Flew from Florence back to Barcelona via Vueling, flight was smooth, swift and on time! Upon arrival, I headed to the information counter and asked where we could take the Metro but was told that there isn't any Metro that links to the airport. If we want to take the Metro, we have to take the Airport bus to the city before transferring over.
Here, I was a little confused because I am pretty sure that our hotel is situated just right above the train station. Right, the TRAIN station! Did I just mixed up the Metro and the Train? Yes I did. I thought it works like Singapore's MRT TRAIN. Metro/train, sama sama isn't it? No, this is not Singapore...
It was a little too late to realize this when we were already on our way to the city via the airport bus. Arrived at bus stop just outside Catalunya Metro station and the nightmare didn't end there. We dragged our heavy luggages up and down the stairs to take the Metro and realized we had to change train. Once again, pulled our stuffs from one end to another. After all the grandmother stories, we FINALLY arrived at Sants Estacio station, where our hotel is situated. I could have saved us all the trouble if only I asked for the correct directions where we were just 2 or 3 stations away from the airport -_- Lesson learnt here!
Checked into our space themed hotel, Hotel Barcelo Sants and this was our crib for four nights! We had a good stay here all thanks to the good location (both Metro and Train station just directly below our hotel), clean, spacious and have all our necessities met. Definitely a recommended place to stay. Cost us about 120euros/night!
Dropped our stuffs and headed out immediately! We bought the 10-trips ticket (about 10.90euros) at the Metro station and it was very worth it. Sufficient to last us for 3 days when we were out and about.
Our first stop was La Boqueria, a large public market and also one of Barcelona's tourist landmarks. This place has a diverse selection of goods from fresh fruits to pastries, sweets, seafood and etc. You'll never go hungry here.
Unfortunately, the fried food that we tried were all cold. Not sure if they like to eat it like that? They don't seem to heat the food up for you. We wanted to try some seafood at the counter but everywhere was jam packed with tourist with only a few seats available. Didn't want to waste the time queuing so we just settled for finger food instead.
'Marilyn Monroe' spotted opposite the market.
At the Columbus Monument, where this monument served as a reminder that Christopher Columbus reported to the Queen & King of Barcelona after his first trip to the new continent, America. Tourist information board helps!
Part time street artist?
Casa Mila, designed by Catalan architect Gaudi whereby this was his last civil work.
Walked to this tapas place where Hm visited last year and he was raving about the fried chicken strips so we decided to have dinner there. My conclusion for our first tapas meal, it was unsatisfactory. No doubt the chicken strips were good but the rest of the tapas were just plain bad. 47euros for a lousy meal that wasn't filling at all. Boo!
Brightly lit at 10pm. Enjoying the long daylight hours, close to 20hours of daylight during summer!
Woke up early in the morning for our Montserrat & Cava tour today! Joined a tour group of 12 and our tour guide Lisa, filled us in with some history and interesting facts of Barcelona & Monseratt on our way up. It was an hour's drive between the two places.
Monserrat is a mountain top monastery in Catalonia, Spain. It also literally means "saw mountain" in Catalan, based on the rock formations from a great distance.
Tried the locals' favourite dessert, honey with goat cheese.
According to Lisa, we could get a good view of the local landscape at the Montserrat cross so we took a mini hike up the steep slopes and uneven roads to take a look.
True enough, the view we got was clear and spectacular. Having a picnic and spending a lazy afternoon there would be perfect!
Left Montseratt and continued on for a cava tour next.
Visited the cava maker's house and this is how a typical Catalan's kitchen look like many years ago. It's rarely in use now.
We were brought around to see how they make Cava, a type of sparkling wine (or also referred to as Spanish champagne) produced in Catalonia. Cava is often consumed in Catalan/Spanish families over dinner/celebrations etc.
Of course after going through the tour and knowing more about the cava making process, we had to get a taste of it! I personally didn't quite like the sour taste of the cava or I would have gotten a few bottles of it to bring home. They are largely affordable from as cheap as 9 euros/bottle!
Lisa recommended this local restaurant to us to go for their paella so we specially made our way to Barceloneta but only to find that the restaurant was closed?! Had to settle our dinner at a random restaurant nearby instead :(
There are plenty of restaurants along the boardwalk of La Barceloneta (this place is well know for its sandy beach) so we decided to walk into one of them with the most diners. Lol.
We had seafood & lobsters paella and thankfully, dinner was good! I love how this dish was beautifully rich in flavour and they were generous with the ingredients. Bill was about 75euros but it was definitely way much better than the bad tapas meal we had.
Before we end our long day, we caught the magic fountain in action where music was incorporated with the light show and the fountain. There's a show everyday at 9pm. It was barely 930pm that day but we were already so exhausted. Back to the hotel to recharge for outlet shopping the next day!
To be continued...