I wanted to continue this blog in a vaguely chronological order with another European and, dare I say it, slightly less adventurous country.
My first memory of going to Spain is one April when I was around 13. I can find no photos from this holiday to Marbella; it was a fairly tumultuous for my family. But I remember it being a lot colder and windier than anticipated, listening to a lot of Christina Aguilera and finding Zara for the first time. All good things I think.
My next foray to Spain was on a lovely short break with a couple of friends to the lovely Torremolinos. Perhaps not the highlight of the country, but perfect for a few days away and early summer sun.We flew from Stansted, got a quick train to the town and then parked ourselves on the beach for three days.
Subsequent trips have included a lovely weekend break to Alicante. This was a steal, found via the British airways website. I can take no credit for sourcing this holiday, but can highly recommend for a short, relaxing getaway.
We flew very early one morning, after staying up far too late drinking far too much wine, and arrived to a lovely golf hotel. We were staying a very Spanish area with not much around, although there was a lovely town square with all the restaurants and bars you could need.
Spent the few days we were there eating and lying by the pool, with the occasional wander to the ocean. Perfect for a bit of early May sun.
However despite these lovely short sun breaks, the highlight for me has definitely been Barcelona. What an amazing city!
I first visited on a girls weekend with my Mum in 2011. We were staying a hotel right in the middle of Las Ramblas, which made it a great spot for exploring the city. We did nearly all of this on foot as it is so accessible. It was a great few days – exploring the food market, walking down to the harbour and enjoying getting lost in the maze of streets.
We spent a lot of time eating delicious tapas and drinking Sangria and wine in the many restaurants we found around beautiful squares. The food was one of the best parts of Barcelona, and I love how the city comes alive and the vibe totally changes in the evening. Things only just start to get going around 9pm, when locals come to eat. My kind of time zone!
Of course no trip to Barcelona would be complete without Gaudi and the Sagrada familia. Honestly, I wasn’t as impressed as I had hope to be by this church. Don’t get me wrong it is really impressive, and awe inspiring, I just didn’t get it. It simply wasn’t as beautiful as I think I had thought it would be. I am much more of the kind of person who likes historic architecture for me I think. Regardless, this is definitely a must see in this city .
We also visited the Casa Batlló, a remodel of a Gaudi house. Also impressive, but also a bit weird. In my times in Barcelona I haven’t yet made it to Park Guell, which is on my list for the next time.
The second time I went back was a much more chilled, less touristy vibe. I think it was this trip that truly made me fall in love with the city, when you feel like you know somewhere and don’t have to send the time site seeing to get the most of the place. We stayed in the gorgeous Hotel Arts, and spent a lot of timing drinking.
I recently read an article about a man who worked out it was cheaper to live in Barcelona and commute that work in London . I think this is definitely something to consider. Now how to convince work….
This summer just gone I visited Menorca for the first time, one of the Balearic Islands and lovely and small. It was an absolutely beautiful place, however thus far I have not fallen in love with it. My 5 day trip was my only chance of sun in 2015, a slow year for holidays. And what happened? It rained. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, there was some sun but there was also two days of sitting inside playing a lot of connect 4 with my brothers. One full day of sun. One.
There are also some lovely beaches, Cala Mitjana was a favourite. Beautiful turquoise seas and where I spent my last few hours on the Island. The sun had come out, perhaps the two are linked?!
Another gorgeous place was Sant Tomas. We visited this on a rainy overcast day but it didn’t make it any less beautiful. A lovely walk all the way along the beach, pausing every now and again to stroke the beautiful horses that lived right next to the beach.
This beautiful little cove was right next to our villa, and the island is full of places like this. A walk down a path opens out to spectacular views. This place was teaming with underwater life and the boys had a great time watching hermit crabs.
Menorca is somewhere I will be visiting regularly, my family have recently bought a holiday home here. So will blog soon when I have visited, it hasn’t rained and I have fallen in love with this delicious little island!
So my experiences of Spain in a nutshell, I really love this country. I want to visit Barcelona again and again and again. I also want to visit Madrid and let’s face it, it’s hard to beat Spain for short trips to get some summer sun.