Weekend City Break

Pippa Wilson on 29 November 2019
I am not sure why I had never been to Barcelona before and I really didn’t know what to expect. This was a birthday trip towards the end of my 50th birthday celebrations and an opportunity for my best friend Jackie, and I to spend some time together, having some fun, drinking some wine and sampling some Spanish delights.

My first impressions on arrival was one of clean and friendly Spanish efficiency. I had flown into Madrid and explored Salamanca a couple of years earlier and remembered having the same feelings then. We caught a city bus from the airport and with the help and assistance of friendly locals, purchased bus tickets and enjoyed the sights from the bus window. We had booked to stay at a city hotel close to the old quarter and centrally located on a room only basis. We wanted to eat out and explore – that was our remit for weekend.

The first afternoon we headed down to the harbour and gazed longingly at the millionaire’s super yachts in the marina – wondering if we could convince anyone that actually we had just stepped off one. We sipped cocktails and enjoyed some tapas while relaxing in the sun. The cable car over the harbour is a wonderful way to take in the views and to see the city from above. We were very lucky with the weather as it was the very end of November and it was a beautiful clear blue sunny day. Whilst on our wanders we went into the cathedral and foraged around the Christmas markets. None of them appeared to be offering any food or drink like the Manchester or German ones do so we didn’t stop too long.

La Sagrada Familia was an attraction that we had decided was an absolute ‘must’ and so we purchased online the guided tour using the electronic guides. On arrival I must admit that my first impressions were not good. I did not like the look of the building and felt it was a strange anachronistic mix of architecture. Once we had listened to the guide and been inside the building my whole feelings towards the structure completely changed and I found it the most incredible, inspiring, and beautiful place. It was absolutely the highlight of the trip.

Other highlights of course were the fabulous meals and the Spanish atmosphere. Eating out in little restaurants we came across down little alleys and going with our gut impressions on places rather than trip advisor. All in all, it was a brilliant weekend and there were plenty of things that we just didn't have time to see and do. A city to return to.....