After a solid week, I had Friday to myself to explore the city. I walked about 15 miles checking out sites in the city, starting with Casa Milà. Designed by famed architect, Antoni Gaudi, this UNESCO World Heritage Site and former private residence was built between 1906-1912. I really wanted to go inside but I had a goal of seeing everything I could by foot.
Since I had grabbed a salad for lunch, I treated myself to this amazing ice cream creation at Rocambolesc. I picked chocolate ice cream, toasted sesame seeds, honey rocks, and Italian meringue (that was lightly torched before serving up). It was amazing!
If you’ve been to Barcelona, you already know that it is a design and architectural dream come true. Around every corner, courtyard, and square is another delightful church, balcony-lined building, or fancy wall. The weather was perfect for walking and looking at everything.
I usually find a lot of my travel tips for new places on other people’s blogs. I read about Casa Gispert in a magazine interview with Samin Nosrat (of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat fame). This food store is one of the oldest in the city and is filled with an array of food, coffee, tea, and spices. It was fun just looking around.
This is Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf which is roughly half the size of the one in Paris and built 80 years later in 1888. It served as the entrance to Spain’s first international World’s Fair. I liked that in addition to the beautiful structure, there was a chalk artist drawing in the foreground.
No walking tour of Barcelona is complete without a visit to La Sagrada Família. Another of Guadi’s masterpieces, you may have heard the story of how this basilica has been under construction for the past 137 years (its expected completion date is 2026). It’s a bit difficult to get a great representation of all that is going on in the structure. Since it’s across the street from a park, nestled next to buildings, a proper photo is difficult. It’s pretty spectacular though.
After a day of exploring, I headed up to the fifth-floor rooftop deck of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I had one of the most delicious and refreshing cocktails – the special of the week made with a local gin, mint, lime, and cucumber. Alongside an incredible 360 view of the city, it was the perfect end to my walking tour.
If you’ve spoken to me this year, you might have heard me mention my “no buying year.” Meant to bring more mindfulness to my purchasing habits, I’ve cut back to only buying necessities. Since I like to mark travels with purchases that will remind me of my travels long after, I was conflicted about whether or not to buy these Spanish espadrilles. In the end, I did buy them and I felt good about it. Thanks for stopping by!