Barcelona Part I

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our much talked about, much anticipated and abruptly-booked-2 weeks-before trip to Barcelona last week was a much needed escape from the daily routine and the perfect mid-week (luxury!) hang out. It's pretty clear from this blog that I'm a huge Spain freak and that it holds a special place in my heart, so it was so good to be in my home from home. That sea, those impossibly blue skies and those terracotta tiled roofs. Who could resist?

The reason Barcelona was quite a spontaneous booking was that I was originally planning a MAGICAL little tour of Croatia (still on my bucket list) over a week for the same dates. I will post the trip details soon as it was so unbelievably cheap and if I can't go someone else should. After careful speculation though, budget and time restraints lead us to the city break instead. Flights were just £62 (out from London Stansted with Ryanair and back to Gatwick with Norwegian) although we had to travel the slightly awkward dates of Wednesday - Saturday. But everyone needs a day off to recover after holiday! Norwegian have recently launched loads of low cost flights for as little as £25 so they rival Ryanair prices AND you get free wifi on board! I'm sold, anyway.

Although flights were a little bit of a steal, Barcelona is notoriously difficult for cheap accommodation. When I stayed here 4 years ago on my Erasmus year we paid 20€ each a night for a 12 person hostel room. Outrageous! It didn't even include sheets! So this time I went straight for and booked this cute little studio for £47/night. I love airbnb and have used it many times before without a hitch. It's so much cheaper and you get to stay in real neighborhoods, not constructed, artificial touristy zones with inflated prices and and crap food. If you're interested in signing up, use this airbnb voucher code which will get you £15 off your first stay. In Eastern Europe that might even be a whole night free.

But that's enough of the practical stuff. On Wednesday we picked up the keys from our host, sat down for a quick rest and a family sharing bag of jamon ruffles (THE best thing about Spain) and contemplated our plan. Now, I'm a bit of an uber planner but, not wanting to scare off my new boyfriend on our first holiday together, I had not researched one restaurant (not in any real detail anyway...). I decided to pretend I was cool and that walking into a random restaurant didn't fill me with extreme anxiety and thank goodness I did because after a leisurely stroll along the beach 5 mins from our apartment....

...we stumbled upon this great little restaurant with these gorgeous chicken burritos.

Not strictly Spanish but holy (homemade) guacamole they were good. And, of course, there was sangria. Spanish ambrosia, liquid of the Gods and, let's face it, a must have for your Instagram. Oh wait, I forgot to take a photo. If you want to go take one yourself though, you can find the restaurant here. Trip advisor says it's closed but I'm willing to bet that it isn't seeing as we ate there last week.

All worn out from the excitement and the sunshine we strolled back home pretty early, prepared to make the most of the next day.

So that was day 1, new "chilled out" non over researcher Ellie gives it the thumbs up. Bring on day 2.

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