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Barcelona

Places I've Been

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell

June 26, 2017

So I told you yesterday about how I spent my 30:th birthday in Barcelona a few weeks ago. But today I want to show you what we did the rest of our weekend in Barcelona. After a lovely breakfast in our hotel, we decided to go sightseeing. We put on our best walking shoes (thank you Nike sneakers for existing!) and went out in the scorching hot 28 degree Celsius sun (everything above 20 is scorching hot if you’re Scandinavian…). We headed down the Passeig de Gracía, which is full of fancy shops filled with things I’ll never let myself afford – a great shopping street if you’re into Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and the likes. After a little window shopping, we took a long walk over to La Sagrada Familia…

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Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go inside, although I hear it’s absolutely stunning in there. The queue to get inside was extremely long, so I do suggest pre-booking if you plan to go inside.

We spent some time admiring the gothic architecture before we found a side-street to cool off with a cold drink. We then proceeded to walk up to Park Güell – a long, steep walk uphill but nothing we couldn’t handle (although admittedly, I did consider hailing a taxi). Park Güell is a public park designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, whose buildings and designs can be seen throughout Barcelona. It’s pretty big, with lots of interesting architecture and lovely views of Barcelona. Entry is free, but it costs if you want to be able to enter some parts of the park, which we didn’t. The only downside to it was the heaps of young men selling fake handbags literally everywhere.

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After walking around for a while, we were both really tired and headed back to the hotel. While grabbing a taxi, I tried to use the little Spanish I still know, as many taxi drivers don’t speak English, and asked ¿Puedo se pagar con la carta? (Can you pay by card?). The man said (Yes) and we jumped in. Jacob was impressed and I was proud to still know a little bit of Spanish (if you remember, I lived in Spain for some months while I was younger). He then proceeded to tell me something very quickly in Spanish and I didn’t understand a word he said. So much for boasting about my Spanish skills…

 

Places I've Been

Turning 30: Birthday in Barcelona

June 25, 2017

On my 30th birthday, I wanted to do something special, something that I love – traveling. And what better way to spend turning 30 than to celebrate your birthday in Barcelona? So off to Barcelona we went!

We had never been there before, so I was beyond excited to see the city for the first time. Copenhagen was cloudy and windy but three hours on a plane later, we touched down in beautiful Barcelona. We took a taxi to the hotel where we stayed – the Ohla Eixample. I had no idea which areas were good to stay in, but I chose the area based on the hotel and a little research – we were NOT disappointed. Upon arrival, we were greeted with cava in the reception. While waiting for our room to get ready, we changed into swimwear and went up to the rooftop infinity pool. There, we had some more cava and drinks, some food, and got a little sunburnt, too.

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A little bit of cava!

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My favorite dish, truffle pasta, for lunch!

 

Birthday-in-barcelona-4By five o’clock, I was really tired and we went down to our room for a little power nap. An hour later, the hotel sent over a bottle of cava for my birthday to our room (see top photo!), so we got ready, drank som cava and headed down to the restaurant we had booked; Viana in the gothic quarter. We had sangría, delicious food, and by the end of our meal the whole restaurant turned pitch black. Someone lit a candle on a cake and started singing Happy Birthday. I went along and sang for the unknown person we apparently were celebrating until the waitress turned around and gave ME the cake! Needless to say, I was very surprised and a wee bit embarrassed that a restaurant full of people were singing Happy Birthday to me. That’s something to tell my grandcats (haha).

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Dinner with sangria

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Mozzarella di bufala with smashed avocado starter – so delicious!

After dinner, we walked around in the Gothic quarter and the Rambla, before deciding to go back to Eixample for drinks. Our hotel recommended the cocktail bar Dry Martini just two blocks away and we were definitely not disappointed. Dry Martini is a speakasy and one of the best 50 bars in the world but I’ll tell you more about the bar in a later post.

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After a few drinks, we walked back to the hotel and finished our bottle of cava, watching Ellen DeGeneres and James Corden on YouTube before we fell asleep in the softest, lavender scented Egyptian sheets…. pure bliss! All in all, probably the best birthday I’ve ever had. Cheers to 30!