Monday, 21 July 2014

"Barcelona! Such a beautiful horizon"

Happy Monday, peeps! 
Today is my first day back at work after two glorious weeks off. Two weeks in which Hubs and I crammed 
as much fun and as many adventures as we could, the main of which I want to share with you today.

We spent four days & five nights in the beautiful Spanish city of Barcelona, a city we have only visited on day trips before, but a city we both fell in love with due to its colourful small streets, palm trees and delicious food. When it came to booking a holiday this summer, I was determined to get us to Barcelona so we could explore properly. I actually 'sold' the city so well to a friend and colleague that she also spent four days there with two of her friends :)

Our Hotel

We thought that the H10 Marina Barcelona was a fantastic hotel with excellent facilities...
...including a rooftop pool, which despite getting crowded in a morning, was the perfect place for a 
relaxing afternoon; it was also a great place to dip sore feet :)

In the evening, the pool area was transformed into a contemporary bar with pretty cheap drinks 
(4 euros for a beer and 7.50 euros for a cocktail)...

Breakfast was a treat; an all you can eat buffet, it offered everything you could possibly want to eat 
first things in a morning, and more, including pizza (!)

Ok, so that's probably enough on our amazing hotel. I wanna move on to telling you about some of the 
things we crammed into our four days; we did so much that I'll probably spread this over two or three posts.

Firstly, I cannot recommend the Bus Turistic enough.
For 48.60 euros (£39 - advance online price), we bought two adult day tickets. There are three routes (red, blue and green [map]) that your ticket gives you access to, but we chose to just travel along two of them. We did this on our first full day in Barcelona and it was a great way to familiarise ourselves with the city and some of the landmarks we could see from our hotel.

Highlights from the Blue Route

Casa Milà 
Casa Milà was the last civil work designed by Antoni Gaudi, built between the years 1906 and 1910.
Architecturally it is considered an innovative work by having a structure of columns and floors free of 
load bearing walls. In 1984, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

La Sagrada Família
La Sagrada Família (again designed by Antoni Gaudí) is a large Roman Catholic church that is still under construction, 132 years after building work began in 1882. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the building. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project (he died in 1926 aged 73 when he was hit by a tram!), and at the time of his death, less than a quarter of the project was complete. La Sagrada Família has an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death.

Park Güell
So we actually had to go back to Park Güell on Saturday morning because when we arrived on Friday around 12:30pm, the next available slot to buy tickets to the Monumental Zone (only 400 tickets are sold every half hour) was 3pm. So I would highly recommend buying tickets in advance if you know what day/time you'll be visiting.

Park Güell is actually a failed project between Gaudi and Count Eusebi Güell; they wanted to create a 'garden city' but the project failed and the estate was donated to the council in 1922 after Güell's death in 1918. Only two houses were built on the site - Gaudi and his family lived in one (The Gingerbread House), which is now the a house-museum in the architect’s memory.

There is a free section (above photos), which you can wander around and admire the views over Barcelona,
but all the best stuff is inside the Monumental Zone, which costs 8 euros (7 euros in advance online) to enter.

Camp Nou
Home of Futbol Club Barcelona since 1957, Hubby and I have visited the Nou Camp and 
done 'the Nou Camp Experience' before (in 2006), so we just got off the bus to take a few photos...

This post is becoming crazy long, so I'll leave it here for today, but come back tomorrow 
for the highlights of the Red Route, which includes the Olympic Park, Olympic Port & Port Vell.
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  1. Awesome photos! Looks like you guys had a great time, looking forward to hearing all about your adventures! x

    1. Thanks, hun. We had a great time - I'll tell you all about it soon xx

  2. Loving the photos!! Thanks for selling it to me! :) x