Hotel Vela and Barceloneta Beach
My perfect day in Barcelona starts early. I want to make the most of it, so I get up before daybreak, at around five am. Bleary-eyed, and still half asleep, I wander into the kitchen and refill the moka pot that sits on the hob.
As I wait for the coffee to bubble up into the top part of the pot, I hurriedly pull on my board shorts and a long-sleeved rash vest before dragging my inflatable SUP down from on top of the wardrobe.
I half fill a mug with steaming coffee, then top it up with cold milk so that it’s cool enough to drink. It doesn’t taste great, but I haven’t time to wait for the bar on the corner to open, and I need my early morning caffeine fix.
I guzzle down the brown elixir and quickly pack the pump, 3-part paddle and a bottle of water into the oversized rucksack with the paddleboard. Flip flops on, and I’m out the door, hurrying downstairs to the street on my way to the metro. Read the rest of this article…
I spend half my time here alone as my partner works away, so of course the most perfect days are when he’s at home to enjoy this beautiful city with me, after all, that is why we moved here, for that “everyday perfect” lifestyle. April and May are my favourite times of year, not too hot but warm enough not to need a coat and not too busy with tourists. Russell makes the morning coffee as he always does and we sit in the living room as the sun streams through the window discussing our plan for the day. Coming from a seaside town, we both love to be near the water so spend a lot of time walking along the beach front and as a keen photographer, Barcelona is a great place for taking photos and today is a gloriously sunny day so I make sure I have my camera all packed up and off we head.
Beautiful Barri Gòtic
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I wake to the sound of Erica, Pablo and Chica purring at the foot of our bed, the smell of bread baking in the kitchen. A warm breeze floats in from the balcony and I rise to prepare a cafetiere of coffee and bash some eggs around in a pan. Rosana checks on our limonero (lemon tree) and yelps with joy as she discovers the beginnings of our first lemons. “It’s like a miracle!”
Ben preparing to cruise the boardwalk
The “Let’s go to the beach!” moment
Once the caffeine has revived us, we kiss our cats goodbye for the day, smear on a layer of suncream that smells like coconut and childhood memories and head out into the street. Rosana’s on her bike, I’m on my longboard.
We roll past the bakery and the Ethiopian restaurant next door, past the bodega where we only go to drink but not to eat because the camerero has the hands of a coal miner. Read the rest of this article…
If I had to describe my perfect Barcelona day in three words, they would be: street art safari, of course!
I’m an early riser, so I’d probably wake up around 7 or so, take a nice run along the Paseo Marítimo before the boardwalk gets crowded, then have a café solo and a glass of water (a habit I picked up while in Italy) and sandwich in a small bar in Barceloneta.
Nowadays in Barcelona, if you want to see some fantastic urban art, you need Google no further than Murs Lliures, which is an initiative that gives artists a space to work, with the blessings of the city council. Most of these spots are concentrated in the old industrial areas of Poblenou, and tend to change quite frequently. I’ve been able to see some really great work there. Read the rest of this article…
The beach at Barceloneta
“I first visited Barcelona just under four years ago. It was an unplanned visit but one that would set me up to fall helplessly in love with the place. I was on a four-month sabbatical from my job in London to focus on my ‘other’ life as an artist. I had started off in a small village in France but it was there I realised it wasn’t the peace and quiet or nature that was inspiring me but the vibrancy and energy of a city. So I headed to Barcelona. I arrived in to BCN at Arc de Triomfand had a while to wait for a friend so I grabbed an ice cream and sat by the exit to the metro watching the city fall in to its afternoon routine. Coming from London, where everything runs at an acutely fast pace, I felt an extension of time in the way the people of BCN went about things.
The streets of Barceloneta
After I met my friend we grabbed a drink in the back streets of Barceloneta, an area which would soon become a real favourite of mine, and decided the only thing to do as a new visitor to the city was to head to the beach and jump in the sea. We quickly stripped down and threw ourselves into the water diving in and out of the waves. At one point I turned back to look at the city around us and felt a further sense of adoration for the place. Something about being in the water surrounded by the throngs of a city, but more than that, a sense of energy from the place that I couldn’t quite place yet. I felt it had welcomed me with open arms instantly. No judgement. Read the rest of this article…