A Week in Barcelona

Howdy folks! I finally found a bit of free time to blog today—so allow me to present our Barcelona Photo Diary! TAADAAAHH! Sunny Spain definitely did not disappoint—the weather was perfect, food was delicious and thankfully much more affordable (compared to Paris! Eeep!), and just as eccentric and outrageous expected. I had a mega jam-packed itinerary planned for our week in Barcelona but on our first day in the city our bodies just completely bailed on us. It was a sudden crash that we didn’t anticipate. Patrick was down with a fever for several days and an ear ache that refused to leave. While I, on the other hand, was on PMS mode with migraines, cramps and an unshakeable feeling of doom. (Girls, you can relate for sure!) So we just decided to edit our plans and take it easy instead. After all, we were on “vacation” so we didn’t want to push ourselves too much. We spent half the day lazing around in our jammies and the other half to do a bit of sightseeing and lots of eating!  

I’ve always loved Spain–actually Madrid in particular. We have family there so it’s become our sort of default destination in Europe. I’ve visited Barcelona only once before and the last time I was there was back in May 2004—yes, exactly 10 years ago! I don’t even want to dig up my photos from that trip because I looked horrendous–sporting my Oakley bubuyog shades. Nyerks! I was excited to re-acquaint myself with the Catalan region through this trip so even if Pat and I were not in tip-top form, we were still determined to explore Barcelona.

Barcelona is all about ART. And not just any kind of art–but the bold, rebellious, eccentric, in-your-face kind of art that admittedly I don’t fully understand. You’ll see traces of Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, Dali scattered throughout the city. There’s just this energy about Barcelona that you can’t escape. It feels old and new at the same time. There’s some sort of time warp in this city–which I believe is it’s charm. 
It was great to meet up with our Pinoy connections in the city. Meg was a classmate of mine in Ateneo and Marco was Patrick’s churchmate. We had so much fun chilling with these two. 🙂
Hands down, Barceloneta is my favorite destination in Barcelona. This seaside district is perfect for picnics, sunbathing (during the summer months of course!), and just soaking in the chill Barcelona vibe. 
It’s amazing how ten years can change an entire population. Back in 2004, I had to use my broken Spanish (from college) to find the toilet and it was such an arduous task. Now, young Catalans are well versed in the English language. You can ask for directions from anyone in the street and it’ll be very easy to converse with them. I guess the world is indeed getting smaller and smaller thanks to social media and the internet. 

 For those asking, we booked an apartment in the Gracia neighborhood via AirBnB. It was a very clean flat with modern interiors. However, what I failed to discover while booking was that 1) It was located on top of a very steep hill 2)There was no elevator! Gaaaaah! The metro stop was just a block away, but maaaaaan, it was such a steep climb to our flat. PLUS when you get to the actual building, you’d have to take 5 flights of stairs. We stuffed ourselves with tapas and paella but managed to burn all the calories thanks to our daily hikes to and from the apartment. Hahaha!:) So next time I book a rental, I’ll make sure we don’t have to climb up to get there. Que’ Horror!

Gracia is a very laid back neighborhood that is slowly gaining recognition amongst tourists. We explored the streets during siesta time so it was practically a ghost town for a few hours. You’ll find lots of independent/local shops and restaurants in this district. 

To honor Patrick’s Lolo Jose Rizal (he’s a direct descendant of Olympia), we trekked up to Montjuic. We were supposed to take the cable car but it shut down when we arrived—our lucky day–so we had to TREK yet again! You can imagine how bummed we both were, climbing again!??!?! With all the hikes we had to do in Barcelona, I think I’ve developed man-kles! Man ankles! Nyahahahaha! But the view of the city just before sunset was our reward. I highly recommend this to photographers who are looking for a spot to capture the cityscape of Barcelona.
My legs were killing me but I still managed to SMILE through the pain for this photo. 🙂
After having baguettes all day everyday in Paris, we just wanted to have RICE!!! So we begged our Pinoy friends to bring us to their favorite Paella joint “El Rey De La Gamba” in Barceloneta. THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT of my entire Barcelona trip. No regrets, here. Only happy tears and lots of happy calories!!! I got pregnant on that night–yep, my tummy formed a 9 month old FOOD BABY just like that! Hahaha! Oh and the CAVA Sangria is a must try too 🙂 
Visiting La Sagrada Familia, which you all know is Gaudi’s ultimate masterpiece and still a work in progress. Construction began in 1882 and is expected to finish in 2026. Imagine how many generations have come and gone and will appear in that period. They obviously love the hashtag #pagmaytime. Hahahaha 🙂 But there are a lot of pressing issues circling around the construction of this majestic Gothic cathedral and this long timeline is actually purposeful and intentional. You really can’t rush something as glorious as the Sagrada Familia.
Nothing could be any weirder and more spectacular than Gaudi’s Park Guell.
La Rambla, touristy and busy but still a must visit 🙂
Exploring Barrio Gotico
A quick stop at the Philippine Club of Barcelona. The Honorary Consul Mr. Jordi Puig was such a gracious host! He’s done so much for our kababayans in Barcelona and it was so nice to meet this big-hearted man:) 

The token photo by Hotel Espana, where Jose Rizal stayed 🙂
CHURROS!!!!!!! This was my personal request, 
I kept asking and asking about Churros that entire day! Hahaha 🙂 
Thank you again Barcelona! We really enjoyed our week in Sunny Spain! 

4 Responses to A Week in Barcelona

  1. My eyes grew big when I read “that’s where I got pregnant…” but went back to normal again after finding out it was due to food. But anyway, there’s no harm in crossing your fingers! 🙂