Once we arrived in Barcelona we were so excited and empowered by the hot climate that welcomed us that we decided to discover the city then and there with two heavy backpacks and a carry-on dragged on the hills of the Gothic Quarter. After one hour, we arrived in the marina and met our lovely new accommodation for the following 5 days: The Waterman Sailboat.
Nonetheless, we didn’t spend much time with her as we showered and left again eager to discover more of Barcelona before sunset. We couldn’t decide if we were more excited about the city or the boat. Completely forgetting about my itinerary, we decided to head towards a park we spotted on the map, as the heat was starting to get to us. As we entered, I realised that it was the Park of Ciutadella, a main touristic attraction at the top of my list. We rapidly headed towards the famous waterfall (that was made to assembly the Trevi Fountain) and took a few hundred pictures in front, around and on top of it, mesmerised by its jungle-like vibes. I felt that Paul was already in love with Barcelona as I hardly managed to drag him to the Arc de Triomf, which is located at the end of the park.
Well, although I managed to make him leave and eventually he put the camera down, I was extremely exhausted by the time we arrived at the Arc. I probably admired its beauty for no longer than 5 minutes as even that seemed like too much of an effort after two hours of sleep and a full day journey. Exhausted, we found the strength to stop by Lidl and get some groceries for the morning. As soon as we arrived at the boat my body has shut down, ignoring the rocking boat and the splashing of the waves.
The second day was the day when we realised how amazing the boat life is and spent the morning sunbathing and enjoying the marina breeze. Luckily it was a private marina and we were the last boat, overseeing the blue, Mediterranean horizon of the sea.
In the afternoon we jumped on our lovely electric scooter from Yego and headed to Sagrada Família to admire it from the outside and to take some pictures. Next was casa Batllo and Casa Mila, the second day being more of a day of exploration for us to know better the city and to admire its beautiful architecture from the winding streets. On our way home, we passed through the gothic quarter and found a hidden interior garden. Captivated by the fairly-like surroundings of the gothic quarter, we spent a few hours wandering around and taking pictures.
With not enough sleep onboard and exhausted from walking all day long, we pushed through and decided to do some yoga on the beach at the sunrise. Because of our weariness, we forgot the camera card and realised only when we arrived at the beach. Eager to capture the first sun rays for our vlog, Paul ran back to the boat and got the card. He managed to get back in time for a beautiful sunrise, that alongside our stretches offered us the most calming and alluring morning.
Next, we wandered around Barcelona a bit more and of course, we found another beautiful location, a piazzetta that reminded me of Venice. Palm trees, sunshine and outdoor restaurants created the perfect small oasis in the middle of the hectic, busy city. As Gaudi’s work captivated us already, we decided to go and explore casa Batllo and understand more of Gaudi’s genius.
This building left us speechless, and I could only describe it as a Disneyland equivalent of private property. The colours, textures, ingenious ideas and of course the architecture was well beyond his time. We also booked an audio guide which was a very interactive device, using virtual reality and explaining every detail of Gaudi’s vision. The people preserving this place are absolutely amazing and I could not recommend you visiting this place enough! It costs €25 and it’s totally worth it! We did not expect Casa Batllo to be so full of details and meaningful so in the end we had to speed through the tour and take off to our next destination, the gradeur Sagrada Familia.
Now, I believed I could write a full article about Sagrada, but after being there, I just don't believe there are words in any language that could describe it properly. And no, it's not just a very big church, it's an enormous piece of art and I could only describe it as a genius' soul. Every single centimetre is thought through and holds meaning. The building itself is placed at the heart of the city, at an equal distance between the sea and the mountain, facing the sea. When it will be finished, it will be almost as tall as the mountain but not taller because Gaudi believed that man's work should not be bigger than God's. How beautiful is that? Also, Sagrada Familia is thought to be a connection between the human and the divine, with the interior resembling a forest. Another fact that touched my heart is that Gaudi wanted this building to be for everyone: all nations, all races, all backgrounds and no matter what religion. Ahead of his time, he wished for a place of inclusivity and equality. And for these reasons, I wish all of you will visit this place at least once during your lifetime because I promise you, it will be one of the greatest things you'll ever admire.
When we arrived back to our boat Paul surprised me and we got engaged! Walking on a bed of roses I just couldn’t be more grateful for a perfect day and life! I’m not going to give more spoilers as I will do a blog post about our engagement story!
Of course that after the excitement of our engagement we didn’t manage to sleep much once again and by this point, we were a bit sleep deprived. However, we read that to visit park Guell (our next and last stop on the itinerary), you need to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Also, if you arrive half an hour before it opens, you can enter for free (this is before 7:30 AM). We woke up at 6 and arrived at... 8:40 and all the tickets for the day were sold out. Hah! Nonetheless, it’s only the centre/monument part of the park that requires a ticket, the rest of it is free to visit. So we enjoyed our morning exploring the park and making the most of the park‘s coolness and fresh air. By 10:30am we felt like we did so much that we decided to go back to La Barceloneta and have a chill day at the beach (and our only one).
The rest of the day we spent listening to waves and people’s laughter, burying our feet in the hot sand and cooling in the Mediterranean Sea. In the evening we went out for dinner to celebrate our engagement and the end of a beautiful holiday, full of perfect memories.
6 am and we are up again! As I’m writing this I realise we need to learn how to relax... at least during the holiday! However, now we didn’t have much choice as we had to pack and catch our flight back to London. We said goodbye to our lovely accommodation for the past 5 days, The Waterman, took a last picture in the marina and headed towards the coach station. Although we had the loveliest time, we were still excited about the things that we missed about London and coming back to our city.
Barcelona ups and downs
You can combine the beach with city exploration
Beautiful, unique architecture
A city of creativity, colour and intricate shapes
The option of healthy food places (high emphasis on health)
Expensive food - you can only eat at overpriced restaurants
Very hot weather in June/July/August, I would recommend visiting in March/September
Not a very touristic friendly city despite many touristic attractions