Picture copyright Aslyp 114
I am back from my long slumber, or rather a forced down time being sick! Today, as the rain falls outside and skies are white, I am thrown back to the rainy Spanish holiday. So without further adieu, let me tell you about the hotel we stayed at during our time in Barcelona.
We stayed at the Aslyp 114 – a very cozy little modern hotel/guest house in a beautiful neighborhood on the Avenue Josep Tarradellas 114. It recently opened in March 2014, so it was still in its early months of operation when we visited in May 2014.
Now, it might be called a guest house, but it was nothing short of a 5-star accommodation for us. The property scored on all aspects and it was one of the best places we have stayed at so far during our travels, and as you read on, you’ll know why! Continue reading
On our third and final day in Barcelona, we had planned to tour the city in a rather different way. While researching online of sightseeing options in Barcelona, we came across the traditional hop-on-hop-off bus tours. Now, Barcelona is too exciting to be seen from a bus, we thought! We were looking for something that would allow us to experience Barcelona from up close. And that’s how we came across the Go Car Tours. It was something that we hadn’t ever experienced before as tourists, and that got us excited — a yellow convertible talking car that navigates you and shows you the city. The minute we saw the website and the concept, we were hooked. The next two days, my husband spent all his evenings looking at the various fun videos posted online of people who had tried the Go Car experience: forget the maps and just jump into a GoCar to drive around the city.
The Go Car Tours concept was launched in San Francisco in 2004 and is now available in five cities, including San Francisco, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, and San Diego. You can choose from different tours available, with prices starting as low as 19 euros per person.
Barcelona is renowned for its arts, culture, sports, architecture and food. One of our stops, which really is on top of the list for everyone who comes to Barcelona, was Park Guell designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi – someone who has now become synonymous with the city of Barcelona.
On day 2 in Barcelona, we woke up to torrential rain and grey skies. Oh oh, the (in)famous Barcelona rain! For today, our tickets for Park Guell were already booked much in advance. Park Guell sees a lot of tourists and entry to the Monumental Zone is regulated, allowing only strict number of people every hour, so a lot of online forums had suggested that tickets be bought in advance.
I was skeptical whether it was a good idea to leave the plan to visit Park Guell to the moods of the weather gods, or cancel our ticket. As we got ready and devoured delicious breakfast at our hotel, I kept refreshing the weather app on my phone to see if the weather gods had had some sympathy for us!
By the time we left the hotel, the rains had subsided a little and we boarded the bus to take us to Park Guell. The park has three entrances and depending on where you want to access the park from, you can choose different bus and metro lines. We took bus number 32 right outside from our hotel to take us to Lesseps, where a 10 minute walk takes you to an escalator to get to the top of the hill where the park is situated. Even with the escalator, the walk uphill is really inclined, sure to test your fitness levels! Every few levels up, I would stop to catch my breath and see how far up we had come. It was quite a sight when we finally reached the entrance to the Park.
Spain! Ah! This one word had me day dreaming of sunny day for most of the (rather long) winter. So soon as the first sign of spring came, the thought of glorious sun-kissed beaches was enough to get us excited to plan our next holiday. And we found ourselves checking every travel guide to decide what destinations should be part of our Spanish adventures. One fine evening, we even found ourselves propped in front of the television one night watching ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ for inspiration! (The filmy part of me just couldn’t have it any other way, now would it!) That was easier said than done! Spain is a huge country and it is time consuming to travel from one coast to another. With just about a week in our hand, we were struggling, debating (okay, okay, arguing!), and finally settling down for two destinations – Barcelona and Palma De Mallorca. And last week of May was finalized for our most awaited holiday yet! I was more excited to be finally going on a holiday where my snow jacket wouldn’t have to follow me! 😉
So read on as I take you through our three days trip to Barcelona. Stay tuned for the rest of the parts to follow.