On a short visit (Easter break) to Barcelona sometime ago, we have not booked a hotel in advance and thought we’d just find an accommodation when we get there. Turned out, Barcelona was fully booked. So we spent the entire day walking to find a place to sleep. While at it, we came across a plaque on the wall of a hotel. We learned, our national hero, Jose Rizal, stayed in this place during his visit to Barcelona! It was foolish of us not to book a hotel in advance. On the other hand, we probably won’t have seen the plaque commemorating an important piece of Philippine history (as we won’t have scoured the streets as much)!
It was already late when we finally managed to find a place to stay (only for a few days though and not for the whole duration of our visit). After we’ve settled in and left our backpacks, we went for an evening walk. April wasn’t that cold in Barcelona – perfect weather for walking.
We’ve met up with a good friend who lived in Barcelona at that time and she took us to her favorite spot for tapas, and then to see Gaudi’s peculiar buildings which are in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Gaudi’s intricate designs which seem to have drawn inspiration from nature (see for instance the roof of one of the buildings below which looks like scales of a reptile) are one-of-a-kind. After the long city tour, my friend took us to the beach! The city is lined with a long stretch of sandy beach – easy for people to ‘get out’ of the city for a breath of fresh air.
As we only managed to book a hotel for a few days in the city center, we searched outside the city for the remaining days of our visit. We were lucky to find one, however it is a bit far that we had to take the train to get there (about an hour away north of Barcelona). We had a glimpse of the Catalonia countryside on our way to the hotel. From the hotel balcony, we have fantastic views of the mountain range of Montseny. In the end, it wasn’t such a bad idea that we had not booked a hotel in advance. Otherwise we would have just stayed in the city and had not ventured outside the city center. It was a nice short visit! The people living in Barcelona are quiet lucky – culture, food, beach and nature – all at their doorstep!