I am very fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who is very good at surprises. As I’ve written about on Musings & More, for my 18th birthday he took me to Paris and for my 23rd this year, he surprised me with a trip to New York! Both of which were mind blowing trips that he had carefully crafted, knowing how much I had longed to go. But while it is so lovely to be surprised, sometimes you want to be the one making your other half beam in such a way that only something unexpectedly wonderful can do. So in February, about a month after we had returned for New York, I started plotting. Because now it would be Matt’s turn to be wowed, or so I hoped!

With his 25th birthday being in July (and at the end of it too!), you might think that six months was quite a long time to plan a trip. My logic was that I wanted to spread out the cost to make it easier for myself to fund. Especially because alongside this, Matt and I already had several trips booked to Orlando, Rome and our anniversary too. I also had the assistance of his parents to help me look at flights and hotel which was such a blessing as we looked at so many hotels. It was actually his Mum who suggested Barcelona and once she had mentioned it, it was as if something clicked. It was perfect! It would have hot weather in July, be reasonably quick to get to and was somewhere neither of us had been before. While we had trawled through hundreds of hotels, we typically ended up coming back to one of the first we had seen! After a few sneaky visits to Matt’s house, soon the perfect flights came up and I clicked the big old shiny ‘BOOK’ button.

As you can imagine, it was a long wait till I would tell Matt and I was very fidgety. There were so many times were I just wanted to shout it at him but knew it would be so worth it. And on the 27th of July, before I went to work, I handed him a wrapped up travel guide of Barcelona. He was so shocked! “What!? What!?” he exclaimed. I was thrilled with his reaction. I then told him we would be driving to the airport hotel that very night before flying out early next morning and handed him a list of what he needed to sort out (he was off work) before we left when I returned home from work. There was something so exciting about the short amount of time that Matt had to process everything so I’m really glad I left it as I did.

We flew the next day from Stansted Airport where the flight only ended up being an hour and forty-five minutes and before we knew it, we were stepping out into warm sunshine. As we wanted to make the most of our time and transfers can take quite a while, we hopped in a taxi before arriving at surprise number 2: the hotel!

Silken Diagonal Barcelona





The view out one window
The view out the other windowshampoos

Again, this was something Matt had no idea about. I chose the Silken Diagonal Barcelona admittedly based on it’s appearance. You step in and there’s an abundance of copper decor and sleek silver furnishings with a somewhat futuristic feel about the place. The corridors to your room is flooded only blue light with has a strangely calming effect. The hotel kindly upgraded us to a Silken Club Room as it was Matt’s birthday and oh my, what a room! It was so spacious and again, followed the hotels modern edge. The bathroom was almost a box made up primarily of designer glass and while some people may wonder about the privacy, I absolutely adored it and it’s perfect for a couple on a romantic break.

The two twin beds that were pushed together were huge and plush and never once did we have a bad nights sleep. It was the two large windows that stole the show though. Teamed with electric blinds that we could control from our bed, the room was flooded with light and we had great views either side of the city of Barcelona and the Agbar Tower as well as a little of the sea too! There was nothing lovelier than laying in the cool room, watching the city at night. And by the same default, pressing the button when you wake up the morning where the room that was completely blacked out for sleep, would be shrouded in morning sunlight.




After investigating our room, we took a short trip up to the rooftop on the tenth floor (we were on the ninth) and were met with glorious views of the city. There were seats a plenty to enjoy the view but my eyes were (naturally!) drawn to the pool and the sun beds around it with a bar close by. While Barcelona features a lot of fantastic tourist attractions, we decided we definitely needed to allocate some time to spend up on the rooftop as the relaxed, serene atmosphere gently lulled you in.
The Sagrada Familia












Whatever travel guides I read, or websites that I went on or people I spoke to, one tourist attraction was heavily recommended to me. The Sagrada Familia. I’ll admit that I hadn’t actually heard of it before but upon my googling, I knew we had to go. One of Gaudi’s most famous pieces of work, the Sagrada Familia is basically a monumental church. But it so incredibly beautiful to the point it is almost breathtaking. I am by no means religious, but I can appreciate something as beautiful as the Sagrada Familia.

I find it fascinating that it is actually still under construction (as it obvious when you visit, although it doesn’t actually seem to distract from its beauty). It’s solely financed by donations and ticket entry to visit, which isn’t even that much! I don’t want to bore you about something you might not have seen yet, but Gaudi was heavily influenced by gothic architecture, intertwined with nature, light and colour. It really is a sight to behold. You walk around the church numerous times, usually staring upwards at the numerous, domineering stain glass windows or the eighteen towers. The outside of the church is just a captivating too, there is so much to look at, so much to point and pick out. As soon as we came out from the metro system on the escalator, immediately everyone was twisting to stare up at the Sagrada Familia which takes centre stage almost immediately. As with everyone else before me, I would 100% recommend visiting if you come to Barcelona. You would really be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.

I’ve decided to split this post into two simply because there’s lot to tell you and I know with the amount of photos I have could mean a seriously photo heavy post for you all! Anyway I hope you’ve enjoyed this forte into Barcelona and will come along to part two! If you have any questions, do ask and I’ll be sure to answer them next week!

Emily x

  • Aww what a sweet gift to your boyfriend!! Barcelona looks amazing. Excited to see part two! πŸ™‚

    Renee | Life After Lux

  • These photos are amazing! Looks like you had a lovely time- I'm looking forward to part 2! xx


  • I was in Barcelona last summer and I loved it! πŸ™‚

  • I was in Barcelona maybe… 4 years ago. Long time ago but I love Barcelona!

    Kisses, DadieB. ~

  • Stunning, stunning pictures! Barcelona look absolutely beautiful, adding this place to my bucket list =)
    xoxo, Simona and Indre

  • Absolutely breathtaking! The architecture there is stunning. It shows through your pictures so I can imagine seeing it in person. Your boyfriend is THE BEST! Marry him! LOL A man that likes to travel is a SMART man! So happy for you.

  • Wow your shots are AMAZING! Barcelona looks so awesome and I hope I can visit someday! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  • Barcelona looks so beautiful to visit! I would love to take a nice long trip there!


  • Your hotel is gorgeous! We were looking at Barcelona for a little break next year and you've definitely convinced me to go even more!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

  • Looks like you had a lovely time in Barcelona, so lovely!! Xx


  • What a special boyfriend.. He really knows you and treats you in away that shows it. You are both very lucky. Barcelona looks seriously incredible. Cheers to you!

    kellmenow | http://www.kellmenow.com/blog/2016/8/25/rain-rain-stay-away
    Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/kell_menow/
    Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/kellmenow/?fref=ts
    Twitter | https://twitter.com/kell_menow
    BlogLovin | https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/blog-kellmenow-14252307

  • What an amazing gift! Barcelona is so beautiful and you've captured it so well! Your hotel looks stunning to. What great views of the city. πŸ™‚

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

  • This place looks amazing, can't believe I haven't visited yet!

  • I visited Barcelona earlier this year and loved La Sagrada Familia even if it was very busy. Glad we booked tickets in advance as the queue for the ticket window was huge! I'd love to return and see it when it's finally finished.

  • It is amazing when you better half is so adventurous & spontaneous πŸ™‚ My hubby and I usually plan it all together but he's got lots of great surprises up his sleeve, too. Ahhh, those boys are keepers πŸ˜€
    Love this Barcelona diary, Emily!! It's that one city I cannot wait to go to! Funny enough, just a few weeks ago we met this couple from Barcelona (in Liverpool) and we instantly became like best buds & they even invited us to come and visit ASAP πŸ™‚
    I can't wait for Part 2! <3
    xox Nadia

  • great!

    NEW BLOG ! please follow me : YOUNG BLOG

  • You definitely get the girlfriend of the year award – your trip sounds amazing and your photos are fabulous!

    Emma | http://www.fluffandfripperies.com

  • I love Bacelona! What a lovely surprise to give. : ) xxxx

    β™₯ Carly Susanne – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • OH my gosh, this is so exciting! I love how you and your boyfriend have been surprising each other on birthdays with such magical trips – I can really imagine how exciting it must have been for him to find out you'd both be flying out the very next day. You booked a lovely hotel; this travel diary is wonderful! πŸ™‚


  • What a fun couple the two of you are! Travel is such a great hobby to share. I love the vibe of the hotel you stayed at. I never had a chance to visit Barcelona when I went to Spain so it's still on my bucket list. Now I've got a great place to stay in mind too πŸ™‚ Can't wait to learn more about your trip!

    xx Yasmin

  • what a beautiful place, you did so well with the photography on this one the photos are gorg! x


  • It's so lovely how you spent all those months planning to surprise Matt, so romantic as well! The holidays he booked for you sound so amazing as well πŸ™‚ The Sagrada Familia is breathtaking! I love the detailed sculptures, the expressions are so realistic! πŸ™‚

    Velvet Blush

  • I love good surprises, but I hardly get one. Lol! Well done for making Matt happy. You two are blessed to have each other. Sounds like a great trip and great shots. πŸ™‚


  • ah Barcelona is at the top of my list – your pictures look fab, hope you had a great time!

    Charlotte x

  • I am quite jealous you got to go! Barcelona seems beautiful and your pictures are amazing!
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  • Raj

    You guys are the most adorable couple! What a lovely way to celebrate together, and glad he was suitably shocked too!

    Gorgeous pics, can't wait to read part 2

    What Raj Wants

  • Awww, I love that you handed him a wrapped up travel guide, that is so cute!!! The hotel looks EPIC…and those views too! The Sagrada though…insane!!! I never knew about it either, but after seeing it on here I’m adding it to my travel list for sure!