Guest blogger, Paul took a five day break in sunny Barcelona this month and has kindly reviewed his time there. This two part blog recounts his trip away including some helpful hints and tips for if you’re visiting the city any time soon. Here’s what Paul got up to in Barcelona…
My wife & I travelled to Barcelona for a very long weekend from 7th – 12th March 2013 with Superbreak. We made our way to Gatwick using the long term car park facility, a short bus ride to the terminal, then just a matter of checking at the Easyjet desk. Boarding cards in hand through security, both stopped and searched, boots off, belts off, finally through to the departure lounge. A bit of retail therapy, a coffee at one of the many café / bars and it was over the bridge to gate 107 for boarding. A smooth flight saw us land at Barcelona five minutes ahead of schedule. We had pre-booked a transfer with the same company we used last year, and sure enough there was a very friendly lady with a board bearing our name waiting to greet us; a 20 minute transfer in a nice BMW then ensued.
We arrived at our hotel the Acevi Villarroel and checked in. The reception was bright, clean and quite and the gentleman checking us in was friendly, cheerful and very helpful. We were pleasantly surprised with our room! It was large and clean with a queen size bed, a fair amount of storage space, mini-bar & TV. As it was late, we just unpacked, popped across the road to a local bar for a toastie and beer, then it was back to the hotel for a good nights’ sleep.
We arose from our comfortable bed and went for our first breakfast which was included in the package from Superbreak. This consisted of mainly a continental style meal of yogurts, cakes, cold meats etc… with plenty of cereals, fruit and toast as well. They did offer a small hot selection of sausages and eggs, sometimes we got there to find these empty but the staff were very approachable and cooked to order when asked with no fuss at all.
Our first outing was to use the Barcelona Tour Buses, a hop on and off service – we got a two day ticket. We made our way to the nearest stop and selected the red route for the first day in the city. The tour is an excellent way to get your bearings and an idea of places you would prefer to look at close up. The route is a long one and after seeing some great sights we opted to get off at the Nou Camp Stadium, home to Barcelona Football Club. We queued to buy tickets for the Camp Nou Experience as well as tickets for a game the next evening. The Nou Camp is a very large stadium and the tour was interesting , with a vast amount of history to take in. The stadium itself is pretty impressive and well worth a visit if you find yourself with a couple of hours spare.
Later that evening we visited the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc which is a free attraction that happens between 7pm & 9pm Fridays & Saturday during the winter. This turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip, well worth a visit to experience the colour display.
Today we experienced the green route on the Barcelona Tour Buses. This is a lot longer route which gave us a very good understanding and views of the eastern & northern areas of Barcelona. It was on this section we got our first views of The Sagrada Familia, the most famous building in Barcelona created by Antoni Gaudí. We decided after doing a full circle on the bus to go and look around this famous landmark & very impressive it is too. The queues were very long to go in so we decided just to circle the building on foot and admire the outstanding architecture. Here we also got a local ice cream whilst admiring the view.
Back to the hotel change and out for a bite to eat at one of the many excellent restaurants down town. Then it’s off again to the Nou camp, this time to see Barcelona take on Deportivo de La Coruña. We were right at the top of the stadium, the players resembling ants at this distance, but not deterred we enjoyed the game – though I have to say the atmosphere was pretty poor compared to what we are used to at British grounds.
We made our way back to the hotel after the game using Barcelona’s excellent Metro system. It’s worth getting a T10 ticket which is 10 euros giving you and your partner a share of ten trips. Once in the metro you can go on all the lines 1 to 5 without having to exit. The ticket is valid on buses also.
Catch Part 2 later on in the week…