Friday, 26 August 2016

My Trip to Barcelona

On Wednesday 29th June, my family and I arrived in Barcelona airport. We had been travelling since 1am that morning as we had a 2-hour bus journey to Dublin airport and then a 3-hour wait in the airport for our 6am flight. Needless to say, we were pretty tired but also very excited! My mum and dad had been to Barcelona before but my siblings and I had not so we couldn't wait to see what it was like.

We got the metro to the Sagrada Família, the stop nearest the apartment we were renting. I'd heard about the Sagrada Família before, both in Spanish class in school and through researching Barcelona before we went. I'd seen a lot of photos of it but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I got out of that metro station. It is absolutely enormous! It looks so powerful and is such an incredible building! We were so lucky with our apartment because it looked right out at the Sagrada Família. Waking up every morning, opening the curtains and seeing a world heritage sight right in front of you is something amazing!

This was the view from my bedroom window with no zoom or anything!
After we got settled and unpacked, we were all pretty tired so we slept and just took it easy for a few hours. But we still wanted to do something that evening to kick off our holiday so we got the metro to La Plaça de Catalunya and walked down Las Ramblas, which are famous streets in Barcelona lined with lots of little cafés, shops and stalls. We walked down as far as the port where there were lovely views of the city. It was a nice relaxing start to the holiday and gave us a feel for Barcelona as a city.

The next morning we got up bright and early and took the metro to Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC. If I'm totally honest I was a bit disappointed with it as a tourist attraction because we just had to walk around ourselves with no information on the stadium or the team. I would have liked for there to have been tour guides or even audio guides to provide information as we walked around. But aside from this it was cool to actually see the massive stadium! Imagine playing there whilst 99, 354 people are shouting and screaming!

After that we went to Park Güell, a famous park containing a lot of Gaudí's architecture and designs. I really enjoyed walking around it and seeing everything. His architecture has quite a Roald Dahl-like feel to it with curvy, childlike designs. The park also offered amazing panoramic views over all of Barcelona. It's such a beautiful city!

On Friday morning, we went across the street to the Sagrada Família, where we rented some audio guides to listen to while we walked around it. It was so good to finally see the inside after being able to see only the outside everyday since we'd arrived! The inside of it really surprised me. It's a lot more modern that I was expecting! The fact that it's still under construction probably should have given it away that it would be quite modern but I think because the outside looks quite old I was expecting the inside to as well. I'm so glad we got the audio guides because I learned so much in the space of the hour the tour lasted. Gaudí had put so much thought into every single detail of the basilica. It just blew my mind!

This was me not realising a photo was being taken hahah, but you can see the architecture nicely

That afternoon we walked halfway up Montjuïc, a hill in Barcelona, and then got a cablecar up to the top. There, we walked around the Castle of Montjuïc, enjoying the amazing views it offered of the whole city.

After dinner that evening we went back to the bottom of Montjuïc to see the shows that are put on at weekends and during the summer at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. The water was lit up every colour you could imagine while music was playing, and I guess you could almost say it was dancing along! It was amazing!

Saturday was our last full day in Barcelona. In the morning, we went back down to the port and took a 90-minute boat trip that took us along the coast of Barcelona. You could see everything and the views from the distance were beautiful!

That afternoon, we went to the zoo at the request of my youngest sister, Clare, and my brother, Patrick. The zoo in Barcelona was home to Snowflake, the albino gorilla, until he died in 2003 and they have a lovely exhibit about his life and the history of albino gorillas which was really interesting! The zoo is situated within the Parc de la Ciutadella so when we were finished in the zoo we had a walk around it. It's a beautiful park with a lake and a big fountain so it was really enjoyable to walk around.

Our flight on Sunday morning was early so we didn't have time to do any more exploring of Barcelona unfortunately. I had such an amazing few days there and I can't wait until I can go back some time. If you are looking for somewhere to go for a city break, I would really highly recommend going there! It is so beautiful, has so many great restaurants and bars, and there is something interesting around every corner. I absolutely loved it!

Did you go away anywhere this summer? :)

- Caoimhe x

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