We got to sleep in for once during our vacation…. until 9 am.
5 days into our trip, T and I decide to switch accommodations for a new Barcelona experience. We moved from our hotel on Las Ramblas to an apartment via AirBnB in the Exiample neighbourhood, which is only a 15-min walk from the beautiful Sagrada Familia.
It started out pretty well, before the transportation issues we faced.
Day 5: A New Barcelona Experience
Stop #1 – Churros con Chocolate for Breakfast at Xurreria Manuel San Román
Of course, chocolate. What would I be if it weren’t for chocolate? Skinny, for sure. But no, I just had to love chocolate more than lettuce! Did I mention I was slightly lactose-intolerant? Well, I am. Which means that I’m not even supposed to have chocolate – but I do anyway cuz #yolo.
This particular hot chocolate was really good, by the way. The churros were better than most of the ones we tried now that I can compare them to all the churros we (mainly T) ate on our entire trip – which was more than I care to admit.
Stop #2 – Buying our first “T10”
Yup, our first public transport card. We’ve been in Barcelona for 4 days and it wasn’t until the 5th day (today) that we needed to use the metro/bus!
There’s a metro station right in front of our hotel street, so we stopped to buy a T10. A T10 entitles you to 10 passes (including bus, metro, and renfe train) in Zone 1 areas AND it’s transferable between people. Meaning you don’t have to buy one card per person; you can all use the same card, at the same time!
We decided to take the bus today. Bad move.
Stop #3 – Check out at 11
Back at the hotel, we packed our bags, said goodbye, and reluctantly checked out. We were rather attached to our conveniently-close-to-everything hotel – apart from their breakfast, which was a disaster. Although who would want to eat breakfast every morning at the hotel when traveling?! I would much rather venture out and try new foods 😉
We left our suitcases in a secure luggage room at the hotel and set out for an early lunch (i.e. brunch).
Stop #4 – Let’s Brunch
I’ve had my eye on Flax and Kale before we even arrived to Barcelona; I tend to be an overly OCD-ish planner, sometimes. T likes it, sometimes.
Since it was a Saturday, and I knew for a fact that Flax and Kale offers a mean brunch (plus we liked it on Day 3), we went there. And it was awesome. I wish we had a place like this back in Lebanon. On the other hand, if we did, I would probably have to sell a kidney to afford all the “organic-ness”.
Stop #5 – A Stroll through Club del Gourmet in El Corte Ingles
We didn’t visit a single mall during our entire trip. Why now? Because we had an hour to kill until it was time to check-in – plus, gourmet food on the first floor!
El Corte Ingles’s luxury delicatessen area has dried fruits, olives, olive oil, jars of jams and sauces, biscuits, chocolate, cookies, and much more! It’s every chef’s wonderland – apart from the outstanding food markets across the city.
We took a “quick” stroll through the supermarket (which by the way is my personal favourite type of shopping). I bought chocolate. T is planning revenge.
Also passed by this guy (and his legs of jamon).
After our supermarket tour, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and go to our new apartment.
Stop #6 – Which Bus Stop?
Finding the apartment wasn’t the hard part; it was finding the right bus to take us there! It doesn’t sound as bad now that I’m writing it down, but at the time, it really was a nightmare.
We were told to take one of two buses from Placa de Catalunya, but both buses didn’t even stop there. The surrounding tourists who actually spoke English couldn’t help us since they’re not from there. When we asked a few locals waiting at the several bus stops we passed, no one was very helpful.
We found a police officer and he told us to go in one direction; Google Maps told us to go in another. We listened to the police officer, because well, he’s a local – so it would make more sense.
Google Maps, I shouldn’t have doubted you. I’m sorry.
We dragged our luggage from one bus stop to another; every bus driver telling us we were at the wrong stop.
And even AFTER we got on the bus about an hour later (and the right one if I may add), a guy sitting on the bus had heard us mention the address to the driver and told us we arrived, so we mindlessly hopped off in a rush – and we didn’t arrive yet. Thank you, kind stranger. After all that stress and tension, T stopped a taxi. We were literally 5 minutes away from our apartment.
Again, sorry Google Maps.
Sorry about the lack of pictures here, our hands were kinda full. Literally.
It was well after 7pm by the time we had arrived to our apartment.
We walked around the neighbourhood to get acquainted with our new surroundings (and to clear our heads). Remind me, why did we want a new Barcelona experience?
Stop #7 – Can we eat now?
Timesburg was the first on my “Burgers” list and it happened to be a short walk from our apartment!
We were pleased to know it had just opened for its night shift i.e. no queue! #thereisaGod
We ordered our burgers, paid, and sat at a table. 15 minutes later, our order arrived and so did the rest of the neighbourhood; the place was packed!
One bite into that succulent juicy burger and the hectic afternoon was forgotten. Mmmm.
Stop #8 – Venturing on!
After we filled our bellies, we decided to continue our night stroll instead of going back home – even though we were exhausted, we still felt that we had to compensate for those lost hours!
La Sagrada Familia is just a 15-minute walk from our apartment, and 10 minutes away from our new favourite burger spot, so we figured that would be the right direction to head. Also, since we were supposed to visit it in the coming few days, at least we can find it now to avoid getting lost.
Obviously, it was closed (it was around 11pm?) so we visited the park in front of it, sat on a wooden bench, and just took it in.
When it was time to head back, it started to rain – heavily! We took refuge in the metro under La Sagrada Familia church for a few minutes until the rain slightly calmed down.
Earlier, I wished we hadn’t switched from our hotel to the “farther-away” apartment. I started to think that it was a bad idea to change locations; but then T reminded me why we thought a switch would be good in the first place. It would mean a new adventure and an entirely new Barcelona experience – and it was. Looking back now, I still think we made the right choice, even though we lost some time (i.e. half a day) in the process.
Plus, if we didn’t move, then I wouldn’t have this horribly tedious story to tell you guys 😉
STAY TUNED FOR MORE BARCELONA ADVENTURES (if I didn’t bore you to tears with this Barcelona experience) <3
DAY 5 IN BARCELONA – ADVENTURE MAP
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