Not too long ago I was rostered a lovely trip to Barcelona, and with my sister living in Valencia, it made perfect sense for her to come and stay on my layover there!
She took the train from Valencia to meet me, and was waiting in our hotel after we landed.
After a coffee in the room (who else loves it when hotels have a Nespresso machine in the room?!) and a catch up, we were ready to head out for some exploring.
Lizzie has been to Barcelona before, but quite a few years ago, and although I’ve visited plenty of times before it had been a while since either of us had seen the Sagrada Familia, so decided to tick that off our list first.
The Sagrada Familia, surely one of the most impressive churches in Europe, was designed by Antoni Gaudi, and construction began in 1883. Now, over 100 years later, the church is still unfinished, although construction is said to be finished by 2030. Incredible!
We strolled around all sides of the church, though since we only had limited time decided not to go inside. I’ve been inside once before and it is truly impressive, so if you have a bit more time make sure to purchase tickets in advance and spend some time admiring the amazing architecture inside.
From the Sagrada Familia we took a long walk through the city towards Placa de Catalunya, wandering through the pretty streets.
Finally it was time for something to eat, and we popped into a restaurant that I’d been to before, when I was on holiday with my best friend Lucy last year, called El Pintxo de Petritxol.
Although similar to tapas, pintxos are slightly different in that they always have a toothpick in to stop the food from falling off the slice of bread it’s balanced on. You usually help yourself to whichever you like the look of, and once you’ve finished the waiter will count how many toothpicks you’ve used, and use that to calculate the bill!
After enjoying some delicious snacks and a very generous gin and tonic each, we headed back out to do some more exploring. Sadly the weather wasn’t on our side and it had started to rain pretty heavily….so we popped back to the chocolate shop next door to share some churros.
Dipped into hot, thick chocolate sauce, they were the perfect dessert!
It was still raining, so we had a quick stroll around the Gothic Quarter, before deciding to call it a night and catching a cab back to the hotel. Our plan had been to stay out for a bit longer and maybe even find a salsa place, but sadly the rain wasn’t stopping any time soon. Once back at the hotel I think the early start caught up with me and I was passed out in no time!
The next morning we were up bright and early to get a workout in, before heading to the breakfast buffet, Lizzie’s favourite!
We managed a quick trip to the supermarket next door to stock up on essentials to take back to Dubai, before it was time for me to get ready for the flight home and Lizzie to catch her train back to Valencia.
Luckily for me this wasn’t any ordinary flight home – I was deadheading! For whatever reason the flight we had arrived on was an extra flight, so instead of operating back to Dubai we were lucky enough to fly back to Dubai as passengers, in business class!
I even got a window seat so managed to get a great view of the city on take-off….thanks for a lovely layover, Barcelona!
And of course thank you Lizzie, for coming to stay!