Our Barcelona Experience

We’ve recently returned from a short trip to Barcelona. It was only a four night stay but as usual we packed in a lot of walking and sightseeing as well as a lot of good food.

Here’s part one of our trip!

The first day actually got off to a pretty slow start. We weren’t flying until later in the afternoon so we decided to take it steady and catch the bus to the airport. Unfortunately  (being Malta) we ended up waiting almost 2 hours for a bus which resulted in us calling a cab and then just as our taxi was pulling up so did the bus – perfect timing.

We had read that we could also expect some delays when checking in at the airport as there were some construction works going on at the time but there was no delay whilst we were going through security. I guess it was just whilst waiting to check in bags.

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The flight from Malta to Girona airport was nice and smooth. We were one row behind the emergency exit doors in the middle of the plane (which were empty) and so the 3rd person in our row moved ahead, giving us the row to ourselves. We used this time to stretch out and to get into the habit of having a little siesta. It was kind of a shame that the flight was only a couple of hours long!

The coach that runs from the airport to the Estació del Nord Bus Station in Barcelona runs based on the departure and arrival times of the airport which makes it really easy to co-ordinate. The tickets were €25 for a return (valid for 30 days) and can be bought from the ticket office right next to where the coach will be parked which is to the right of the airport as you get through arrivals. In just over an hour we were stepping off the coach and getting ready to take in the sights en-route to our home from home.

We chose the place we were staying at through Airbnb, it was actually really easy to find from the station – we just had to make our way to the stunning Sagrada Familia and then headed North up Avenue de Gaudí to the beautiful, old Hospital de Sant Pau. So they’re not exactly subtle landmarks to be looking out for!

On our arrival we were greeted by the lovely Daniel who took us inside and showed us around the flat briefly. He then turned our attention to a map he’d brought along where he’d marked some useful places to visit and eat, we thought that was a really nice touch and both really appreciated being “in the know”.

The first place we tried was actually next door to one of the places that he recommended (sorry Daniel), but we wanted to start the foodie side of our trip with some paella! This led us to grab a bite at “Entre Pa I Tapes|Sandwicheria.”

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Granted it was only 8pm, so nowhere was particularly busy, which doesn’t help the atmosphere of a place but that was fine by us. The service was great, we were guided toward the set menu to get the best variation of dishes. We tried some traditional escalivada to start along with a beautiful, creamy mushroom soup. Then it was on to the main – vegetarian paella. To be honest I hadn’t expected much as it seems almost sacrilege for a paella dish to not contain fish, but it just goes to show how versatile the staple can be! It immediately became a dish we wanted to try and replicate when we got home. We’re looking at including some recipe posts further down the line so I’ll be sure to write a piece on that in the future. This was all washed down with a pitcher of sangria, naturally.

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After a delicious meal we made our way home to get some rest before an early start and a full day on our feet exploring the capital of Catalonia. We’ll tell you all about what we got up to in our next posts!

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