Last summer my boyfriend, Max, and I were at dinner one night discussing where we wanted to travel to next, and without any debate, and the last sips of wine in our glasses, we toasted to Barcelona. Because of that night I now have beautiful memories of a two week adventure not only in Barcelona, but in Madrid, Toledo, Seville, and Granada as well.
I recently came across a quote by Susan Sontag that said, "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list," and I really couldn't agree more - nothing is quite like traveling and exploring a completely new, foreign, place. There's something fascinating to me about getting plucked from my daily reality and plopped into someone else's world where I get to see, taste, and experience life from their view for a bit, and Spain did not disappoint. From paella, to cava, and churros con chocolate, to endless ancient city landscapes, palaces, cathedrals, and surrealist art, to flamenco, sunsets, and nights under the stars - it was truly amazing and I did not want it to end.
This trip was so special to me and I really want to share it with you guys, so I put together some highlights of my favorite moments, sights, and of course my outfits. Packing for a trip can always be a headache, especially if you're going away for a decent amount of time and are an over packer like me (friggin' airlines and their 50 lb. suitcase limit!!!). I mainly packed dresses, rompers, and skirt/top combos because they're not only light, but also the most versatile. A lot of the dresses and rompers I brought could be transformed from day to night very easily, and skirts and tops are always smart because you can mix and match and get a lot of outfits out of not many clothes.
Here's a little bit of my adventure.
Spent our first day looking at art at the Reina Sofia. The Picasso and Dalí art was my favorite.
"The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths"
Day Trip to Toledo
Took a day trip to Toledo, an ancient city outside Madrid that's over 2,500 years old. I felt like I went through a time warp. This completely walled city, which 84,000 people still inhabit, is frozen in time! Was such a cool place to explore for the day.
Some highlights from our final day in Madrid. Spent the day touring the Royal Palace and then relaxing at Retiro Park.
Seville was so HOT. Hence the fan that didn't leave my side. It was literally 100º degrees plus humidity - locals said they were experiencing the worst heatwave since the 70's. While we attempted being good tourists, a siesta in the pool was more than necessary!
On our last day we toured the Alcázar - a royal palace built for Moorish Muslim Kings (and for all you Game of Thrones fans, this is also where they filmed part of season five).
Took my love to a belated birthday dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the water called Abades.
Okay, so I thought I was blown away by the Alcázar in Seville until I got to the Alhambra in Granada, also a muslim palace built for emperors. COMPLETELY BREATHTAKING! No photos can do it justice. This is something you must see in person! From the endless flowing water in every area of the palace, to the GORGEOUS gardens - this place was one of my favorite spots we visited. After we were done touring the palace, we went over to Mirador de San Nicolás to watch the sunset. It was beautiful to watch the colors of the palace walls change as the sun lowered in the sky.
The trees were filled with oranges everywhere, which filled the air with the most beautiful citrus scent. Also, during our time in Granada, we finally tried Spain's popular snack, churros con chocolate. They're much different than the churros we know here in The States. There's no cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them, instead it's just fried dough that you dip into thick. hot. chocolate. PROBLEM! These things were dangerously delicious.
Spent the day looking at some of Gaudi's most famous work in Barcelona and was really blown away with all of his architecture. La Pedrera (pictures 6, 7, 8, 9), was a home built for an extremely wealthy couple in 1906, and has one of the coolest rooftops I've ever seen. The Sagrada Familia (pictures 10, 11, 12), is a cathedral that is STILL being built to this day and is insanely massive. My favorite part of the Sagrada Familia was the way the light shined through the stained glass windows and made it look like a rainbow on the ceiling. I have never seen anything like it before.
Had my freakum dress on for a taste of the nightlife in Barcelona. I thought we started the party late here in NYC, but Barcelona has us beat. Their night doesn't really get started until 2 AM and goes until the sun comes up.
This was from our last night in Barcelona (or so we thought). We made a point to watch the sunset in every city we visited, but Barcelona was by far my favorite. We went up to the terrace at the Catalan Art Museum, which is this extremely beautiful rooftop filled with white day beds and buckets of champs, so I was a little shocked to find we were the ONLY ones up there aside from the bartender. It worked out for us though, this just made it all the more romantic and special.
Salou (for a second)
Oh Salou. The one bump in the road we were traveling. When we initially planned our trip, we thought after almost two weeks of touring around the country we would be exhausted and should end our trip on the beach for two days before we went back to America. Welp, it was a great idea in theory, but I guess we didn't do enough research because this little beach town was not what we were expecting at all and left us missing Barcelona. So, after spending an entire day trying to convince ourselves we could make the best of it, we decided to hop back on the train and go back to Barcelona for our last day in Spain. So long, Salou!
Back to Barcelona <3
We spent our REAL last day in Barcelona at the Picasso Museum and then caught our final sunset at Park Güell, another one of Gaudi's architectural masterpieces. Really fell in love with that city and can't wait to get back there again one day.