There is nothing I love more than the easy accessibility and cheap flights that are offered around Europe, and this trip was no exception. A last minute spontaneous plane ticket, a bank account with a two figure balance and a heart of pure excitement – I wasn’t sure Spain was ready for me.
While just a short two hour flight away from rainy England, Spain seems to transform and transfix my mind, turning into an entirely different world to my home in London. Warm sunshine shined through the airplane window as we landed in Girona, Costa Brava (just an hour north of Barcelona).
Kayaking and snorkelling were on the agenda for our first full day in Spain, and boy was it worth it! Excursions Barcelona took us around the coast, allowing us to soak in the sun and surroundings with a midday swim to help cool us off. And while my boyfriend James and I argued about who was at fault for steering the kayak the wrong way, we couldn’t stay too mad at each other with the glorious scenery around us (that was until he dropped my GoPro to the bottom of the ocean).
After the perfect first day in Spain, I was absolutely enthralled to continue on my journey to discover each and every corner of Barcelona. This became a challenge, however, seeing as Barcelona is a hub of remarkable buildings, beautiful beaches and is home to some of the best food I’ve ever had the pleasure of gorging on. I had such a long list of things I wanted to do and see, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to fit it all into the four days we had in the city. Alas, we tried our very best to squeeze everything we wanted to see into the time we had.
A spontaneous trip to Casa Batlló was my special little present for my boyfriend on our final day in Barcelona. We hopped on the metro and ended up accidentally stumbling upon it. There is both so many words and so little words in which I can describe the details of this building. Decadence and unprecedented ingenuity were apparent in every single room, with unbelievable attention to detail. As we listened to the podcasts on the phone we were given, it was clear of the brilliance of Guadi’s ideas.
My number one recommendation for anyone in love with dreamy architecture is to visit anything connected to Gaudi. Gaudi’s works are scattered all throughout Barcelona and are some of the most interesting places I have visited.
Next stop on our Spanish expedition was Valencia. I had done little research before actually departing on our 3 hour train ride to the city, but after our days in Barcelona I had high hopes. This city had a completely different ‘vibe’ to Barcelona, though, seeming to have a more Parisian or London-esque feel. Never the less it was a place of pure beauty, with doors large enough for a giant and decadent enough for the royals.
Soaking in the stunning architecture of the buildings around me, I couldn’t help but fall further in love with the style and elegance of Valencia.
Valencia was so clean and beautiful, it made the buildings shine and flourish in their colours.
Doors the size of giants scattered nearly every street we found, each perfectly designed and all unique. I wish I could have taken one home to replace my personal front door.
A personal highlight was the wonder around Torres de Quart which held an ere of Medieval feel, while providing some of the most spectacular views of the Valencian skyline and buildings. I believe there is an entrance fee, however, James and I did not know this and managed to just walk in for free through an open (and very public looking) gate.
The streets of Valencia were painted in such an array of vibrant colours.
It seemed like a smack in the face when I ended up back on the Ryanair flight headed for London. A hazy dream of colourful streets and warm beaches, not to mention an abundance of Vegan food and the most picturesque of places. Once upon a time, Spain wasn’t even on my radar as a hotspot to visit. Now? I recommend everyone to jump on a plane, a boat, or even swim across the Mediterranean to experience the vibrancy of such an alive and exciting culture!
Author: Courtney Leopard
As the self proclaimed ‘Avocado Goddess’ of London and cheeky little Gemini, Courtney has always dreamed of being a world traveler. She don’t think there could be a better suited job for a mind which roams as far as hers. She thrives off adventure and definitely no stranger to being in foreign places