After being ill for a long time, my boyfriend and I decided that it was time to put my recovered body to the test, and we opted for a long weekend away to Barcelona.
Seeing that I always want to know everything about anything, I devoured several travel guides, from very boring ones to the supposedly funky time out guide.
I fell in love with the city while flying over it! We decided to hit the city after unpacking and I then discovered that my kind of quirky, individual style was widely available in the shops here, but none of these had been mentioned in any of the guides. Now, these are not designer shops, seeing as I studied fashion myself and I am not one to pay a lot of money for something nice. What I look for has to be different and easy to customize.
First off it was on to New Yorker, a shop which sells one of my favourite brands – Fishbone. The Barcelona branch has a small entrance that is not prominent, but go past that and you will find a huge collection of women’s and men’s clothes, accessories and lingerie. The style is H&M-like but more alternative.
Further along we discovered Pull and Bear, which offers clothes in the same line, with shoes, very nice bags, and cute skirts. For cute and fun lingerie, sleepwear and hosiery – visit a branch of Oysho. Of course, not to be missed are the very small but conspicuous Spanish branches of Miss Selfridge and Top Shop-Top Man. Other shops worth a visit here are Bershka, E-Stradivarius and Orange for shoes.
The best coffee shop in town is without a doubt Starbucks, not only for their variety of coffee, tea and nice cakes and muffins to go with the drinks, but also for their very comfy and cosy seats where you can rest your tired body for hours, with friendly staff to serve you.
Don’t believe any of the guides which tell you to take a tourist bus to see all of the sites, because I consider it a waste of money. First of all it is very windy up on the bus and you cannot hear a word the guide is saying. Furthermore, the tour takes a very long time and does not bring you directly to the places that you want to go to.
My advice is, when you want to see any of the tourist places, find out where it is, take the metro and just get there on your own. It is much cheaper that way, you can decide when you wish to go and how much time you wish to spend while there. I learned this the hard way. Although it was kind of against our nature, my boyfriend and I decided to get on the bus. On the bus, we nearly froze to death, got into an argument and then we had to sit in a Starbucks for over an hour to cool our heels.
All in all, we found our own way around Barcelona. The best moment was when we were just sitting on a park bench one morning, enjoying the sun and watching the people walk by. That was when we fell in love with Barcelona. It has everything, from a beach to a vibrant city centre, sun and an easygoing atmosphere. We already decided before we left the city that we would be back one day. In May we are going for a whole week, to make up for our long weekend there which had actually been much too short!!