A LONG WEEKEND IN BARCELONA PART 1

28th August 2016

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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

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The view out one window
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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>