On Sunday night, I got back from Barcelona, where I’d been for the weekend. I love that we can do this in Europe – just buzz off for a city break in another country, often at a lower cost than it would be to get the train to other parts of our own country…
It is thanks to the magical powers of Irista that I am able to have the post up today – I’m usually faffing about with photos and folders and naming pictures for a while before I can get the blog post up and the way I want it – I’ve been merrily tagging away my photos on Canon’s clever platform and boom! Here all all my photos in all their glory.
I’ve also been learning a great deal about the way I take photos – all the EXIF data is available and easy for me to see on Irista… (EXIF data is all the bits and bobs which tell me how the photo was taken – aperture, shutter speed etc…)
This means that I am learning (which I love) and also means that I (hopefully) will also get better at taking snaps… so watch this space!
LM and I are both massive fans of Barcelona. He’s been a few times before and I lived in the city for a few months when I finished university… I have also been back several times since…
This means that have both seen many of the sights before; cathedrals, galleries, museums etc… so this time, we were there to just BE. Which is rare, I find, when I go abroad. We could, guilt free, just wander the pretty streets, mooch in the shops, drink a great deal of coffee and hunt down delicious spots to eat. Which we did, in abundance.
I will be writing a post all about the wonderful things we found, but for now I want to tell you about the fantastic hotel we stayed in, right in the heart of the Raval district – Barceló Raval. And.. being a massive, neon-lit, gleaming cylinder in the heart of the city – it’s rather hard to miss.
Our British Airways flight got in shortly after 1pm, and with no stowed luggage and a small bag each, we were out of the airport about 25 minutes after landing. We hopped on the Aerobus, which stops right outside the airport (it costs €5.90 per person) and 40 minutes later we were at Plaza de Cataluña.
The hotel was an easy 10 minute walk from where we got off the bus. It is also very close to the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas and La Boqueria – the famous food market. So, the location for us was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t wait to leap into the city… but not before we’d dropped off our bags and unpacked in our amazing room.. with its AMAZING view.
Although, when we entered the room, the curtains were closed, so we had no idea what was in store….
LM found the magic button for the curtains… and then this happened…
The view is immense and we were up on the 10th floor (there are 11 in total) so we really got to experience it at its best…
Once the room was flooded with light, I immediately spotted the delicious treats, which had been left to welcome us to the hotel…
The design of the room is very clever – they have fitted a great deal into a very small space. There was a fridge hidden away under the sink, drawers tucked under the wardrobe, which shared a sliding door with the toilet… and you could wash your hands while gazing at the view… and I do love a nifty storage solution ;)
We unpacked, played with the lights and the curtains (a lot) and then headed upstairs to the 11th floor, to take in the 360° view.. and debated whether we should take a dip in the rooftop plunge pool…!
We decided against a swim (it may have been Barcelona, but it was pretty chilly!) even though I’ve been known to brave the sea in Cornwall in December!
I won’t spoil my next blog post by telling you what we saw or where we went… but I won’t leave you waiting too long, I promise…
We strolled around the city, in all directions and explored lots of hidden corners and nooks, so by the time we got back home to the hotel that evening we were very tired indeed.
We flopped into the (ENORMOUS) bed and we both had one of the best night’s sleeps we’ve had in a long time. The room was quiet, completely dark and we felt utterly cocooned up on the 10th floor in the amazing building.
We awoke the next day, excited to be in Barcelona, but mostly, if I’m honest, excited about the prospect of breakfast.
The Raval area of Barcelona used to be far edgier than it is now – a few years ago it was a bit of a no-go area after dark.. but now, there are so many cafés, boutiques and restaurants popping up.. and of course the addition of this amazing hotel. It’s been pulled up by the scruff of the neck, to become one of Barcelona’s most sought after areas.
This hotel was the perfect place to stay for us to see the city easily. We didn’t take a taxi or bus once – we walked everywhere we wanted to go and had an absolutely wonderful time.
Have you got any plans to get away for a city break? I’d love to know… just leave me a comment below and tell me your plans!
I miss Barcelona already… but I know I’ll be back again soon… the beautiful city is always calling me… (Or maybe it’s the cronuts…)
Rates at Barceló Raval start from €110 (£92) per room per night. Prices based on two people sharing on a B&B basis. For more information please visit www.barceloraval.com
Tel: +34 933 201 490
LM and I were invited to stay at Barceló Raval, but if I hadn’t loved it, I wouldn’t have written about it.
Canon have sponsored some of my work where I have been trying out and using their new platform Irista – I am loving it!