BARCELONA PART 2

On Saturday, our final full day in the city, we set our alarms early and headed out to the famous La Boqueria food market along the Rambla. On our way, we took a detour through the residential streets and watched the locals opening up shutters, taking breakfast on their balcony and walking their dogs whilst there was still a refreshing breeze in the air. We stopped off at a local bakery to grab a croissant each for breakfast. I remember saying that I could eat everything they had on offer, it all looked so so good!

After breakfast we went to the market and I think our jaws dropped! Michael had been getting so psyched up to take photographs here, I knew that I had to let him do his thing and experiment with the camera. We carefully mapped our route up and down, in and out all of the aisles so that we didn’t miss a thing! The plan was to buy some bits for a picnic at the beach later in the day, we had read that the best way to experience the market was to go with a meal in mind. We wished that we could buy more but with only one day left, no cooking facilities and only hand luggage, we just couldn’t do it! We admired the colours, displays and smells of each and every stall. From fresh fruit and vegetables, juices, ham, chorizo, cheese, bakery, sweets and chocolates to still alive fresh fish! We loved it, we are such foodies!

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Once we had bought our picnic (a freshly baked baguette, still warm, chorizo, ham, cheese, the biggest nectarines we ever did see, strawberries and some fresh juice) we headed to the bus stop to catch a bus to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. We enjoyed our lunch and read our books on the hot sand under a parasol with the occasional dip in the sea to cool off (the waves were huge!).

For our last evening meal, we decided to choose a restuarant which we would not have usually gone to, we were looking for something with a bit of history, a traditional setting with not only good food but also a good atmosphere. Michael found Els Quatre Gats (els 4cats) which was very different to all the other restaurants we had visited. With a pianist playing throughout our meal, original classic interior and very rich and delicious food. We found the waitors a little grumpy and it all felt very formal, but we enjoyed our visit nonetheless.

After our meal we treated ourselves to some icecream and wandered through the streets of the Gothic Quarter for one last time.

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On Sunday morning we got up and headed out as fast as we could, we had planned on taking a hike up the mountain to the Montjuic Castle. It was such a hot morning, maybe the hottest of the week so we took our time climbing the dirt tracks. There were amazing views from the top and through the breaks in the woodland along the way. It took us 5 hours to get to the top and back but we loved it and felt it was a perfect end to our holiday. We headed back to the apartment for a much needed freshen up and to say our goodbyes to our hosts.

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A metro and coach ride took us back to the airport where we boarded our flight home. There are so many more places to visit and things we would like to do in and around Barcelona so we know that we definitely want to go back there in the future!

THANKS BARCELONA! SEE YOU NEXT TIME!

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**We 100% recommend the Lonely Planet tour guide books. They’re small and the perfect size for your pocket or small bag, they have a decent map attached to each book which is a good starting point for direction. (we did pick up a more detailed map for Barcelona from a tourist information point too, though!) We love how the book is divided into bitesize chunks with different themes. For example, educational places, historic, eating and walks, each with the own map and some history about the place too. Most of the restuarant we went to in Barcelona were recommended in the book with accurate locations and price ranges. We used the Lonely Planet tour guide for Paris too which was also very good.**

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