Friday, April 20, 2018

My Trip to Barcelona April 2018

Oh Barcelona, the city that makes all my holiday dreams come true. I was lucky enough to visit this wonderful place last October and it totally resparked my love for it. The buildings, the palm trees, the beach and the city life; it's no wonder that Ed Sheeran wrote a song about it.
This time around I booked a spontaneous trip to Barcelona all by myself for my birthday. I did it for a couple of reasons that I'm not going to bore you with, but save to say is that I'm happy that I decided to make the day special for me besides all the crazy stuff that is going on in my life at the moment.

Day 1 -  12 April 2018
I was up bright and early for my 8AM flight. This way I make most out of the three days that I’m there. I flew with KLM and they showed once and for all that they are my favourite airline. Halfway through the flight after the sandwiches and drinks, an air hostess came up to me as I was watching Friends to wish me a happy birthday and she gave me a little present with a hand written card, some smoked almonds, stroopwafels and a small bottle of cava. Then all the other flight attendants came up to congratulate me on my birthday and have a chat about what I was going to do in Barcelona. It really gave me those birthday feelings from when I was little. I feel as you grow older your birthday isn't that special anymore. It's just a day, so I was very surprised by their kind gestures during the flight.
When we touched down in Barcelona I immediately put on my summer dress in the tiny toilet cubicle -as you do- and hopped on a bus to the city. I'm just going to forget the fact that the locals were wearing woolly coats and Ugg boots and I was there in my floaty dress and Birkenstocks. After checking in at my hostel -first time sleeping in a shared room by myself. More on that later- I walked to Alsur Café, a cool café that I couldn't visit on my last trip. They have lots of locations around the city and their menu is to die for. Lots of options, both sweet and savoury, and I ended up with an iced tea and some Oreo waffles. Both were delish, a bit too sweet though, but I will definitely come back here on my next trip. My journey then took my all the way down Las Ramblas to the beach. I sat there for a bit soaking up the warm sun on my pale skin before dark clouds came out of nowhere and were covering up the heat. Just before that happened I thought it would be best to gtfo -sorry for the phrase, I have been watching too much Dan & Phil- and walked back to my hostel as I was pretty tired from the lack of sleep I got the night before.
I stayed at Generator Hostel, which I have stayed at before both in Barcelona and Stockholm. Only then it was in a private room with a friend and now I stayed in a girls dormitory with 5 other people. I have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I will definitely stay at a hostel if I'm travelling by myself. I surprisingly slept the whole night without waking up, even though girls were leaving at 4AM, and everyone is very chill. If you want to be social you can and if you just want to be left alone with your Netflix that's fine too.

Day 2 - 13 April 2018
After waking up I walked to Brunch & Cake. Now you might remember this as the most amazing brunch place as I ate at their location by the sea before and it's still incredible. I got there just in time before all the crowds and as I left there was this huge queue of people waiting to get a table. I went for the Nutella pancakes, a black Paleo peanut butter latte and a carrot ginger juice. The ''pancakes'' were basically two brownies with cookie dough in between -not complaining here- and were super yummy. I ordered the latte because it sounded interesting on the menu and it was honestly one of the worst drinks I have ever had. It was salty oat milk and I do not recommend it. Luckily I had a juice to wash the salty taste away.
Since the weather was crap -not going to make it prettier than it was- I went shopping. Stores like Zara and Bershka are cheaper in Spain and I was all ready to go on a crazy shopping spree. I ended up at Oysho first, a store that is from the same chain as Zara and Bershka but is not available in the Netherlands. They mainly sell lingerie, sleep wear, sport outfits, perfumes with an amazing scent and as the summer season is approaching: swim wear! I immediately found three dresses that I absolutely loved: two maxi dresses and one mini smock dress. Since it was the first store I only allowed myself to buy one dress, so I said goodbye to the other two and hopped on to Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Mango, H&M and Sephora at which I couldn't find anything. This resulted in me going back to Oysho, spending an hour in their fitting room and ending up buying the other two that I loved so much. I also had a quick juice break in H&M as they have a Flax & Kale pop-up on the top floor. And you all know how much I love Flax & Kale. As it was almost the end of the day I bought some sushi, a spinach pastry and donuts at the supermarket #fitgirl and walked back to my hostel where I ended up stuffing my face with it whilst watching Notting Hill and falling in love with Hugh Grant.

 Day 3 - 14 April 2018
Sadly the last day of my trip. I ate some healthy vegan pancakes at Flax & Kale whilst sipping my chai latte and then walked through El Born to Parc de la Ciutadella. It's a beautiful park with the most amazing statue of all time. It was pissing down with rain, so I bet that on a sunny day it's even more breathe taking, but the weather was just not with me on this trip. You can change a lot of things and sadly the weather is not one of them. My umbrella and I then took some photos at Sagrada Familia. It's one of those things that you need to visit when you are in Barcelona. No matter how many times I have seen it I go back every single trip. At this time the weather was at a low point and I simply didn't know what else to do. Do you have that as well sometimes when you are travelling and you don't know what to do? You have to go to the airport too, so you have limited time and I always end up drinking tea in a café till I have to leave, so my last day in Barcelona was no different. I ate a sandwich at 365 walked to the Flax & Kale pop-up for a chai drink and vegan cookie and then decided to spend my leftover time at the airport. Where after a couple of hours an airplane brought me back to Amsterdam and my bed. Because even though I love travelling: nothing beats your own fluffy pillows and mattress.

Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart. It's one of my happy places since it's always sunny -okay not always-, it's right near the beach, the architecture is amazing and the city vibe just screams holiday to me. I don't think I will visit Barcelona again this year, but never say never!

Check out my Insta Stories 'B C N' for more pics of my trip!

What is your favourite city in the world?

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