Basking in Barcelona
I don’t know if solo travel is becoming a trend but I seem to keep stumbling on articles about it. It’s an attractive idea that I’m constantly toying with. The older I get, the more I want to travel and experience new things. I’m not adverse to doing this in Asia but I’ve never done it in Europe. An opportunity arose and last month, I found myself on a semi-solo trip to Barcelona! My friend was attending an event and asked whether I wanted to tag along. It was the perfect chance for me to try ‘day time’ solo travel in Europe and then meet up with her in the evenings.
So here’s what I got up to…
After checking into our Airbnb, pretty much the first thing we did when we arrived was walk around the local neighbourhood.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful Barcelona that’s away from the hectic hubbub of the city then definitely take wander around Gracia. You’ll get a much better feel of the local community life here. There’s a lot of little squares to wander into and of course, there’s also some great tapas bars!
I’m really hungry right now just looking at these photos.
After we had gathered our bearings, we decided to head back to the center to see the no.1 landmark on our hit list, the Sagrada Familia, a cathedral designed by the great Antonio Gaudi.
The Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece in the making. I actually visited this place more than ten years ago. It’s still not finished because of the complicated intricate details that Gaudi created.
You can take a look at it from the outside. One side of the Cathedral looks quite modern but the other side looks like melted wax.
I honestly don’t remember much about my first visit to the Sagrada Familia. My friend had mentioned that one of her friends had cried when going inside. This really amused me but then when I went inside I felt quite overwhelmed and inspired!
It really felt magical, like I’d walked into the Legend of Zelda or some other fantastical world that I could only dream of!
If you purchase the right ticket, you can buy one that allows you to walk up the towers. There’s a choice of two views. One of the Ocean and the other is the city. We decided to go for the city view as there would be a lot more things to see.
I have to admit that walking up the towers was a lot scarier than I thought. I don’t really get too nervous about heights, but I really felt the nerves in the Sagrada Familia. There’s a balcony which you can stand on but I really thought twice about doing it, because the building is so old and I thought the balcony might just melt off! However I did stand on the balcony eventually, I figure I need to challenge myself more!
If you’re thinking about visiting honestly, don’t think…just do it!
So after that, we headed towards the main street of Barcelona, the Ramblas. Checking out the local highstreet shops like good old Mango and Zara. I stumbled into a clothes shop called Friday’s Project, which I loved. I hope that it eventually reaches the UK. I think it’s quite new though so it may be a while.
Feeling a little peckish, we ventured into the Boqueria market for some snacks and then headed home, completing our first day in Barcelona!
If you’re looking for an afternoon itinerary for Barcelona, why not try mine?
Day 1 Itinerary for Barcelona
- Visit area of Gracia. Grab some tapas and soak in the atmosphere
- Visit the Sagrada Familia
- Head down to the Ramblas, walk down the street from top to bottom.
- Pop into the Boqueria market to get some fruits and snacks.
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