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Wow, back home from city hopping in Spain!
It was awesome! I can’t even describe the feeling that was created by these past three weeks exploring through these beautiful coastal cities in Spain. Of course we have travelled before, but somehow it feels like the trips just keep getting better and better and this time it was really hard to return back home to Finland. I usually experience my culture shock after coming back home and it’s never fun. Maybe I shouldn’t come back anymore? Haha.
We did experience some tiredness during the last few days of this trip, but I think it’s mainly because we didn’t feel as happy in our last destination as we thought we would. The last four days we spent in Barcelona, in a semi-decent and very centric hostel. The hostel wasn’t fantastic, but we didn’t really expect anything more with that prize either. This time we hadn’t the possibility to cook anything ourselves so we had to eat outside every time. Luckily we had a wonderful café called Federal close by, and even though it was bit expensive, it was a delight for the stomach! We ate every breakfast there, because their smoothies and healthy toasts were perfect. These brekkies were the most glamorous meals of our stay in Barcelona, otherwise we ate with a smaller budget.
During the first day we pretty much went through all the best sights in the city, because we wanted to get them over with before the Parliament speech of the Catalonian leader the next day. As it happens, we arrived right in the middle of the huge demonstrations in the Catalonian area. The day we arrived, there were three different huge demonstrations around the city and thousands of people all around making noise. We even had to walk with our luggage from the train station through the center to our hostel, because the taxi driver didn’t want drive in the middle of the demonstrations. Other than that, we did get to enjoy a good time in Barcelona and this was just on the arrival day. The other downside was the many tourists all over the city and the tourist prizes in the restaurants. We didn’t expect these during the end of September and the beginning of October, but how wrong were we. We did the best we could and enjoyed as well as we could though. We went to the beach, ate in decent restaurants and explored aimlessly through the historic center.
But as I said in the beginning, we didn’t really feel charm of Barcelona this time. Maybe it’s the tourists or the drug dealers all around, or the fact that I had already been there before, but it just wasn’t as amazing as it used to be before. Don’t get me wrong, Barcelona has the most epic sights, beautiful architechture and city views and the beach is lovely and it really is a place where everyone should visit at least once in their life. The charm just wasn’t as strong this time. But like I said, maybe it’s the tourist season’s fault, because the first time I visited Barcelona, it was in May and there weren’t as many tourists back then.
It’s about the bigger picture
When you look at the bigger picture, our trip was amazing! Valencia and Alicante were so fantastic and Barcelona was ok too. We experienced fantastic things, saw beautiful sceneries, got to know the culture and ate delicious foods. We are already thinking about the next trip to Spain and we hope it’s gonna happen soon. We want to up our game even more, so let’s see what we will plan for the next big adventure!
Check the best activities, sights and tours around Barcelona here:
<3: Tiina Johanna
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NEXT DESTINATION: ALICANTE!
This past week we have spent our time in the sunny city of Alicante here in the Mediterranean coast of Spain. We booked a lovely (and super small) home from Airbnb and we loved it. It was right in middle of the perfectly interesting old town. We didn’t have a terrace as such, but we were able to put chairs and a table outside our door and enjoy the sunny mornings there. Our small home street was quiet and peaceful, so it was basically like having a private terrace anyway, just a bit longer one!
While we stayed here, we thought that this apartment wasn’t as good as the one that we had in Valencia for the previous week, but now that I think about it, I think this had more character after all. Read about our week in Valencia here!
Compared to Valencia, the city of Alicante is a lot more touristic and especially the Scandinavians and Brits have found this place very well. Alicante is filled with history and culture and Mediterranean lifestyle, but I did find Valencia to be a better fit for me.
Alicante does have fantastic restaurants and bars all around, some more local and others more touristic. The most magnificent tourist attraction is the Castle of Santa Barbara on top of the big hill in the middle of the old town. The best way to explore the hill and the Castle is to simply walk up and enjoy the views on the way. We did this as a great morning exercise two times!
The most easiest beach to access from the center and the old town is Playa del Postiguet and it’s a lovely beach with great swimming conditions and cafes around. It’s right next to the old town and the marina area and it’s very popular. If you wish to find an even bigger beach a little bit further, you can also check out the San Juan beach. For comparison, neither of these were as good as the wide beach of La Malvarrosa in Valencia though.
This week in Alicante has been fantastic and full of activities and sunshine. We had nice walks around the beach, the old town and the harbour and enjoyed delicious food and drinks. This city is beautiful, warm, easy and perfect for a nice vacation in every way, but if you wish to find more local vibes, I recommend Valencia. Even better if you visit both!
Check here for the best activities, tickets and guided tours in Alicante:
Right now I am relaxing on our bed in our hostel room in Barcelona, belly full of tasty breakfast. We arrived here yesterday from Alicante. We are feeling a bit tired from all the travelling and exploring, but that will not slow us down as we are in one of the most amazing cities in Europe!
Stay tuned, next up adventures in Barcelona!
<3: Tiina Johanna