HONEY, I’M HOME!
And by home I mean reunited with my laptop, sitting back at my dining table in my Princess Peach pyjamas with a cup of coffee, watching the cats run about in the rain.
It’s actually pretty babin’ tbh.
Anyway, last Friday at 4am, armed with just our carry-on suitcases, we headed into a thunderstorm for an hour-long drive to Stansted airport for avocado on toast, prosecco and a sneaky Ryanair flight over to Barca.
I’ve actually been to Barcelona before – albeit for about eight hours during a post-university trip to Salou. My pals pep-talked me away from my sun lounger and Myra Hindley book to get on a two-hour coach ride to the city so that we could explore. We visited a zoo (I hate zoos – hashtag all the upside down smiley faces) and ate at a side street tapas place that microwaved everything in full view of the restaurant. LOL.
This time around we ended up in Barcelona not because I had a strong OMG GET ME THERE AND STAT desire to return but because quite honestly, my bank account was laughing so hard it was sobbing when I looked at going to Mykonos or Santorini.
So soz Barca babes, you were actually third choice.
We stayed at the Pullman Skipper Barcelona – a five-star hotel located near to the beach with both a rooftop pool and a downstairs pool. It was pretty reasonably priced and had a stronger TripAdvisor rating than anything else in our budget, so after hours and hours of scanning the internet (when tbh I really should have been doing actual real-life work) we kind of just squealed fuck it and booked it.
Things to note about the hotel: they delivered a free bottle of prosecco to my room when they realised it was my birthday – SCORE. They had super well-stocked rooms – I’m talking toothbrush, toothpaste, shower caps, the whole shebang. The staff had speedy and efficient customer service about 7th in their list of priorities, sad face. The beds felt like clouds. WE HAD A DOUBLE SINK. The room had about 57474736 different light switches and it was a riddle every night to work out how to make the room dark.
So there you go, there’s a compact little run down of the most important facts for ya.
We spent the first day close to the hotel. We drank cocktails, took a long nap, stocked the fridge with the all-important things like Pringles, ham and orange juice, and ate tapas until we thought we might explode.
It was pretty divine to just switch off. To leave my camera and my laptop at home, and to live just like it was 2007 or something all over again, without a tie to technology or blogging. Although obvs I was still all over Instagram like a rash because I’m a full-blown addict and am still trying to work out how you unpeel yourself away from that damned app.
Anyway, it was everything to be able to just enjoy each other’s company without being like HANG ON CAN WE DO A FULL OUTFIT SHOOT BY THESE PALM TREES or I’m just going to leave my camera running whilst we eat breakfast in bed for my vlog.
You kinda forget how much those things interrupt the flow of just living ,of just existing and appreciating the moment. If that even makes sense.
OH also, there’s no fancy snaps in this post, should *probably* have mentioned that sooner. It’s a classic iPhone camera kinda post – hope you’re game for that – because y’know, no camera in my suitcase. I left that guy neatly packed away in my Nintendo 64 cupboard at home.
Chris had super cutely snuck loads of balloons and a happy birthday banner for me in his suitcase (AS WELL AS A BLOW UP PIZZA POOL FLOAT – but more on presents when I film a YouTube haul next week) so that it still felt all special and hey shawty, it’s my birthday, we gonna party like it’s my birthday.
We spent the big TWO SEVEN (or y’know we could call it the big TWENTY TWO if we’re all down with lying about my age?) exploring every single Mango and Zara branch in the city centre, listening to Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets on Audible whilst sipping daquiris by the pool, and preparing our bellies for a seven course tasting menu – but I’ll discuss the food in fine detail in a different post because let’s face it, food deserves its own space <3
We did all the tourist-y things too. We visited the Arc De Triomf and La Sagrada Familia. We explored the narrow cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter and sunbathed on the beach. We stood in front of the cathedral and took a slow mosey through the park – although, thank the sweet lords, we stopped short of visiting the football stadium. Halle-flippin-lujah.
And here’s where I’m going to say something super bold, so you *might* want to sit down and make yourself a sugar-y tea to take the edge off it.
I didn’t, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, fall for Barcelona.
I didn’t love it, I didn’t leave wanting more. I won’t spend the next few months accidentally falling into the London to Barcelona flight search on Google.
It has everything – the gelato shops on every corner, the reasonably priced frozen cocktails, the stunning architecture, the BEACH AN ACTUAL BEACH, a Mango outlet store, and the all important super cheap flights from the UK.
And yet it wasn’t for me.
It’s like when you watch an episode of First Dates and you’re like omg I love these two they are destined for each other I’m so excited for them and when will they announce their engagement and live happily ever after in a castle and then it gets to the end of their date and they’re like ‘we had fun, but there was no spark, we probably won’t see each other again’. And you’re sat there screaming at the TV, mouth open like WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU’RE WRONG, SO WRONG.
That. That was me and Barcelona.
We had all the makings of a great love affair. On paper we looked like best mates for life. But in reality we were missing the sort of sweet, sweet sparkle that bonds people and places together for life.
I’m a bit gutted tbh. I feel like I missed out on something, like I walked 40,000 steps in a different Barcelona to the one the rest of the world experiences.
So, would I recommend Barcelona to you? Absolutely. I mean, a destination with a city and beach vibe, what’s not to love, eh?
It didn’t slot itself into my top three list (New York, Mykonos and maaaaaaybe Il-De-Re), but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a spark and fall head over heels and take out a time share on some beach front apartment.
So hook me up for summer 2017. Which sunny European destinations are you in a long-term relationship with?