Saturday 28 October 2023


Barcelona, finally!!!

Have waited a long time to get to Barcelona, a place I've wanted to see for many years.

Day one - Barcelona!

We swapped a rainy Bristol for a sunny Barcelona! (Rain was forecast though) 
Had the late afternoon/evening to explore, after catching the train and and then the metro from the airport to our accommodation. Went straight off to explore La Rambla, Mercado de La Boqueria..... 

......the Kiss of Freedom mural....

.......made up of 4000 images, 
the Cathedral of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter, tapas....all in the first 5 hours!!

Day two - Barcelona! 

We walked miles!! A day celebrating all things, Gaudi!! 

Early birds and first stop Parc Guell.

Top tip, book the first slot and get there a bit earlier. We did, just because we are always early!!! But I managed to get some great shots of the park before the masses descended and by being an early bird, you can get a few great shots with no people in them, once you're allowed into the park!!!

 Next up, a few of Gaudi Casa's - 
Casa Vincens, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Casa Amatller and...

 .......finally Gaudi's final work, which is still in progress, 
'La Sagrada Familia'

"La Sagrada Família is one of Gaudí's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 (that's not a typing error) and it's not expected to be completed for some time yet."

We booked a timed slot a few weeks ago, which made it very easy and efficient to enter. Sadly, the one thing you can't book is the weather. Beautiful sunshine would see it at its best, but even a cloudy afternoon couldn't spoil its absolute magnificence and the light and the colour......

Day three - Barcelona! 

Early birds again. Today's adventure was to Montserrat.....

 via metro, train, cable car .....

and funicular!! 

Montserrat was an hour by train out of Barcelona. Home to the Montserrat Monastery 
and for us, hiking trails up in the mountains.

Found the perfect spot for a bit of lunch!!

We hiked 5 miles + back down to the Monastery, via narrow rocky tracks and challenging descents. Worth it for the fabulous views. We certainly worked up an appetite and enjoyed a well deserved beer that evening, once we were back in Barcelona.

Day four - Barcelona!

 Another jam-packed day. 

We got the Metro, bus, train, and funicular to the Tibido Amusement Park, 
up on a hill overlooking Barcelona. 

Fabulous views, and for a few extra euros...... could climb up to the top of the church.

 Spent our afternoon exploring new parts of the city, walking through the El Born neighbourhood, Parc de la Ciutadella, making our way down to the sea and Playa de La Barceloneta...

......where we spent our late afternoon and evening. 
1000's of steps chalked up again today!!

Day five - Barcelona!

 Montjuïc via funicular today. 

Up to Montjuïc Castle, walking through various parks, fabulous views ....

....the 1992 Olympic Park Stadium, the Placa de Espanya, Montjuïc fountain,
 El Born neighbourhood, the Gothic Quarter......another busy day!!

Loved spotting the Parakeets along the way!! 

Day six - Barcelona/Blanes!

Time for a change of scenery. Checked out of Barcelona and ....

......headed up the coast by train to Blanes. 

Got a seafront view from our hotel balcony. Didn't get there until 3pm, so spent our time having a wander around and enjoying the calmer, quieter pace! And the gorgeous, bonus, warm sunshine. Not what was originally forecast but am not complaining. Have lived in my shorts and sandals, which were packed a little optimistically, just in case the weather improved!!

The first town on the Costa Brava! 

Day seven - Blanes

Beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine! Warm enough for Jeff to go for a dip in the sea and for me to paddle. Spent a lovely afternoon relaxing on the beach after a morning wandering around the Marimurtra Botanical Gardens. The summer season may have ended, and a lot of Blanes is closed, but it's been a lovely, chilled couple of days by the sea.

Day eight - Blanes/Girona

Farewell Blanes....

 .....hello Girona! 

Our last stop! It felt like it's been a really long trip! Blanes was a fabulous seaside stopover, but flying out of Girona (it was cheaper to fly from Girona, than Barcelona) 

We came to Girona in 2019, and loved it, so nice to be back, albeit for just one night! 

Had a good chunk of time on our final day to see some more of the city and 
enjoy just a little more sunshine.

Day nine - Girona

Last day of our fantastic Spanish adventure. 
Checked out of our hotel, popped our cases in their luggage storage.....

........and headed out to make the most of the time we had left! 

Breakfast, then off to walk the city walls, that are absolutely free and 
have the best views across the city.

 Met Eugene, Jeff's new friend, who I think would've talked to Jeff all morning in Spanish. 
Great practice for him and a really lovely chap!! 

Had lunch, wandered some more, and whilst crossing one of the many bridges......

.....spotted not one, but two kingfishers, which stayed still long enough to take a picture (meant to be!!) 

Late afternoon, it was time to collect the cases, head to the bus station, 
take the 20 minute journey to the airport and fly home! A fabulous trip!!

Fabulous skies to end the trip!

There are loads of photo's and more thorough explanations over on my travel Instagram account @hap_pea_travels if you are interested. We had the best time and lucked out with great weather. I believe it's been rather wet at home. We ended up in great accommodation, well located and very reasonably priced. We pretty much work on the rule, you only need a clean bed and shower, fridge is a bonus!! We spend so little time in our room, there is little point spending lots of money on it. As a result, we have enough money to go away again in 6 weeks time. Have just booked our accommodation for Cordoba in December. A whole apartment for £176 for 4 nights, booked with!! Got six weeks to lose the excess pounds gained eating pastries for breakfast, before we get to do it all again!!