Catalonia – Home of paella, sangria, and humidity!
When we left for our RTW trip, we had only planned the first ten days in Ireland and Brussels. After that, we would book as we go, giving us the freedom to change plans or add new places to the itinerary. When we searched for the cheapest flights out of Brussels, Barcelona topped the list so off we went.
We had looked at the forecast and saw that it would be 25-30 degrees while we were there, which was perfect for us as both Dublin and Brussels had mediocre weather. We were pumped for some hot temperatures. Well hot is an understatement because I don’t think the temperature dropped below 30 during our entire stay and it felt like 40 with the humidity during the day and about 35 overnight. We never thought it would be to hot for us, but thats the norm for Barcelona in August.
Nonetheless, we didn’t let the weather deter us from enjoying the sights and sounds of this ancient city on the Mediterranean.
Needless to say, we had a couple of favourites. Sangria and Paella. We also found a couple of awesome gluten-free friendly restaurants, including Conesa (a staple sandwich shop in Barcelona with delicious gluten-free sandwiches). We actually ate there four times during our visit in Barcelona! Another honourable mention goes to Copasetic, which has a ton of gluten-free options on the menu. I put a picture below of the “english breakfast” with GF toast, which Jess said was amazing.
The park sits atop the hill of El Carmel in Catalonia’s Gracia district and was designed by Spanish Architect Antoni Gaudi who’s unique architecture style can be found on buildings throughout the city. The space where the park sits today was originally going to house a commercial development by Eusebi Guell, which was unsuccessful. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Jess and I packed a lunch for the day and headed off in the sweltering heat to spend the day in the park.
Fountains of Montjuic
The fountains of Montjuic are a pretty spectacular display that takes place from Thursday through Sunday every week. Jess and I ventured up after dinner one evening to navigate the throngs of tourists and take in the show.
Located in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum is free from 3 PM to close every Sunday. Again, we braved the crowds and assembled in the 1km long line to get in and I have to say it was worth the wait. It was interesting to follow the timeline of Picasso’s work and how it changed as he grew and matured. Although Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, he spent the majority of his adult life in France, in the Montmartre and Montparnasse areas of Paris. We stayed in Montmartre during our visit in Paris, the next stop on the RTW trip (blog post coming soon!).
No camera’s were allowed in the Picasso museum, we managed to get this one of Jess in the garden of the museum.
Beach & waterfront
We spent a day walking along the waterfront and beautiful beach. Although it was crowded, the beach was clean and the water was amazing.
Although we had a great time, If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, do not visit in August. It is extremely hot and most of the local business owners close their restaurants and shops and leave for vacation.
UP NEXT: Paris!
jess + trickett
Some additional pics from Barcelona: