Hello my darlings and welcome back to my blog. Phew, it feels like it’s been a hot minute right? Since a catch up anyway, I know I’ve been posting, but they’ve been Spiritually related and fashion related posts. Today it’s time to catch you up on my life, and more specifically, my birthday celebrations. Woop woop!
Thursday, the 9th January, was my 25th birthday. Ah! I’m halfway through my twenties now, time to make the second half the best half, right?
And I think I’m off to a pretty good start… considering I started off my 25th (technically 26th?) year of my life in Barcelona with my parents, what a perfect way to see in my birthday.
Last week on Thursday, my parents and I flew to the beautiful Barcelona, a place where although I have visited once before, it was when I was a young child so I don’t remember it all too well, so I’d definitely consider Barcelona a new city for me. And what a city it is!
Upon our arrival in Barcelona, we took a bus from the airport straight to the main square ‘Plaça de Catalunya’ right near La Rambla, a famous street in Barcelona. Our hotel, or what turned out to be a hostel, was located just a short 10 minute walk off of La Rambla, but before checking in we decided to have a stroll to get our bearings and just, have a mooch really. It was awesome!
La Rambla is a vibrant street, alive with lots of little stalls selling souvenirs, and of course La Rambla market where you can buy huge portions of fruit for just 1 euro each which really is amazing. If I lived here, I’d be SO healthy. Mum, Dad and I shared a portion of strawberries, continued our look around the shops, walked down to the Port located at the end of La Rambla and then finally headed back to check into our hotel, which like I said, turned out to be a hostel.
I had no idea when booking this trip that we would be staying in a hostel, I thought I’d booked a hotel, however it turned out to be one of those ‘private’ hostels, where you have your own bedroom and bathroom. Everything was fine, the room was clean and tidy and the staff were so friendly and helpful, the room could have done with being a lot bigger but, for the price, the location and the length of time we were there, if you know not to expect a lot of room and you just want a place to rest your head at night, then it’s great.
Once we’d checked in and left our suitcases in the room, we ventured back out to explore Barcelona. Our first destination of choice was the Camp Nou football stadium, home of FC Barcelona. What a beauty, you know I love my football. This stadium is huge, with a massive merchandise store right next to it. Whilst we didn’t do the stadium tour this time, it’s definitely on my bucket list for the next.
Following on from Camp Nou, it was then back to La Rambla for drinks and dinner. We found a cute little Irish pub along one of the side streets off La Rambla named ‘Cheers’ so we had a couple of drinks there, before deciding to find somewhere to eat.
Luckily, we found the perfect place for us, ‘The Pasta Market’, which is located of course, on La Rambla. Being that we are a family of pasta lovers, we couldn’t eat anywhere better really. ‘The Pasta Market’ is a fun, chilled out and casual restaurant where you choose your pasta style (ravioli, gnocchi etc), your sauce and any toppings. You can also get focaccia bread on the side. YUMMY. For my dinner, I decided to have the gnocchi with a tomato sauce and oh my goodness, it was so yummy. I would eat here everyday, if I could.
Once we’d eaten, we headed back over to the ‘Cheers’ bar for another drink and of course, to watch the football. As it happens, Barcelona were actually playing that night at Camp Nou against Atletico Madrid, I’ve never really watched either of these teams play football and they played an awesome, exciting game. These players are talented! The match finished with Atletico Madrid winning 3-2, which goes to show we were blessed with a fun and exciting game. Though I would have preferred a win for Barcelona being that we were in the city of course, both teams would have been worthy winners either way, they kept us entertained for sure!
After the game, we finished up our drinks and headed back to our hotel for the night, getting some rest in ready for the following day, Friday the 10th of Jan. La Sagrada Família day. YAY!
For our second day in Barca, we decided to head to the famous Sagrada Família, the famous Roman Catholic ‘minor basilica’ (thanks google) designed by Antoni Gaudí, which to this day, is still unfinished (though not too noticeably so). Whilst you can do a tour of La Sagrada Família, this time my parents and I just decided to have a stroll around and admire such a work of art.
To get to the Basilica, we took the Metro, where we got off at the station literally called ‘Sagrada Família’ (that makes it easy, doesn’t it). Whilst I thought we’d have to walk a little way, maybe five minutes from the station to the Basilica, this is not the case at all. As I reached the top of the steps exiting from the station, I turned around to greet my parents, but instead, I was greeted with the ginormous, epic sight of La Sagrada Família. It’s huge! It stands so grand and tall, it really is quite phenomenal. The view you get when you turn back after exiting the station is just ‘woah’. I wasn’t expecting it, and I think that’s why I was so surprised.
*Above two photos taken by mother*
Pictures can’t even do this building justice, it’s just marvellous. If you do want to snap some pictures though, especially with you standing in front of the building, then I recommend walking across to a little park just across the road from the station and the Basilica, where you can get a good view of the Basilica. After walking around this incredible piece of architecture, I felt pulled to head over to the little park with greenery and a pond, and that’s where I found the money shot. My Dad took this epic photo of me with the Basilica in the background and I was so happy with how it turned out, it’s probably one of my favourite travel photos so far. Gracias Papa!
One building down and another to go, we then headed over to Casa Milà, another of Gaudí’s amazing works of architecture and all I can think is, this man sure was a busy bee. Did he ever stop? Barcelona is filled with his work, it’s simply amazing.
Where Casa Milà is located, you’ll also find the streets lined with designer shops, from Burberry, to Cartier, as we walked down to Casa Milà we did a little bit of window shopping, and I’ll make sure to be returning for a proper shopping spree soon. I gotta get matching Cartier watches for my parents and I! I said I would!
With two famous buildings ticked off our list and window shopping completed it was time to head back to La Rambla where we went back to our hotel so I could get changed, then headed off to Cheers bar once again, because it is our favourite. The atmosphere in there is just so lovely and cheerful, giving you all of those chilled out, loving life, vacation vibes. We had a couple of drinks before deciding what we wanted to do for the rest of the evening and my choice was… the ‘Big Fun Museum’.
The ‘Big Fun Museum’ is located on La Rambla, and we’d see it being promoted every time we walked past. ‘Big Fun’ have people stood outside dressed as characters / animals and being that I’ve heard of similar places like this online, I was intrigued. I was more than pleasantly surprised with what we found, if you like to take fun pictures, then this place is for you. I’ll let my photos and videos speak for themselves:
Here you have Lionel Messi and La Sagrada Família made out of fruit-
PS… who knew posing in a ball pit would be so hard?
Fun right? I said to my Mum we’d have to come back one day for a proper photo shoot, so I can bring all the outfit changes because this place is so Instagrammable, I’d love to get some really fun, properly planned out pictures here. It’s on my ‘to do’ list asap for sure… Bring it on!
Once we’d finished at the museum and taken all the pictures, we then headed to a little bar named ‘El Bosc de les Fades’ which is located on a side street off of La Rambla, nearer the port end, just close to the wax museum (thanks tripadvisor). This bar was recommended to my Mum by one of her work friends, with it’s USP being that it’s fairy forest style, making it a super cute place to visit. We had just one drink here before heading out to dinner, and I enjoyed my first (and only) cocktail of the trip, a ‘Cosmopolitan’.
As with the previous night we decided to eat at ‘The Pasta Market’ once again. We do love our pasta, and the price of this place is so good too. It’s a win win really. Even though I adored my gnocchi from the night before, this time I decided to opt for something different and chose to have a ravioli dish with pomodoro sauce. Just like the gnocchi, this meal was absolutely scrumptious though I do think the portion size could have done with being just a tiny bit bigger, although next time I could probably get a focaccia bread on the side to go with it and that’d be enough to fill me up! Either way, this food is bliss, and like I said before, I’d eat here everyday if I could. LOVE.
We finished our dinner, my Dad and I bought waffles, and then we headed back to the hotel, where we went to sleep and got some rest in before our third and final day in beautiful Barcelona, which happened to be my favourite day!
For our final day in Barcelona, we had bought tickets for the glorious Park Güell, a place which has been on my vision board for around just under a year maybe (I can’t remember how long exactly), and somewhere I have been keen to visit since I first saw pictures of it. It’s SO COLOURFUL!
Whilst you don’t need to purchase tickets to see the majority of the Park Güell architecture (the main two buildings you see in the photos), ideally to make the most of your experience I would recommend buying tickets for entry, so you can explore the beautiful grounds and see the architecture up close and personal, plus those little things you’d miss if you didn’t wander into the park.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Park Güell, other than what I’d seen in pictures, but wow oh wow any expectations I may have had it by far exceeded, this place is stunning.
Walking around Park Güell, there is so much vibrancy, it feels so alive, and there are hidden gems everywhere. From the colourful mosaic seats, to the gorgeous scenic nature, where you can take a seat on one of the benches and experience the true bliss of Park Güell. I could come back here again and again, and enjoy it every time.
I think the fact that the sun was shining down so beautifully, radiating the magnificent colourful park, definitely helped to add to the magic of this experience. Being with my parents, two of my bestest friends, my loves, enjoying the glorious sunshine, of course that made it perfect too.
Park Güell has definitely become one of my happy places… and I for sure will be revisiting, many many more times.
I would highly recommend a visit to Park Güell, along with buying an entrance ticket which costs 10 euros per person on the official Park Güell website. Once in the park, you can spend as long as you like there, enjoying it’s beauty at your leisure.
Full of life, I adore vibrant Park Güell, another of Gaudí’s incredible designs.
Thank you Gaudí for this joy.
It’s amazing to me, that after leaving the park, we were right on the street, lined with houses, and from there you still have views of some of the architecture. The photo below was taken by my Mum from the street outside Park Güell, imagine having those views from your bedroom window. Awesome!
Park Güell was our last proper touristy experience of the trip, so afterwards we headed back to you guessed it… La Rambla, where we had another couple of drinks at our fave, ‘Cheers’ bar. Oh, how I miss it so much already…
I ate some chips, my last meal of the trip, then, it was time to catch the bus back to the airport, heading back home to England.
I absolutely adore Barcelona, and I had such a great time celebrating my birthday there with my loves, my parents. Barcelona has such a good energy, it’s very vibrant and alive and has now made it to be one of my favourite cities that I have visited so far in Europe. I definitely hope to return with my parents for my birthday again next year, it’s a must!
Have you ever been to Barcelona?
Where’s your favourite place that you’ve travelled to in Europe so far?
If you could travel anywhere for your birthday this year, where would it be and why?
Be sure to let me know all your thoughts in the comments below.
As always thank you so much for reading, and thank you to my beautiful parents for such a wonderful trip,
with so much love,