Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Travel Tuesday: Barcelona, Spain Part I

As promised, today I officially kick off my 'Travel Tuesday' series with a fun photo diary of our trip to Barcelona, Spain. We took this trip in October, 2012 (whoa that was a long time ago) for our 1 year wedding anniversary. It had been our second time traveling out of the country since being married, and it had always been #1 on my list of places to see since I was a kid. Our first big trip together was for our honeymoon to St. Lucia, which I shared here.

On the first day of any trip D and I take, we like to not schedule any tours or activities for ourselves so that we can spend the day exploring on our own. We like to walk around the area of our hotel, check out different places to eat and really try to emerge ourself into the culture of the locals. 

(don't mind our lack of photo skills from way back when, haha!)

We stayed at Hotel 1898 which was located right in the middle of La Rambla for our entire trip. We were so so happy with the location and the hotel and loved feeling like we were right in the middle of the action. La Rambla is the street that never sleeps, and it was great to step out of our hotel and already be in the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Cafe Zurich was one of the places I had been super excited to eat at, and it was one of the first stops we made on our first day in Barcelona. I am a bit of a coffee addict and I know that in all of Europe a daily cafe is as vital as the air.

Yes, it is quite safe to say the locals know a thing or two about fiestas! Can't be mad at a little vodka bottle sitting on every table in the cafe, from morning 'til night!

La Boqueria is the little market located right in the center of La Ramba. We wandered on down and took a walk around and were so intrigued with all of the fresh sea catch of the day, as well as all of the amazing sweets, from candies to ice cream and every sugary treat in between. 

Did I mention that the Spanish really know how to fiesta? Because they do. Every trip D and I are on we like to take a trip down to the hotel bar and get to know the servers, bartenders, and any other employee we can chat with. We feel like it is really the best way to get to meet real locals and every time we do this we have walked away with new friends, and more often than not, a great night out and some amazing memories, case in point - the best night out on the town with the entire hotel staff and a night spent out until dusk with our new found friends! Here is a picture of what the beginning of the night looked like...

Tapas and Beer

followed by shots and one of the best nights ever!

Day two is when all of the tourist activities started. We hopped on a round-the-clock bus and loved the freedom of getting off at places we wanted to see, and having the flexibility to pass on over places we were okay seeing from a distance of the bus.

We made our first stop at Sagrada Familia...

we skipped going on the inside tour because the line was about 2 hours long and we were advised that the inside is pretty bare, so we decided to walk around the exterior, hung out in the park across the street, and lunched on the corner where we could enjoy the view of the beautiful exterior. 

After that we made our way to Park Guell, which was one of my favorite places in the city. Everything is so architecturally beautiful to the eye, and the fact that the entire park is basically a huge, gorgeous exhibit of stunning mosaics and Barcelona's famous architecture, every part of the area was so fun to explore. 

This photo of Gaudi's mosaic salamander is one of my favorite photos of the trip and is actually framed and hung in our house. Im not quite sure if its the colors or the details of the beautiful art piece, but I absolutely love it!

After we toured around Park Guell we took a cable car up to Mount Tibidabo to see the stunning Sagrat Cor, the catholic church located at the top of the mountain. The church is literally lit up and the most north point view from the city, and from the time we arrived in Barcelona I would just stare at it and knew we had to make a point to get to the top. Once we got there we were not disappointed; we were so intrigued not only with the beautiful church, but also the most fantastic view of all of Barcelona from the top, this is definitely a must if you plan to visit Barcelona!

Stay tuned until next week for Part II of our Travel Tuesday: Barcelona, Spain segment!

Hope you're enjoying so far!!

With love,