Barcelona is one of those wonderous cities that never seems to lose its charm. It never ages and each time I visit I see it with new eyes. I’ve been visiting regularly, around once a year, over the last 15 years now and I’m rarely ever disappointed.
At 16 months old Pumpkinella spent her first full day and night without mummy and daddy (two nights in fact). My husband’s parents agreed to look after her for the weekend to give us a little bit of quality time together. And what did I do? I planned a trip abroad as far away as I dared to go from our little beauty. It’s ideal having a local airport, Cardiff Airport, only 5 minutes away by car.
We went direct with Vueling airlines, a Spanish operator, no frills but only £70 per person return. Unfortunately there were only two flights run by the airline to-and-from Cardiff, and they were only run twice a week. Our flight left at 3pm on Friday and the first return flight after Friday was on the Sunday leaving Barcelona at 9am. This effectively meant that we had just one whole day and one evening before we were back in Cardiff.
Was it worth it? Most definitely! It’s been very difficult for my husband and I to take the focus away from Pumpkinella long enough to be comfortable with each others company without her. Since she was born in November 2012 we haven’t spent more that one day and night away from her and we’ve never been more than 10 miles away, until now. I know what you’re thinking at this point and you’d be right; it’s not a good thing to neglect the relationship you have with your spouse but we’ve been in survival mode for the last year. This short the break was thankfully just what we needed.
Having taken an interest in Twitter over the last month, I’ve found myself excited by everything I see around me. Constantly thinking about the beauty of the ordinary things, I was easily carried away with Barcelona. As my husband is a keen photographer, for the first time in years, I didn’t have to just sit back and watch while he composed and shot his pictures, I was running around taking my own and was amazed at the beauty of even the little things we take for granted like the carved, decorative pavements on the streets of Avinguda Diagonal (really hope i spelt that correctly). I had never noticed these before. Every building in the city centre had a theme and character of its own.
We stayed in Hilton Barcelona which was close to the Les Corts district. It was a vibrant area with plenty of shops and entertainment. We booked it last minute using Secretescapes and paid £90 per night including breakfast and a Tapa in the bar. It is a stunning hotel and staff were very friendly. Although, a short bus or train or tram ride away from La Rambla, it was still technically on the same street and I preferred staying away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona’s nightlife. I liked the fact that it was very quiet in the room even though the restaurants were open right outside. If I could get that kind of sound-proofing in my house it would be amazing.
Bathroom Hilton Barcelona
Places we visited:-
- Placa Catalunya – the famous fountain was undergoing renovations so I didn’t take any pictures of it.
- Gaudi Museum – Even if you don’t pay for entrance the gradeur and beauty of it is apparent from every angle.
- La Rambla – A lovely stroll along this strip is an adventure in itself and there is everything from art to chinse (similar to Covent Garden in London during the summer but several time larger). La Boqueria is also just off this road.
- Barceloneta beach – One of the many sections of the beaches in Barcelona, great to sit and watch the world go by.
- La Rita Restaurant – A reasonably priced restaurant with stunning food. (mind that as a tourist they won’t give you tap water and insist you buy their bottled brand. However at about 1euro a bottle I wish I’d bought more for our adventures after leaving.)
- La Sagrada Familia – arguably the best example of Christianity over the last century
- Our bed – Siestas were the thing to do so we fully took advantage and relaxed in our hotels during the mid afternoon ready to take on Barcelona again in the evening,