Once Portugal was done and dusted I hopped on a flight to Barcelona to start my Spain travels! It was a lot hotter and humid in Barcelona that was for sure! I stayed in two different locations, the first near Plaza Espanya which was a bit of a walk to the main sights – but still do-able. The second location was a lot closer to everything – and a lot nicer too! I was there for about 5 days so I took my time to wander the streets, take in the sights and the atmosphere and chillax.
I saw all the main things I wanted to see except I didn’t make it to Park Guell. Next time! Barcelona is certainly very touristy, but I quite enjoyed it for my first glimpse of Spanish culture. I quite enjoy seeing the different architectural styles of different countries and Spain didn’t disappoint, it certainly had a variety of different buildings to check out. I found Barcelona had quite a few options for healthy vegetarian food too which was great. Barcelona is quite a mix of cultures so there is a bit of everything really. I enjoyed wandering around checking out some of Guadi’s masterpieces, checked out the beach, wandered down Las Rambla, checked out the markets, and just generally wandered around window shopping, looking, listening, just soaking it all in.
Barcelona – One of Gaudi’s works
Barcelona – Another of Gaudi’s works
Barcelona – Market treats
Barcelona – Plaza Espanya
Madrid – Plaza Mayor with the BF
I decided to try Bla Bla car again to get to my next destination – Valencia. I was picked up by a Spanish couple and another couple were also hitching a ride so it was a full carload. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to speak English so the communication was difficult or non-existent. I sat in silence for the whole trip basically. But whatevs, I just watched the scenery go by. I had a week to chill and check out Valencia! I had a wee apartment to myself, the TV didn’t work and there wasn’t really enough stuff in the kitchen to cook properly but it had a comfy enough bed and air-con so I survived. I had extended my stay in Valencia so I did have to move apartments but the second apartment was only a 10 minute walk down the road, it included a pool and was nicer but the bed was only a single and pretty average, the shower design was retarded so you couldn’t really get the water on you properly and no oven – just a stove top. Again, I made do, I’ve stayed in worse haha.
I had a lot of time to explore Valencia so each day I just wandered. Literally. No plan, no destination. I like doing that as you just kinda, stumble upon things you may not have found otherwise with a rigid plan. I wasn’t in the best health throughout my travels in Portugal and Spain so I made self-care a priority. I didn’t push myself too far and rested when I needed to. Because of this I didn’t make it to the beach in Valencia, but let’s face it – going to the beach solo isn’t really ideal, you can’t go in the water with all your shit now can ya! I quite enjoyed Valencia, it was much more mellow and slow paced than Barcelona and more compact to walk around.
Madrid – Epic Bakery we found
Madrid – Wandering around the gardens
Madrid – Palacio De Cibeles
Madrid – Plaza Mayor
Madrid – Plaza Sol, KM Zero Spain
Madrid – Epic Vege food
My last stop in Spain was Madrid! This was super exciting for me as I got to see my boyfriend for the first time since I left the UK, it wasn’t long enough I tell you that. Madrid was quite a drop in temperature from Barcelona and Valencia – which was interesting as I had been keeping an eye on the weather and the week before we arrived it was HOT! I caught the train from Valencia while Dan flew from Birmingham. I arrived a day earlier to check out our Air BnB, get my bearings and settle in a bit. Once Dan arrived, we spent our time, eating our way around Madrid, wandering around the city – it’s quite walk-able we found and spending quality time together of course. Madrid is a very busy city, always people out and about no matter what time of day or night it is – reminded me of London in that respect. Our air BnB was smack in the center of the city basically so we were well connected. There was plenty of vegetarian and healthy food options for me once again which was great. Once our time was up we caught a taxi to the airport and had to say goodbye again, this time for an unknown amount of time that’s what happens when you travel and live in another country for two years I suppose haha, long distance it is for now! I flew to Australia – sadly I still have not set foot in my native NZ after more than two years! I am resting at my parents for a bit to re-cooperate after a crazy two years and regain my health and strength before starting life again in NZ in 2017.
I realise I only went to large cities in Spain and I would love to go back and check out some smaller cities and towns and some resorts, I certainly got a good taste of the Spanish life though! I don’t think I could pick a favourite city as I liked them all for different reasons.
Valencia – Park walks
Have you been to Spain? Where was your favourite place?