Best of Barcelona

I used to think teachers had the life – work shorter hours and get the advantage of having all school holidays including the whole summer off!? I never knew, until I began my career as a secondary school guidance counsellor (and teacher), just how badly teachers NEED these holidays. And shorter work days? HA! We never stop working. Constantly planning what we are going to teach in class the next day or the next week, etc. Work never leaves us. My point of saying all of this is: yes, teachers genuinely deserve the holidays they get. And I will admit, it’s an incredible perk of working in a school.

This past February, on our mid-term break, I decided to go to Barcelona for the first time. It was only for 3 nights / 3.5 days, but I can honestly say, to this day, it’s probably the only proper (relaxing) holiday I’ve ever been on. And I had doubts before going – did I really want to go to Barcelona? Whenever I think of a relaxing holiday and my go-to place: it’s Italy. It’s always Italy. I agonised before booking my flight, but in the end, there are no words to describe how happy I am that I went to Barcelona.

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Plaça Reial

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Yurbban Trafalgar’s Rooftop – my home in Barcelona

Dublin in February is pure misery. Barcelona in February; however, (at least the few days I was there) was heavenly. I know, I got really lucky! Though I deserved it, because the Irish rain usually follows me everywhere I go. I never saw a cloud the whole time I was there. It was 17 degrees Celsius with full sun every day, which is my idea of perfect weather (I am not a fan of heat). I stayed in the Yurbban Trafalgar hotel (shoutout to the lovely Nuria at reception!) and I cannot recommend it enough. It was absolute perfection. The location was ideal, the room was modern, beautiful and quiet, the staff were so lovely and helpful, the breakfast made me excited to wake up every morning, they gave free portable wifi devices to take around the city with you (!) and best of all: THE ROOFTOP!! This was the main reason I booked this hotel, because I knew I wanted to spend a good bit of my time relaxing on a rooftop. The view was a panoramic view of the city and you could see all of Barcelona from it. Since I was there in February, it was never crowded. In fact, I was often the only person on the roof (to my delight), but there was never more than a couple others. I spent a lot of time up there relaxing in the sun, defrosting my Irish bones, eating fresh fruit and reading The Penguin Lessons.

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Barcelona is a truly beautiful city and has everything you could ever want – beautiful sights, stunning architecture. friendly people, the beach, unbeatable food and gorgeous weather. I had the best time wandering the lanes and many streets of Barcelona in search of different sights and beautiful meals, but I perfected balancing this with a lot of relaxing downtime in the sun.

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Enjoying the golden hour with La Sagrada Família behind me

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Ceviche at Sabes Una Cosa

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Yurbban’s truly exquisite rooftop

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Part of my breakfast @ Yurbban Trafalgar

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La Sagrada Família

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The famous Pinotxo bar in La Boqueria was my favourite meal (and favourite experience) in BCN

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My seat was reserved for staff, but the kind lady took “pity” on me for being alone and took great care of me.

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Octopus salad – I never liked octopus before having it in BCN!

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Park Güell

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La Boqueria – easily my favourite market I’ve ever been to

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My favourite item at the market – the fresh fruit juices and fresh fruit!

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Gaudí’s Casa Batlló

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This photo does not do this meal justice, but it was stunning! Pa amb tomàquet (Catalan tomato bread); Escalivada (a Catalan dish: Roasted red pepper, aubergine, onion); Xoriço a la sidra (Chorizo cooked in cider) with a glass of cava @ Vinateria del Call

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Park Güell

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More of Yurbban Trafalgar’s breakfast

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Park Güell

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Suís con xurros at the famous Granja M. Viader – the richest hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life! There was a queue out the door for this place and when I was there, I didn’t see another tourist, locals only.

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Park Güell

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Park Güell

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Park Güell

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Park Güell

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Park Güell

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Passeig del Born

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Golden hour on the rooftop

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Park Güell

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El Born

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El Born

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Plaça Reial

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Plaça Reial

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Five constructions workers enjoying their siesta

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Don’t know what happened to my camera the last few hours I was in BCN; however, this lovely meal was pimientos de padrón, patatas bravas and cava sangria @ Bar Lobo

Next up: My adventures in Prague, Slovenia and Tuscany!

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