In celebration of the end of A levels and school, three of my good friends and I took a girls trip to Barcelona!
We rented an Airbnb that happened to be right opposite Arenas de Barcelona, a shopping centre, and opposite a dog park, which was great for us…spending more money and smelling dog sh-
I actually loved the area we stayed in. There were a lot of cute dogs being walked and beautiful architecture and a lively atmosphere, which I realised later on was actually in basically every area of Barcelona. We also happened to be near many places we were planning on exploring.
Wednesday 10th July
Wednesday was the first actual day in Barcelona. First thing we did was head over to the supermarket, about seven minutes from out apartment. The supermarkets were so much open spaced than the ones in London and they had a station where you could make freshly squeezed orange juice (this was in most of the supermarkets I went to there). I also got to speak Spanish to a worker, saying “Donde esta la mantequilla?” which means “Where is the butter?” Call me bilingual.
We bought guacamole, which was the most delicious thing in the whole entire world. I’ve tasted guacamole before but this was a whole other level of taste budgasm.
We decided to go to the beach that day, too, which was about an hour walk. And an interesting walk it was. There were loads of people with blankets on the floor covered in little objects they were selling, including fake designer and branded stuff like Gucci bags and Nike and Adidas sliders, to name a few. And I mean there were A LOT. Whenever the police were in the area, they would pull together the edges of their blanket so it would become a sack and run away with their stuff over their shoulders. There were also A LOT of primarily Indian men selling water and beer and shouting “WATER BEER!” Every now and again they would spice it up and say “WATER BEER VERY NICE VERY BEAUTIFUL!” There were also a lot of promoters, who were offering us a deal to get into clubs and stuff, which worked out to our advantage because we were planning on going clubbing.
It was a great start to the day. Until my goddamn period decided to come without warning. On. The. Beach.
The beach was packed but gorgeous and there were a lot of water beer people and guys selling mojitos and other drinks.
Heading back home, me and one of my friends decided to take the side streets as a short cut back to our apartment. THEY WERE SO CUTE! There were cute fairy lights hanging from the
buildings and small businesses hidden away. There was some guy sitting on the floor who asked if I wanted “weed cannabis”. It was great! 😀
We managed to get onto La Rambles, a famous street, where I saw a small boy squatting to poo on the pavement.
Finally, we got home and long story short, my phone broke and that was the start to a phone free holiday. (It’s also the reason I haven’t been replying to comments that much or reading through my feed).
We went for dinner at La Botiga, which was on the roof of Arenas de Barclone (the shopping centre). I had seafood paella for the first time! After dinner, we went outside and saw these small blue lights flying in the sky. I suggested that maybe the aliens have finally come but apparently that was a stupid idea and we found out they were actually these little toys that you could fling into the sky and catch. There were a bunch of break dancers, who we watched and when we were leaving them to go see this famous fountain, we saw those guys selling stuff on blankets run away with their sacks behind their backs. One was wearing red so I figured Christmas came early in Barcelona.
The Montjuïc Magic fountain was not on so we went up Filla Barcelona and played with one of the flying lights toys for like half an hour. We climbed up a bunch of stairs until we got up to this gallery and we sat and watched this man playing the keyboard. It was actually such a beautiful night. There was also a lot of water beer men.
Thursday 11th July
The next day, we went to Catalunya so we could go to an Apple store to see what was up with my phone. On the way, we saw a ton of bars and sex shops, which made me realise how open they are about sexuality and also drinking. It’s a very liberal place, which I really like. In Catalunya, we got Spanish McDonalds and Taco Bell. It really put the UK to shame. I don’t think I can ever get English McDonalds again without feeling sad because Spanish McDonalds is just too good. There are so many options and choices and oh my gosh I could make a whole post just about Spanish McDonalds but I won’t. I got Bravas and Allioli top fries (patatas bravas is very common in Barcelona – they sell them everywhere) and I got an M&M McFlurry, which was a big thing for me because we don’t have that in the UK. I also got to pick the sauce to put on top, which is also not a thing in the UK.
After eating, we went to the Gothic Quarter, where there’s a lot of markets selling vintage things like pipes, jewellery, old toys, antique items. There was also the Cathedral of Barcelona and the
cutest dog I’ve ever seen in my ENTIRE life. We went by the Picasso gallery but didn’t actually go in. We stayed in this park for a bit, where there was one boy strumming a guitar, one guy
lying on the grass picking his nose nonstop, an old couple snogging and doing other things…and several water beer men. We went through the Arc de Triomf and down La Rambles and ventured into a Sephora, which we don’t have in the UK. There was a tunnel slide from the ground floor of the shopping centre that went down into the Sephora.
That evening, we all made pasta and I stayed in the apartment alone at night, watching Disney Channel in Spanish because there weren’t many channels on the TV. I read a book (not in Spanish) and went to bed. Me and my friends watched a lot of Spanish TV in the evenings and morning and we actually became pretty good at understanding what they were saying. I also now know the plotline and characters of Miraculous.
Friday 12th July
We took the metro (L3) to Sagrada Familia. The tubes are so nice! They had AC, a small TV and there was a map that lit up every station as you passed it.
Sagrada Familia was astonishing. It’s so rich in history and the architecture is so gorgeous!
We sat in this little green area, surrounded by hedges, where we ate our packed lunches that we made beforehand like the little school kids we are. It was all going so well, sitting in the shade and enjoying the beautiful view of Sagrada Familia when out of nowhere, a giant dog runs through the bushes towards us, squats right next to me and takes a huge dump. THE DISRESPECT.
We ended up going to Taco Bell again to get drinks. They had a mojito, which I ended up deciding not to get because I’m a sinless woman. My friend, however, who had been drinking everyday, got one and she is a heavyweight but she still got drunk off a TACO BELL mojito. It’s probably the right time to mention that alcoholic drinks in Barcelona are STRONG, much stronger than in the UK.
We made our way to Park Güell, which was difficult with one friend on her period having terrible cramps and another friend drunk out of her mind. We ventured through the free part of Park Güell and saw the outside of Gaudí’s house. Gaudí was a famous architect. The views were
again, absolutely amazing! On our way out, we saw so many cute colourful shops selling things with a lot of Gaudí’s mosaic designs. I bought a notebook and pen to keep me occupied when bored since I had no phone. We got the bus back home, which was the same price as the metro, strangely, and as we got back to the apartment, we realised we had lost the keys. That was like the fourth L taken on the trip after a racist incident at the airport, my phone breaking and the majority of us getting our periods. We managed to get another key and we spent a cosy evening eating Spanish McDonalds and watching TV. Two of my friends then went to a bar and my other friend and I went to go see Spiderman: Far From Home. I went in my pyjamas and had a t shirt wrapped around my washed hair. I got a lot of looks. We bought rainbow popcorn, which probably added to my future heart disease. The film was in English but with Spanish subtitles so I learnt the word “cielo” which means “babe” I think.
Saturday 13th July
On Saturday, we went to the National Gallery of Catalunya (the same one we sat in front of on
the first day). We looked at gothic, modern and romantic art. I noticed a lot of the people in the paintings had their hands in a particular way which looked like a gang sign but I think it means something holy. We also saw adult comic art, which was VERY sexual. Like, it was straight up porn in the gallery.
We then took a cable car to Montjuïc Castle and when going back, the cable car stopped in the middle, which my friends thought was scary but I found funny. On the way home, we passed a petrol station where we saw some men from the Guardia Civil police force AND THEY HAD GUNS! It was very strange for us because we don’t really have guns in the UK so seeing the everyday police in an everyday place holding guns was very different. They were guarding the area while one of them was in the petrol station looking for snacks. I also saw a dog on a motorbike, who looked almost as shook as me.
In the evening, we went to Happy Rock salsa bar. They had a live band playing old school music and I got a virgin piña colada, because again, I’m a sinless woman. I also got patatas bravas. The bar was so lively. There were even old people dancing and everyone just looked happy. LONDON COULD NEVER! After the salsa bar, we went to the beach area (Puerto Olímpico) since all the clubs are there. We had wristbands so we were basically VIPs and got to skip the long cues. Get us. 💁 There are four main clubs in the area, which are well known: Opium, Shoko, Pacha and
Catwalk. We went to Catwalk. We stayed primarily in the sky room but there was a floor below that and a terrace, which is where people were smoking and just talking. The sky room was really good for tourists, I think. They were playing a lot of old school music (old school rap, RnB and pop) as well as recent ones and Spanish music. There was also French drill, which kinda banged. I think I liked it a lot better than the clubs in London because there was such a mix of people from different countries and the music wasn’t bad and the room was so nice. Not to mention the beach is like a few steps away. However, there are 10 times more creeps. I mean, the men in the clubs are PERSISTENT and very desperate. We learnt to not make eye contact with any of them. If you’re a girl going to a club in Spain, go with a group (tbh you should always go with a group for safety). We danced with a group of boys from East London, who were very nice and prevented other creepy men from approaching us.
We got home at around 4:40 am.
Sunday 14th July
Because of the club, we woke up at about 2 pm. It was raining for the first time while we were
there so we waited indoors a bit. We travelled to the beach and because it was a Sunday, there were a lot of markets set up on the way there. It was so cute. I bought these iron on patches I’m going to put on my bag. There were a lot of handmade stuff like organic soaps and dreamcatchers and jewellery. There were also a lot of old, naked baby dolls everywhere. We explored the Maremagnum Port shopping centre, which was extremely packed since it’s like the only thing open on Sundays.
My friend got a dulce de leche crepe, which we shared because it was way too sickening for just one person.
At our apartment, we got ready for our last night clubbing. Before we went to the clubs, we ran to the fountain that wasn’t on before but was on the Sunday. It was beautiful. There were so many colours too. We then went to a shisha bar that we had found the day before. There are a lot of shisha bars in
Barcelona. I ordered a mojito. So much for being sinless. I actually asked for less alcohol but being a lightweight, I got tipsy very quickly. We all ended up getting lightheaded from either shisha or the drinks and we went to Shoko. It wasn’t great. I couldn’t even move (it was that cramped) and the music wasn’t good either. We decided to migrate to Catwalk again.
When it was close to 5 am and there were fewer people in the club and we were extremely tired, me and my friends went into the middle of the dance floor and started dancing as crazy as we could. We did this shoulder wiggle shake thing and were jumping around and waving our arms around. We looked like those blow up wiggly things outside of car washes that move around in the wind with their wiggly arms. We looked so weird but it was honestly the best feeling. As soon as we did that, a bunch of these Spanish boys came up to us and were doing their own weird thing and it was all too funny. We looked like crackheads.
Monday 15th July
We woke up at 11:30 am, which was the time we were supposed to leave to go out that day. Two of my friends and I went to the supermarket. I had practically no money left but I bought a pot of guacamole because priorities.
We went to Horta Labrinto, a maze, where we tried to pretend to be fifteen for cheaper tickets.
The ticket man laughed in our face. It wasn’t my idea! We split into twos and I don’t mean to brag but I do mean to brag cause I led our half of the group to the middle first. There were turtles near this river and one of them couldn’t get back onto the land after swimming and then three of them, on the land, turned to look up at the same direction of the sky at the same time. I don’t really know what black magic is going on in Barcelona with the turtles but it was creepy. We went to the science museum in Barcelona, which was a long walk but I had Hello Panda and Takis to eat. The science museum was so cool.
I do prefer the one in London but it was still so cool. There was an Alice in Wonderland exhibition with loads of mirrors and it was VERY trippy. The museum was very interactive. It was also all on one floor and it was open instead of in separate rooms. There was a giant aquarium and we went outside to see these birds living above the aquarium and we found a capybara. It had a turtle and duck friend.
We then made our way to Park Güell for 9:30 because it’s free after this time and we were broke. We went to a café beforehand and I ate a vegetarian focaccia and had Ferrero Rocher ice cream. Then we went into the mosaic part of Park Güell, with Gaudi’s work. It was so pretty and colourful. We made our way up to the mosaic benches that overlook Barcelona and we sat watching sunset until late at night (we could actually see the stars without light pollution) having a deep chat about people in our lives and just general things. It was something so simple, just sitting and talking but it was just such a nice moment. When it was almost 12 am, we made our way through the pitch black park, terrified, and walked up to the gates that were locked. We were trapped in Gaudí’s park. So, without hesitation, I dropped to the floor and tried rolling underneath the gate. I didn’t fit but when I laid flat, I wiggled out and escaped the park. My friends followed and we ran for the bus stop with sand covering us.
As soon as we got home, we ate tomatoes and guac, watching Disney Channel in Spanish. We also watched the weirdest film I’ve ever seen, Meet The Spartans, which was called Casi 3000 in Barcelona. We went to bed pretty late as we were cleaning the apartment and packing.
We woke up at around 7 am, running on like three and a half hours of sleep. We finished cleaning the apartment and made tuna and salad for breakfast. I was also going to have an egg but when my friend cracked one, there was blood in the yolk. That’s why you buy free range eggs, kids.
I absolutely loved Barcelona. It was so different to London but in a good way. Here are some differences I noticed:
- It’s such a lit country. There’s always music and sunshine and people don’t hesitate to get up and dance.
- It’s such a colourful, warm coloured pretty city.
- It’s very liberal, I think, and open-minded (there were rainbows for pride EVERYWHERE) and the sex shops and bars are hidden away as much as they would be in London. There’s also a lot of PDA and no one cares.
- It’s boujee. Even in “rougher” areas, the shops and cafes are still nice inside and clean.
- People make a lot of eye contact. In London, most people avoid eye contact.
- Tapwater is gross and they don’t give free water in restaurants, bars or clubs.
- Buses take longer to come and you can pay in cash.
- A lot of the time, the pavements looks like roads (I almost got hit). The pavements are also a lot wider.
- There are a lot of reckless and careless drivers.
- There were also A LOT of people riding scooters, which would be seen as childish and weird in the UK.
- They have bike lanes everywhere, too, so you don’t have to ride with cars.
- AC everywhere (of course).
- Everyone’s good looking. Not in the way that I’m attracted to everyone but everyone has this glow to them and seem happier.
If you’re thinking about going to Barcelona, you should definitely go. It wasn’t even an expensive trip. In total, including flights, accommodation, souvenirs and all the activities we did, it was around £500. I highly recommend going – it’s stunning and so rich in life, culture and experiences.