food, Travel

Exploring Barcelona, Part One | Boqueria Food Market, Shopping and Armed Guards?!

When it comes to travel, I usually search aimlessly for hours, even days, to find the best location, accommodation, and general things to do. Most of the time, nothing gets booked; I just live in this fantasy world that I will go to these places, but it’s basically the same as cutting out pictures from holiday brochures and sticking them on your wall.

I consider myself adventurous, but then can you really be both organised and live adventurously? I guess so. At least I like to think you can.

Occasionally however, I do suddenly get a spontaneous urge to just GET OUT THERE. Stop with the incessant scrolling through Pinterest and do something. Anything. Be anywhere. So when the opportunity arose to purchase a ‘Mystery European Getaway’ through discount site Groupon, I took it. Why the hell not, eh?

I wasn’t expecting anything lavish but it was pretty exciting to not know where I’d be going. It was refreshing to not plan anything about the destination and to just go and see what the city had in store by exploring it for ourselves.

After some haggling with the holiday provider to find a destination for the set price, it was eventually revealed our mystery getaway would be to Barcelona, Spain! We’d spend two nights just outside of the centre in a town called Lesseps. Barcelona seemed fairly easy to navigate, like a lot of major European cities, it has a superb underground and overground network that meant we could easily get around the city.

We arrived at out hotel fairly late, so didn’t manage to see much of Barcelona that first evening, so we decided to just make a quick stop at a local supermarket to grab some snacks before heading to bed.

Our hotel was nothing fancy, and we didn’t get the greatest of welcomes, but for the price, we couldn’t complain; the location was a great base for exploring Barcelona.

The next morning we had a small agenda for the places we wanted to see, but this trip was a spontaneous brief glimpse of Barcelona, so we didn’t have a full plan in mind. We’d been warned prior to travelling of the frequent number of pickpockets in the main tourist areas, but we managed to avoid falling into any traps and felt completely safe. We visited in November, so it wasn’t exactly screaming with tourists so we didn’t experience the hustle and bustle I imagine you would in the summer months. We did however bump into a bunch of armed guards just casually hanging around looking menacing. That was interesting, and totally not scary…

We casually walked around a few of the main shopping districts, mainly sticking to Passeig de Gràcia. There’s a large amount of shopping to be done in Barcelona, which is great but not so great when it comes to keeping a short break cheap, but there’s a lot of very trendy shops in the centre, where decoration is just as important as merchandise.

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Sippin’ on gin and juice… just juice, actually. 

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Perhaps one of my favourite places we went to in Barcelona was the Boqueria Food Market. Of course one of my favourite places involved food. Food and travel go hand-in-hand. This famous market was probably the busiest place we went over the course of our trip. It was beautiful and colourful and full of gorgeous displays of food. There was everything you could possibly want for a place to stop and enjoy some lunch, or just freshen up with a fruit juice. This place is a must visit if you’re in Barcelona. It’s cheap and delicious, and I can’t stop thinking about that fresh coconut and banana juice.

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