This Valentine's Day, I decided to be spontaneous and randomly book a trip to Barcelona for me and Dima. I don't think I have ever fallen in love with a city so much - I am so determined to go back there later in the year to stay for a while and work! It has the best bits of London and Cyprus, good food, sunshine, beaches and the city.
First up was La Sagrada Familia - the most insanely incredible place I have ever visited. The architecture just makes your jaw drop and leaves you staring up into the ceiling at every tiny detail. Dima loved it too.
This is quite literally the city of Gaudi and well deserved, his work is breathtaking!
We went up the Nativity Tower to see the views of Barcelona, which is absolutely massive!
We booked our tickets online (about 20 euros) and this saved us a long queue. The queue was at least an hour long on a random Friday in February, so I would dread to imagine it in high season. Definitely book ahead, and definitely go inside - it is way too stunning not to!
Next up was the market, which I'd heard a lot about. It didn't disappoint - it was huge and had every kind of food imaginable. The food in Barcelona was surprisingly awesome - I knew it was good but didn't expect every single thing we ate to be of such incredible quality.
There was so much fresh sea food on offer - most of it still crawling about!
But most featured, were the hundreds of fresh fruit cups and smoothies dotted around being sold for 1 euro. We didn't expect much for this price but the quality was AMAZING!
We also grabbed some out-of-this-world oysters from one of the tapas bars inside the market, which all are serving up the fresh food around them. Most of the food places around the main tourist attractions are to be avoided, but these ones are great.
I love this picture, the woman in the wheelchair was peeling peas for her daughter in the sunshine and looked really happy.
Speaking of sunshine, I had missed the beach terribly from my past living in Cyprus and was so excited to go discover La Barceloneta beach! The sun was out and our jackets were off, and the beach was beautifully empty.
Rejuvenating me to come back to this beach-less city!
I can only imagine how good it is in Summer, the water was so clear!
We ate a squid ink paella lunch overlooking the beautiful sea.
And what is a seaside trip without ice cream?!
Vioko did some pretty amazing gelato, and hot chocolate!
After a siesta, we went to Cientoocho restaurant for some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. With gigantic starters (as above), Dima obviously ordered three and we were stuffed by the main course.
I am a massive fan of artichokes, and these were definitely the best I have ever ever ever had. Out came four for a starter, each one bathed in olive oil and big chunks of pepper. Probably the best thing I ate in Barcelona.
A steak of octopus starter!
Dima went for a meaty main ,I went for fish. Both were excellent, despite how full we were!
Dima managed to fit a final dessert down, whilst I settled for a 'fruit mosaic'.
A beautiful meal, they are definitely worth checking out!
Quite a lot for our first day, more next time!