I’m a bit of a beach girl…
I love to be near the ocean or any body of water really and that will nearly always be my choice when travelling abroad. Visiting the Catalan city of Barcelona, means a person can enjoy mountains, city and sea. All in the same day if they desire.
Exploring Barcelona as a solo female traveller, I stayed at the Casa Maca Guest House, situated in the Eixample District, close to the Gothic Quarter.
The guesthouse is hidden behind a huge wooden front door, just off one of the quieter city side roads, close to the subway – so it’s easy to get to by plane and train from the UK. Although as always for me, it was following the directions from the subway, to this little boutique B&B, which proved the most challenging part.
The decor of the little place is enchanting and my room windows opened out onto the main street. Beautiful but slightly unnerving to be sitting eye to eye on a passenger riding the local bus but I had picked this place for its central location – not for the view. Although there was nothing I disliked about it. The bed was clean, the room attractive with plenty of space for a single traveller. I loved the floor tiles, probably the feature I liked the best!
The double bed comfortable – the air con efficient and the shower powerful. I felt safe there alone and it was fun to encounter different travellers from across the globe when eating a continental, self-prepared breakfast in the mornings.
Finding my bearings was easy and I decided to explore the area initially with my tour guide Victoria. For the purpose of this visit, I was interested in getting to know and tasting the cuisine of Barcelona .
Knowing I had a cooking experience booked through BonAppetour in the home of Yves later on in the trip, I was excited to get out and about and find out what was close to my little home away from home.
One of the places I had always wanted to visit is Casa Batlló – a vision of underwater, succulent hues entwined in a blue green palate. It reminded me of the ocean. Gaudi’s touches are seen throughout the city when you begin to know what to look for. I felt close to my dad here, for some reason, even though he is no longer with me physically. He was with his girl in spirit. Maybe because it was my first time of solo travel. So much has changed since then – like living and working on an island in Thailand. That was totally unexpected!
Open 365 days a year between 9am – 9pm. This architectural wonder, reminded me of the Paua shell from New Zealand – the inspiration for my one & only tattoo. The building is crowned with a spectacular roof composed of large scales to look like a dragon’s back. It also has a tower, and rising from this is a cross with four arms pointing north, south, east and west.
The Gothic Quarter didn’t let me down. I felt like I had walked into a scene from Game of Thrones. Looking up, I noticed the signs on balconies of local residents requesting quiet at night. It must be hard to live in such a well known tourist location with the expectation of living like a local.
Casa Batlló was a short ten minute walk from the guesthouse and I felt safe and comfortable when out at night and an enjoyable twenty minute stroll from here was the gothic quarter with the beautiful Cathedral at its heart. I actually preferred it to the imposing Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona is a city with a lot to offer. I’m still to come here with my hubby, so that we can take in Camp Neu and explore the mountainous heights of Montserrat. I’d like to wild swim in the lakes of the national parks of the region.
Lakes of Aiguestortes National Park, in the Spanish Pyrenees, Catalonia.
Catalonia has such a diverse and interesting landscape – there is always more to explore!