but a bi of a let down!
Weather report predicted rain this day so we decided to postpone a day on the open top tour bus and do a little...shopping, instead! Shopping in Barcelona is amazing. They have more shops than any city should ever need, including some amazing, out of my price range but pretty to look at designer shops along Avenue Diagonal. After a delicious breakfast in the hotel we headed out to get our (or should I say my...) shop on!
One of the best things about exploring Barcelona on foot is the sights you come across! The architecture here is like nothing I've ever seen before (and Liverpool has it's gems!). You end up with a pain in your neck from all the looking up at the amazing buildings you find! And...the amazing restaurants!
We found ourselves wandering into a Michelin starred restaurant for lunch whose name has totally escaped me! Bad blogger, I know! We had the most delicious 'kobe' burgers, surrounded by suited and booted business men. The place seemed pretty popular with that crowd so us two Brits abroad stuck out like a sore thumb but we didn't care, we came, we ate, we loved! Price wish I couldn't get over how cheap it was to eat too, two meals, a beer and a wine came to just over 30euros! We'd expected to pay so much more for food in Barcelona!
We continued on our adventures, which was mostly me shopping and Mr.Man taking pictures of me shopping! I was so excited to find Sephora - then so disappointed to find they didn't stock Tarte! I did manage to pick up a few goodies though so all was not lost! We wandered more, shopped more, ate sorbet and basked in what turned out to be a gloriously sunny rain free day in the end!
After all that exploring and shopping we headed back to our hotel for happy hour cocktails on the roof in the glorious sunshine! The roof top bar served the best tequila sunrise I've ever had and I got my first taste of a Tom Collins...YUM! These became my favorite go-to drinks of the trip! Once the sun had set we found ourselves in an Irish bar just across the road from the hotel, not the liveliest of places but they had a great cocktail menu and made a mean Belini. We got chatting to an American couple for a while then went on our way into the Barcelona night. We ended up having a late tea in McDonalds - too hungry (and tipsy) to find a restaurant, it was delicious and just what we needed! We'd decided to head to a jazz bar we'd heard about but plans soon changed when we weren't entirely sure how to find our hotel in the dark!
We skipped the jazz bar and went in search of our hotel with a new plan; to check out the hot tub on the roof instead! We managed to navigate our way back - Mr.Man has a great sense of direction and got us back safe and sound! Insert a super quick change and up onto the roof we went! W had the hot tub to ourselves with the most stunning night views of Barcelona! It was perfect! Hot tub was one of the hottest hot tubs I've ever been in but it was wonderful none the less!
Days 3 and 4 coming up next!
Until next time,