Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Barcelona Heatwave

Weekend in Barcelona!
Ola! Been a long time since my last post. Yes! Katie and I were in Barcelona for a weekend for my cousin Suvexa's (I know spelling is wrong, you name is too long) birthday.

First time in Spain and I have to say it won’t be my last.
2 days in Barcelona:

Day 1, Barcelona beach: Port Olimpic

Barcelona is famed for its beach (Port Olimpic) so we had to start from there by parasailing and segway riding. The weather was nice since we hardly get any sun here in London; the beach was crowded with locals and holidaymakers from everywhere in the world. To be honest, it was how I imagined Miami to be like, from what I have seen on TV. So much was happening in one place; people roller blading, cycling, segway’ing, jogging etc. I have to say folks in Barcelona are hooked on fitness or maybe it's just because of the beach.
 As mentioned above, I rode a segway, for the first time! Who knew it would be this amazing (definitely recommended!).  Then we went parasailing for 15 minutes. It was incredible to see everything with a bird’s eye view, the warm breeze of salty air and of course the anxiety of falling if the rope were to snap. But all three of us were seasick during this experience. Seriously. seasick! I don't know if it was all due to getting drowsy from sailing but maybe it was dehydration as well.

After lunch, we set up our nest in the beach and there I was ready to jump into the water. I was swimming like a pro, floating like a fish, moving forward bit by bit, pushing my body from this vast sea like Kevin Costner from Waterworld (well that’s how I felt then lol).

Good atmosphere with the scorching sun; time for sunbathing. I put on the suntan lotion and there I was working on my tan. But... just like in every holiday, something has to go wrong. I forgot to apply the lotion onto my face!!!!. My bloody face!!  Yes, at the end of my trip, my facial skin was peeling off, dreadful but exciting experience. (Note: don’t forget to use sunscreen on your face.)

Font magica de Montjuïc (Magic Fountain of Montjuïc)
One of the best water fountain shows incorporated with lights and music situated below the National Art Museum of Catalonia. It's a repeating half-hour long show starting from 9pm ending at 11pm.  It's advisable to arrive early for a better location as this does attract quite a crowd.

Day 2, Barcelona City: Poble Espanyol

This has to be an architectural heaven as various kinds of buildings are located in one place. While exploring every nook and corner I could find of this compact village, it felt like I was in different cities. Sometimes it looked like Venice, then suddenly on a different corner it looked like Greece, and up the stairs we reached Rome. It’s like every corner has a portal to a different world. 

And of course, sipping ice cold Estrella on a boiling day was just too damn good.

View of City of Barcelona from Poble Espanyol 

En route to Montjuïc Castle
City of Barcelona from a cable car to Montjuïc Castle

To be honest, I am not fond of dangling inside a metal container that relies on one cable. The first time I ever rode a cable car was in Hong Kong when I was kid, which I barely can remember and this is my second or probably last time.  But I have to say I did enjoy the scenery until 2 other people decided to barge into our cable car while returning from the castle. Seriously, I have a tendency of being loud so it was a bit awkward and quiet when they invaded our car. Overall, it was an exciting ride but needs getting used to by myself.

Montjuïc Castle

Park Güell

This park in Carmel hill is a must see sight, designed by Antoni Gaudi, and just to take this picture above, we paid €7 each.  Apparently the whole park is free except for the monumental zone where most of the tourists are attracted. Due to lack of time, we could not see the whole park. After observing, I have realized that people only see the monumental zone but it is highly recommended to see entire park where the hidden gems of Carmel hill lie.

Sagrada Familia 

This is one of the most iconic structures in Barcelona, also by Gaudi. The construction began in 1882 and is still under construction to this day.


It was late Sunday evening (the last night) and we had been curious about Tibidabo Church in the city. So, we decided to visit this last place. We opened our map and measured the distance; seemed close enough. Took a taxi and off we went!  
Much to our surprise, it took longer than we expected. As we reached to the top of the street, it was getting dark and the chances of getting a taxi back were starting to look slim. We were in a difficult predicament on whether to return or carry on to the top.  I could see how concerned Katie was but we decided to push forward in the end.

As we got closer to the peak we saw the statue of Jesus with the same posture as the one in Brazil. Few people were still hanging around the area, which made us at ease. Quickly took all the pictures we needed or at least gathered as evidence of us being there. I had to use the ladies' bathroom since I could not find men’s (I have to say they are lot cleaner then men’s). 
Within 5 minutes we were rushing back to the bus stop/taxi rank. We were speed walking and upon seeing a taxi just pulling in parking from a few meters away, I sprinted forward. Finally, everyone had their breaths back, especially Katie.  Although rushed, it was an experience we will remember.

Torre de Collserola

This was a short but an amazing trip. I will return to Barcelona in future for a detailed visit. There are so many places we missed since we were in such a tight schedule but the places we covered were just as exceptional.
Lastly, Thank you Suvexa! For inviting me to celebrate your birthday again. Last year in Rome, this year in Barcelona, hopefully next year we will celebrate your birthday in different part of the world. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN!