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…
My perfect day would be a spring day, between late May and early June. But we are in February, and Barcelona is also beautiful in winter.
Your only objective for a day of leisure in Barcelona is to abandon yourself to the pleasures that the city has to offer.
First, as a good foodie, I need to think about where to get the best breakfast. A relaxed place where I can read the newspaper and eat the best croissant in town. Hofmann La Seca (Carrer dels Flassaders, 40) in the Born district is definitely my choice. In addition to a latte I order a croissant filled with raspberry or maybe mascarpone, it is difficult to choose, I will order both. Reading newspapers or a good book while time goes by without being noticed is a basic principle of pleasure.
Nuria’s favourite breakfast at Hofmann La Seca, Carrer dels Flassaders, 40
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My perfect day would be a Friday in September. The city still maintains its business rhythm and schedule (the banks are open, you still can experience rush hour on the metro, with the intervals between the trains short and frequent). However, you already notice that the aura is more relaxed today and there is a foretaste of weekends in air.
Barcelona’s Golden Autumn (El verano de Sant Marti)
I really adore Barcelona’s Golden Autumn. The locals call it “El verano de Sant Marti”. The weather now is not that killingly hot, but it’s still warm and sunny. The bright colors of nature inevitably instigate me to go outside for a long walk around the city with my photo camera. The noise of crispy platan leaves under my feet immediately raises my spirits. Read the rest of this article…
Steel Donkey Bike Tours
If you’re in Barcelona and you fancy getting out and about on a bike for a few hours then you could do a lot worse than checking out Steel Donkey Bike Tours.
These guys have been around the block and are consistently recommended on TripAdvisor as a great way to see the city on two wheels.
They kindly asked me to join them one morning, and so, feeling like a modern-day Sancho Panza and on a very comfy set of wheels from Green Bikes, we set off from Plaça George Orwell with our guide whose name escapes me.
This lapse in memory is no reflection on the guide himself. He led the tour extremely well and was always ready to answer my questions. The groups are small, usually no more than 4 or 5, so I certainly felt there was opportunity to pick his brain. Read the rest of this article…
“Fantasy comes from ghosts. Fantasy is the people of the North.
We are concrete. The ideal is from the Mediterranean.
Orestes knows where he is going, while Hamlet wanders lost in doubt.”
“La fantasia ve dels fantasmes. La fantasia és de la gent del Nord.
Nosaltres som concrets. La imatge és de la Mediterrània.
Orestes sap on va, mentre que Hamlet divaga perdut entre dubtes.”
– Antonio Gaudí
I’m not an urban planner or an architect or even a philosopher. I can’t claim to know exactly why one city feels like an overwhelming mess and the next is as well-balanced as BARCELONA. But after 10 years here (living in 7 of her neighborhoods) I recognise that there are a few elements which I believe make her as close to perfection as a city could hope to be. Here they are in a 24 hour experience on any given Summer’s day in BARCELONA. Read the rest of this article…