Barcelona!

Hola! Over the weekend I ventured forth on my first solo travel adventure, which was also my first trip to Spain! After being up at a completely unreasonable hour, I was off to Barcelona!! Luckily, I met a lovely new friend on the flight over, and we made plans to catch up over the weekend.

Once I had arrived and checked into the hostel, it was time for a quick lunch (Tapa’s) and I was off to explore!! First I made my way to arguably Barcelona’s most famous building, the Sangrada Familia. This epic masterpiece designed by the famous architect Gaudi, rises above the city in all it’s quirky glory, and really is something. It is so different, unique, crazy and beautiful than any other buildings I have seen before. It is also thronging with tourists and hawkers so after getting my fill of pictures I was onto the next Gaudi creations. Casa Mila and Casa Batllo were both residential projects of Gaudi’s commissioned by the owners, and both were as different and amazing and each other.
After my self guided Gaudi walking tour and a nap, I was off out for a Wine and Tapas tour through Barcelona. As a lover of food and wine, this was a fantastic way to learn about Catalonian and Spanish food and wine, while learning about the city and enjoying good compan 

Sunday sent me off on a walking tour of the Gothic quarter, where again I got to learn more about Barcelona’s history and hidden secrets. There were so many ancient stories and beautiful buildings hidden in the narrow winding streets, along with funky new shops and delicious treats. After the walking tour it was time for more Gaudi, so I made my way to Park Guell to check out the park and more of his creations. It was a pretty chilled out afternoon wandering the paths in the park enjoying the buskers, sights and views. After Park Guell I made my way back to the Gothic Quarter for some treats, before heading back to the hostel.

After a break, it was time for dinner with my new friends, Hannah and Jenn. We had a lovely dinner of tapas along with some good wine and chat, and some rather nice looking waiters. Pity their English wasn’t better. Our dinner led onto a night cap at a secret little Jazz bar we stumbled upon, complete with live pianist and singer. It was a pretty great end the day and very enjoyable. 

Monday was my last day in Barcelona, so I ventured to the La Boqueria markets for some cheese, ham and fruit juice. I followed this by getting completely lost in the Gothic Quarter and La Ribera neighbourhood, enjoying the winding streets and various shops and cafes. I was enjoying my wandering so much I had to powerwalk back to my hostel to pick up my bag and make the bus to the airport

The verdict on Barcelona: fabulous city, I can’t wait to go back, and better yet explore more of Spain.

The verdict on solo travel: I rather enjoyed it. It’s nice to be able to do your own thing and not have to worry about anyone else and I enjoyed making new friends. Will do again for sure.

Gothic quarter streets

Rooftop views

Churro!

Manchego and Iberian ham

Juice!

La Rambla

Placa de Catalunya 

Enjoying secret jazz bars

Cathedral of Barcelona

Park Guell

Park Guell views

Gothic Quarter

Delicious cheap wine, price is by the litre!

Wine and tapas!

Casa Batllo 

Barcelona Architecture

Casa Mila

Sangrada Familia

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Caerdydd 

Caerdydd, or Cardiff, is the lovely Welsh city and capital of wales. I was lucky enough to enjoy a great weekend there with Will and Kate. 

It was a grey but mild Friday that I arrived, to the loss of the Cardiff Blues to the Scarlets at Millenium stadium, smack in the middle of town. Needless to say people were pretty merry and Jolly as I made my way to the hostel. Kate and Will had already made a new friend when I arrived, so it was off out for a pint. This actually turned into several pints and a trip to the famous Chippy lane for chicken curry chips off the bone. Having heard so much about this welsh delicacy from a friend I had to try it and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Saturday was time for the free walking tour of Cardiff, where we explored the whole of the central city as well as walking down to Cardiff Bay. We learnt about the history of Cardiff and wales, including English influence/invasion, the castle, the park and much more. After the tour and a cheeky bit of Mexican for lunch, we were off hunting for Halloween costumes. These in hand, it was time for a wee nap before gearing up for Halloween in Cardiff! Dressed in our very coordinated and effective costumes, we had a great night having a few drinks and enjoying all the costumes of everyone else. Our hostel even had a couple mod guys from Birmingham dressed up as the Peaky Blinders!! 

Sunday morning Kate and I were up and out to go and explore Cardiff Castle. This included the old fort, roman walls, WWII bomb shelters and Victorian house. After the Castle and a market lunch we made our way back to Cardiff Bay to go to the Roald Dahl experience. Having grown up reading his stories, this was really fun and a special experience. After Roald Dahl, we made our way to the pub for a last Welsh pint and meal, before our trains home.

Chippy Lane!

New welsh friends!


Chicken curry chips off the bone, sooooooo good!

Autumn wonderland in Cardiff

Bute Park

Bute park

Cardiff castle from Bute park

Convicts in Cardiff

Didn’t get the pouts memo

Outside the castle!


So many great costumes!


Rainy days in Cardiff

The Castle


The Castle walls

In the stocks!

Kings of the Castle!