Barcelona 2016

Since returning from Prague in July 2014 I hadn’t really done a  lot to please the travel bug that bit me about seven years ago (apart from a brief trip to the UK in June last year). My focus was to return to college by night and work to get as much experience as possible. You could the say the pressure inflicted on us all by society to get your foot on the career ladder certainly started to weigh on me. Now, eighteen months later, and having achieved what I set out to do, I have decided that 2016 needs to be a lot more fun, for lack of a better word. What better way to start that than a trip to the beautiful Barcelona.

Myself and Ruth, a close friend I have known since I was old enough to talk, booked it all about 3 weeks before Christmas and set off on January 14th. Dreaming of balmy sunshine might have gotten the better of us considering the bleak amount of stormy weather Ireland had been experiencing and we definitely over-estimated the temperature! I ended up buying a fleece and hat and my remarks of “I can’t wait to feel the heat on my bones” seemed like a distant memory.

Barcelona reminded me of many other European cities I have been in. It has beautiful architecture, great shopping, tasty cuisine and is a lot cheaper than here (particularly for food and drinks) and of course there had to be an Irish bar lurking around which I happened to get offered a job in! There were plenty of attractions to see so we got stuck in straight away and headed to Parc Guell which is one of Gaudi’s most beautiful works. After getting a little lost in the beginning we eventually found our way and it was certainly worth it. The park is covered in beautiful mosaics and leaves you wondering if you have somehow ended up in a scene from Alice and Wonderland.

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Friday saw us attempt to see Mount Tibidabo but that’s a long story. What we did see was the amazing Sagrada Familia (another beautiful piece of work from Gaudi). Pictures simply cannot do this justice, it needs to be seen and despite being under renovation you can still appreciate just how amazing this building is. From here we went on to see the Arc de Triomf and the beautiful Parc de la Citudella which was another favourite of mine. Here stands a fountain which rivals that of Rome’s Trevi. It’s a perfect place to sit and relax and just take in the beauty.

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On our last full day we were headed for Montjuic which didn’t disappoint. The weather, although still cold, was beautiful and only enhanced the already stunning views. To get back to the ground we had to take a cable car and neither of us are the bravest when it comes to heights but made ourselves jump in regardless. Eager to get my feet back on the ground I happened to get out a bit early only to have jump back in before the cable car went too far! The wind, and the fact that the car stopped mid way down(just for a second), didn’t help things. We finished off the day with some well earned drinks and struggled back to Dublin the next morning! It was a fantastic trip and a city I would certainly recommend.

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