“My brother and I sometimes play a travel game where you get points for the number of countries you have visited – I’m at 40 whereas he is at 60+ so it’s going to be a while till I catch up, however I do believe that extra points should be awarded if you manage to live in a foreign country; especially one with a different language! Therefore, as a sun-loving Australian and after spending 6 years in grey London, how could I pass up the opportunity to move to and immerse myself in the fabulous city of Barcelona (and try to add to my travel points!).
My perfect day in Barcelona is during summer and begins with brunch at Picnic (c/ Comerç, 1). This is the place where the friendly staff serve hearty Bloody Mary’s in gigantic rustic jars! Disclaimer: Picnic actually opens at 12:30 but as this is my fantasy day it opens early for me!
Following a nourishing brekkie and needing to walk off the Mary’s, a stroll through the gorgeous Born area is in order. Wandering through these windy and narrow streets I love to marvel at the ancient mansions now hosting Picasso and flamenco that sit alongside hidden bars and cafes that offer a glimpse of modern Barcelona by the unique street art adorning their closed doors.
A gorgeous day just wouldn’t be complete without two whistle-stop visits to the view the art and museums of this city. One of my favourites is Dalí Barcelona at Reial Cercle Artístic de Barcelona, (c/ Arcs, 5) where you can wander around a huge collection of Dalí’s paintings, sculptures, bonkers exhibits and photographs. As I gaze upon a photograph of Salvador Dalí with a dolphin on his head, I get comfort that being silly is just fine.
Buoyed in this knowledge, I quickly dash through the tourists up to Casa Batlló (Passeig de Gràcia, 43). The place often called the House of Bones is a Gaudí masterpiece which I never tire of visiting. The best part of the house is the marine dream world crafted by the master where you can move from a room with a whirlpool roof to corridors built with arches reminiscent of whale bones and I also love that if you take a photograph of the glass in the stairwell, it reflects the different blue tiles behind it and the picture looks like you are underwater.
Inspired by the marine theme I dash home to don my swimwear and head down to Barceloneta Beach to meet friends and the fabulous Miquel from Ungravity for a Stand Up Paddle Boarding class. We spend about two hours on the water, paddling (or in my case – swimming next to a board!) out beyond the beach-goers where you can reflect on the great city of Barcelona and enjoy the sun and a great bonus, burn some calories the fun way!
Although I’m exhausted by the busy day, what better way to pep myself up before dinner than a cocktail at a rooftop bar? We head to the chic Alaire Terrace Bar (Passeig de Gràcia, 73-75) which is found at the top of Hotel Condes de Barcelona which has fantastic views of La Pedrera and across to La Sagrada Família and savour a lovely mojito (or two).
To finish my perfect day, I drag my friends away from the Alaire cocktail menu and head to my favourite restaurant in Barcelona (which sadly isn’t Spanish food, I have tapas fatigue!). It’s the fabulous Matsuri (c/ Regomir, 1) which produces the best sushi I’ve ever had (try the Bare and the Hot Sushi!) and if you have a minimum of four people and ask nicely, they will serve your sushi to you on a boat!
And so with a heady concoction of food, booze, art, artists, exercise, sun and sea, a fabulous day in Barcelona is now behind me and I head home.”
Leona hails from the sunny shores of Western Australia but has spent the last six years slaving away in corporate London until an offer she couldn’t refuse to live and work in Barcelona came knocking. Four months in and already nicknamed Barça-Leona, she is fully embracing her new home… although still needs significant work on her Spanish skills. Read about her exploits on Twitter at @littleleona and keep an eye out for a soon to come blog.
If you’d like to write your perfect day in Barcelona then please get in touch via the email address at the bottom of the website. I’d love to hear from you. The more we have the better.