Last weekend I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Barcelona. With my boyfriend currently working there for two weeks, it was a good excuse to visit somewhere new on the cheap, aaaand get to spend some cheesy, romantic time in the sun (vomit). Despite an illusive transfer awaiting me at the airport meaning I didn’t arrive until 2 am, and my company working long hours on two of the four days I was visiting, I can say with ease that it was one of the best weekend trips I have ever taken. Big. Claim.
Why was it so great? Maybe it was the weather… in fact, yes, obviously the late September 28 degree Mediterranean weather had something to do with it. But it was also a combination of everything Barcelona is about, the aforementioned weather – of course – the food, the drinks, the language, the beach, the mountains, the history. The list goes on.
But what really made the trip worthy of the title of ‘Best-Weekend-Away EVER!’ was one day in particular. We’ll call it – as the title of the post gives it away – The One Perfect Day in Barcelona. Oh! The Drama! The Romance! The Intrigue! All of which calls for unnecessary capitalisation.
So after spending the night walking around the streets of the city, enjoying a taste of the beginning of La Merce festival, we lazily got ready, and wandered around to find somewhere to eat breakfast. Or, lunch, rather. We randomly sat down at a beautiful little cafe, serving perfect coffee and OH-MY-GOD amazing sandwiches. With no clear plan to the day, we noticed a scooter rental shop next door. For me personally, I would never, ever, ever in a million years think of hiring a scooter for a day in the middle of a big city. My driving is questionable enough when the vehicle has four wheels and encases you with protection. But, it’s apparently the first thing my boyfriend would think of doing.
After discovering 12 hours rental for the bargain price of €24 (plus about €2 in fuel!), we decided to sack our original vague plan of heading to Barcoleneta beach all day and explore Barcelona properly. We rode up to Castell de Montjuic. I had been eyeing this place up since I noticed it hanging high above the city, and, honestly, was extremely grateful to be able to easily ride up there on the back of a scooter rather than trek for over an hour! It was b-e-a-u-tiful. Gorgeous architecture, awesome grounds, and some gorgeous acoustic covers playing in the background.
Next, we decided to head into the mountains. Once again, being in Barcelona without a plan didn’t disappoint. We stumbled across Tribidabo, the tallest mountain in Serra de Collserola. Bright blue skies and sunny, sun rays reined down upon as, and at the top there was not only an astounding cathedral, but a THEME PARK! WHAT?! At the top of a mountain. Ridiculous. Although we didn’t go on anything, it was a pretty surreal experience just to walk around and enjoy the amazing views the location afforded to us.
Making our way back, we headed to the surprisingly nice beach in the city. We ate pizza. Drank beer. Swam in the sea. We then took the scooter back and got ready for dinner. And then stumbled across an amazing Fire Run (Carrer Foc)?! We watched people dressed up in all sorts of crazy stuff setting off firecrackers into the crowds and playing music on the way. An electric atmosphere and all round incredible thing to find.
Normally, finding a restaurant that also has a decent vegetarian selection is a bit of a task. And – contrary to the prior perfection of the day thus far – this was no different in Barcelona. After leading the way to a place that didn’t exist (thanks, Google Maps…) it took us a good 45 minutes to discover a decent, vegetarian-friendly place. A good 45, not an average, just so you know the extremity of our vegetarian restaurant finding distress. FINALLY we find one. It didn’t look like much, until we discovered the outdoor courtyard. Candle lit, typical Spanish looking tables, paella and sangria. The whole night was topped off with maybe a little bit too much ice-cream, and a romaaantic walk home.
The best thing about this day was the spontaneity and randomness of everything we did. That is what made it so perfect. When visiting somewhere new, I don’t always like to leave what I do to chance – especially if I have a limited amount of time there. You can end up just aimlessly walking around, missing all the good bits and wondering what the hell you came here for (much like my first time in Berlin, or my visit to the island of Elba) But sometimes – just sometimes – it works out more perfectly than any plan ever could, made even sweeter by your lack of expectations. The
lucky result? One completely perfect day that you will never forget.