When we first booked this trip it was Matt & I and Cath & Jono. The itinerary was:
3 nights in Barcelona then train to Valencia to join First Festival for a 3 day tour including Water and Wine Festival and La Tomatina before ended in Ibiza to soak up the sun and party with David Guetta at Pacha.
As word of our epic trip spread, Bronnie, Sarina, and Sarah got amongst it (the latter 2 joined us in Valencia). More the merrier! I personally love travelling with a group of friends and it really made the trip even more awesome.
Normally we use low cost carriers for our flights but when booking this trip, we found that BA was the cheapest way to fly which meant leg room! Free checked bag! 2 pieces of carry on! Food! And most importantly (especially on a Friday night), free drinks! We definitely made the most of that last one by somewhat sheepishly asking for two wines (me) and a beer and gin & tonic (Matt). The rest of our group were in different areas of the plane but we all did the same thing. Hey, gotta make the most of those free drinks!
After a quick and easy ride on the airport shuttle bus, we went in search of our apartment. Luckily, we picked a great location just off La Rambla so it was easy to find. It wasn’t anything flash but it was cheap and there was a grocery store just around the corner.
The next morning we set out on a self guided walking tour of Barcelona which lasted about 6 hours! Barcelona is a good city to walk around as it’s mostly flat except for the really steep hill heading up to Guell Park.
We took in all the Gaudi buildings but the €30 entrance fee dipped a little too far into our sangria fund so we gave it a pass.
After a quick tapas and sangria stop, we ended up at Sagrada Família. Now, I’ve seen A LOT of churches/cathedrals in our travels around Europe so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to seeing another one. Designed by Gaudi, this was one of the most beautiful, massive, and unique cathedrals I’ve ever seen (even with the scaffolding)!
By the time we arrived back at La Rambla, we were all pretty thirsty so we decided to go to the grocery store and load up on all the cheap alcohol and food. Thanks to €1 litres of wine we made our own sangria for 1/4 of the price in restaurants and had a great night in!
After a bit of a sleep in (perhaps the fault of sangria), we decided to walk along a different area of the city. We found ourselves in the Old Jewish Quarter next to a walking tour group whose leader was giving some very interesting information about WW2 and other historic events. We kept within earshot and followed them around for a little while. They were going to the same places we had planned to so it worked out well!
We decided to take a break from walking and hit the beach! The weather wasn’t amazing when we first arrived but after a little while it cleared up a bit. Of course, the clouds tricked us into thinking we’d be safe from the sun and we ended up a wee bit pink.
We finished off our time in Barcelona with a walk along the waterfront and La Rambla, and of course, gelato! I think we all agreed we’d go back in a heartbeat. Barcelona is one of those great cities that has lots going on and is overflowing with culture. Loved it!
Barcelona ended up being the most relaxed part of our trip but I’ll leave that for another post!