As I write this I’m currently suffering from holiday blues. If anyone has a prescription It’s been one of the quickest summers I’ve ever experienced I think. This is probably down to not ever saying ‘I’m bored with nothing to do’, thank God for not allowing me to say that horrid statement!
I have just returned from my last trip overseas to Barcelona, Spain. When i say it was hot, it was HOT. When I left home (Kent) it had been raining heavily for about 3/4 days so this was a body shock. I arrived at Barcelona airport around 1am local time, 12am in the UK. The flight was supposed to leave at 19:24 (UK Time), which ended up departing at 22:10, only 3 hours delay….Baring in mind I had just come from the cold, I really felt the heat as soon as I came off the plane. It was 27 degrees at 1 in the morning let alone day time, scorching or what! See the picture below for proof. If you know about delayed flights, that was exactly what happened with my situation.
Anyway enough with the dull parts. Let me just put it out there, I think Barcelona is definitely one of the best cities I’ve ever been to, hands down. In terms of scenery, it has a beach, plenty of free tourist activities AND YOU CAN GO THERE ON A STUDENT BUDGET! That last point I may have to rephrase because I actually have a job and worked to come here, lol! But if you save your student money, you probably could do it.
I was staying in a city called Molles des Valles, located 20 mins on a train just outside main-town Barcelona. It’s a huge city in terms of size and population. It is less busy compared to Barcelona as majority of the people who live there are families and its majority is of residencies rather than hotels and show off tourist attractions. It was a good balance for me as I could go to the fast paced Barcelona which was full to the brim with locals and plenty of tourists, to a very quiet place to sleep at night where you could barely hear a sound. I don’t think in my time there I heard one siren or even cars passing by. It was only considerably loud between 11am till about 5pm, after that you could barely see anyone walking around except the odd person taking their dog out for a walk.
During the day in Barcelona we went on bikes we had rented for 2 hours. At the time we all thought €6 for two hours is more than enough, we can walk the rest since it’s a beautiful day. We had taken the bikes out at 1:15pm and were meant to bring them back by 3:15pm, which was a good deal. Anyway we set off into the city and into one beautiful park with a water fountain, lake with small peddling boats and a HUGE elephant sculpture, see below.
There was one building that we saw in the distance which was very appealing so we thought we would ride there, since we are on bikes it shouldn’t take that long. As we got ‘closer’ the building magically vanished and we could no longer see it anymore. At this moment in time I was thinking we should just make a U-turn because it didn’t look this far away when we saw it from a distance, baring in mind we have been cycling for 20+ minutes in 30 degrees heat. Unfortunately one of my friend’s bike got a puncture meaning we had to make the decision of either continuing to get to this building or turn back. We decided to keep going even though their bike was making a horrid sound, everyone we passed by tilted their heads wondering what the sound was. We did eventually make it to the building after all of these obstacles trying to get in our way.
After this we then made our way back to the centre to get the bike changed over since our time wasn’t up yet. On our return the man who gave us the bike was not impressed to say the least. Immediate reaction was ‘you broke the bike, no?’ (I recommend you do a Spanish voice in your head for full effect). After some deliberation he did end up giving us a new bike with 45 minutes remaining. Being me I managed to blag an extra 30minutes to make it an hour returning at 3:45. During this time we rode down to the beach. It was an incredible view. Tourists in their hundreds to catch the sun rays, you could definitely tell who the British people/Northern Europe, fake tan don’t fool no one round here! The locals all had that constantly tanned brown skin, beautiful I must say. On that note I would say, if you know any Spanish speaking English girls around the ages of 19-22, holla at yo boy! 😉 . Anyway the time at the beach was really good and relaxing… Whoops I haven’t mentioned the bikes. We ended up returning them around 5:30pm, much later than needed. The guy was not impressed again either, but this time we didn’t break them, we happily payed the extra €4 for 4 hours we should have got originally.
Final part of the day we went to Espanya in the evening. This place was very busy even at night. Oxford Street in London ain’t got nothing on this place! There was a shopping mall which looked like a football stadium from the outside, but it had 5 floors with the restaurants at the top. We had our meal there which was really nice and good value for money. You had a 360 view of the whole area which was beautiful.
Finally we went to see the ‘magic fountain’ which was a water fountain which changed to different colours and would start every half an hour. They had a loud radio playing some contemporary pop songs which made it really enjoyable, I got my dancing shoes on. There were around 1500-2000 people there to watch it I would say. I never thought a fountain spraying water and changing colours would be of interest to that many people, but it was that cool! I left around 11pm and lots of people were still hanging around.
On my last day I did in fact manage to tour Molles Des Volles itself as I had neglected it to the famous Barcelona. It was a very big place, I definitely did underestimate it when I read the map. For what I thought would be a 5 minute walk according to the map, took around half an hour. For me to tour the whole city it took me roughly 5 hours through the drenching sweat and tears. But in that time I managed to go up slightly higher and get a good view of the whole city on top of the mountains. The city itself situated between mountains all the way round, which gave a spectacular view. If you love to appreciate nature I recommend you put this on your bucket list. I really am beginning to sound like my parents. Before I know it my idea of a romantic walk will be to walk up mountains and go trekking with my wife, the day I do find that lucky woman! 😉
In conclusion I would say Barcelona is the best city I have been to. I don’t know whether this piece has sold it well or done it justice. I tried to paraphrase everything because if I wrote down every bit of detail I would have been on my way to write a 10,000 word dissertation. I hope you enjoyed my final holiday piece. If you have any recommended cities to visit please do not hesitate to let me know. Because the flight was delayed they gave everyone €20 off the next flight, which is quite decent! Hope you enjoyed this and please comment suggestions for my next trip!