When we planned on going to Europe, we knew we were going to visit 2-3 cities. Tristan wanted London, and I called for Paris (more like jumped and screamed for it). The third was up in the air for some time, and then I mentioned Barcelona. We had thought about going to Spain before, but it wasn’t really on the “must-go ASAP” list. The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea. It was a beach city and my husband speaks Spanish pretty well, so it seemed like it would be the perfect change of pace.
We know we want to explore a Mediterranean cruise one day, so after we had already planned everything, there was a small part of me that wished we went to different areas of Spain because several Meditteranean cruises embark and disembark in Barcelona anyways. If you are thinking about this, there are stunning islands of Spain you can visit like Menorca and Mallorca, and I hear Madrid is actually a great city to visit too. I would mention Ibiza, but based on my research it’s more for the younger crowd (woo, party!) so if you’re still in that stage of life – go for it! One day we’ll visit these other areas. One day! I just wish I had thought of this before!
Anyway, I have to say we still had a great time. However, you have to visit the city with the mindset that you are going to a very large cruise port. There are a lot of vendors around and if you choose to do any tours, expect to be with those cruising. Basically, expect a town that thrives off of tourism. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, know that the food is still on point. You will still find rich and traditional food out here… and seriously, that’s the core of a good trip to a new city, right?
To get from Paris to Barcelona, we took a quick flight. However, it didn’t turn out so quick. We got to the airport pretty early, and good thing we did! We had trouble checking in due to Dominic’s ticket and had to wait in different lines, then when we got to our terminal, our flight got delayed a few times. Eventually Dominic fell asleep in my arms, and I still remember my arm aching as it was finally time to start boarding the plane. I didn’t have the heart to give him to my husband or to put him down somewhere. There is something so sweet about watching your baby sleep even though your arm feels like it’s about to fall off 🙂
When we finally arrived in Barcelona, I guess all of the delays threw things off because the luggage from our flight took at least an hour to finally show up. So, we ran around, played, and tried to get a cold drink from the vending machine only to find that the drinks weren’t cold. Honestly, we were getting irritable. It was hot in the baggage claim, and we were getting restless. Looking back, I’m thankful this whole thing was the only real hiccup during our vacation, and luckily we didn’t lose our baggage.
We did, however, lose half of the day we had planned for exploring. I guess it was okay because by the time we got our luggage and made it to the hotel, we just wanted to get something to eat then rest. Exploring was practically the last thing on our mind, so, eating and then resting is what we did!
We Yelped for some good, local tapas; and it turned out that there was a restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. I’ll talk more about food later, but it was a nice way to warm ourselves up to the spirit of Barcelona and the perfect way to end a rough travel day with some locally brewed beer.