Experiencing España

by Pauline on July 28th 2016

DSC03716

Hola! If you follow me on any of my social media profiles, you’ll know that I’ve been on a week trip to Spain. I’m (sadly) back in England now, with an uneven tan and beach blues.

Although my dad is Spanish, I’ve not had many Spanish influences in my culture growing up so it was interesting to be exposed to it over the past week.

In this post, I’ll be outlining my experience in España.

Jump here to watch the round-up video of my trip.

Travelling

I flew with RyanAir, I had heard they were a quite bad in terms of service and the plane itself. Seeing as I didn’t pay a lot for the flight and having an open mind, I wanted to see it for myself rather than wholly base my opinion on reviews.

… And well, the plane was delayed by an hour. On top of that, they hadn’t even displayed my gate 5 minutes before flying so I was incredibly stressed. After asking a fellow passenger, they said it was typical of the airline to do this.

Once I was finally on, the flight was surprisingly smooth. I’m usually terrified of taking off and landing but not this time – I don’t know if it’s the 30-minute meditation I did before boarding that helped me keep calm or if my excitement washed away fear.

IMG_1311

Flying over the UK

We ran into some complications with the transfer to the hotel because of the late flight. And after 3 hours of trying to sort it out, we finally got on a coach to the hotel which took 1 hour and a half.

Initially, I wanted to stay in the city of Barcelona for the whole week but I decided to be closer to the beach and the Mediterranean Sea. Once we were settled into the hotel (MedPlaya Santa Monica), we spent the remainder of the first day by the beach admiring the ocean – a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

It reminded me so much of my short time as a child in the Philippines.

1

Endless Sea

The holiday was planned to be more of a relaxing holiday so for the first few days, I enjoyed spending time in the sun and water. Every morning I loved meditating by the sea and waking up with this view from the hotel wasn’t bad either

View from hotel

View from my hotel room in Santa Monica

I already miss the salt water, messy sand and scorching sunshine.

Beach

Hair all over the place – nothing new here

Barcelona

We spent 2 days out of the 7 exploring tourist areas of Barcelona city and used the metro to get around. It’s similar to the ones in Paris and the underground in London.

Plaça de Catalunya

Sagrada Família – I stole this tourist pose from another tourist who was on an all out photoshoot. It was funny to watch and made me wonder if I look just as funny with my own photos!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see all the attractions that I planned out to see because my sister (and the rest of the family) couldn’t take the heatwaves at 12pm-3pm so instead, we spent too long on one attraction in the shade.

Strangely enough, I didn’t feel the heat as much as they did (or they just complain a lot) and preferred to stay out to soak out more of the sun thus explaining my darker tan compared to the rest of the family.

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. I much prefer this Arc than the one in Paris.

Despite the constant complaining on the heat and too much walking, I tried not to let it ruin the holiday. Besides, I got to see some great architectural sights even though it wasn’t half of what I had planned; I’m grateful nonetheless!

Cascada Monumental located at the Ciutadella Park. You get a wonderful view from the top!

I was worried about pickpocketing as this is a big thing in Barcelona apparently but I didn’t encounter anything dodgy when I was walking around. Friends had warned me about it and it made me a little too cautious and paranoid – thankfully nothing happened!

L’estàtua eqüestre del general Prim with the Arc and Castell dels Tres Dragons in the background.

Food

Since this was more of a relaxing holiday, I opted in for full board course when choosing the hotel. I actually thought that there were different themes every day for food but it was the Same. Thing. Over. And. Over. Again. I found it is a waste of money to go out and eat elsewhere so I stuck with it, but it definitely was a lesson for next time!

Final 24 hours

The last few days included exploring more of the town I stayed in: Calella, Costa Brava.

DSC03151

The town is quite small in comparison to Barcelona but it’s so beautiful. The locals were so lovely and lively too.

DSC03161

Calella is well known for not only for its wonderful beaches but also an equally beautiful lighthouse. It was quite a hike getting up there, but worth every single effort for the view of Calella. I love the contrast of sea and city – views like that make me feel so alive.

DSC03639

DSC03643

Yesterday (the day I was flying back), I spent the morning jogging beside the beach and captured amazing views of the sunrise.

DSC03746

Trip Video Round-up

Throughout the trip, I took as much footage as I could with the intention of creating a summary video of everything I saw. Some of the footage was taken by my siblings – especially the ones with me in them.

This is one of the first times I put a video together, do have a look below:

The whole trip overwhelmed me.

I hadn’t travelled abroad in over 2 years so forgot the feeling of flying above the clouds.

I hadn’t been to a proper beach for so long that I forgot the feeling of having sand everywhere and the cold ocean touching my feet.

So I’m incredibly grateful for everything I saw. After the week, I learnt more about the Spanish culture and history, more about myself and felt truly relaxed – something I haven’t felt in such a long time.

I’m already looking for next year destinations – I’m making it a goal to make time go abroad at least once a year. Because with the hectic life we all live in, we sometimes really need a holiday.


Posted under: Explaw🐾, Meditation


Leave a Comment

Name: (required)

Email: (required)

Website:

Comment:


22 comments

  1. Rezina says:

    Spain is gorgeous! It’s great that you got to take a trip overseas with your family and learn more about Spanish culture. And it’s definitely a great goal to go abroad at least once a year. I would love to make that my goal too but going anywhere outside the US is usually too expensive, haha.

    And LOL “or they just complain a lot”. I feel you.

  2. Sue says:

    That aerial shot is beautiful! Glad you got to experience flying above the clouds again after more than 2 years. I also like that feeling. There’s something dreamy about it. Looks like your trip had a good balance of nature, man-made architecture, meeting locals, and of course food. Looks like you covered a lot of good reasons for visiting Spain. Must have been nice to experience a bit of your dad’s heritage; a holiday well spent! 😀

  3. Hebe says:

    you definitely should plan at least one trip every year!! Although it is tiring when planing the trip but once you go there and realise every step in your wish list, it is a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and a lot of FUN and RELAX:) Wish you can travel to more countries in the future, go explore yourself:)

  4. Cristina says:

    It’s a good think you decided to visit Spain.Of all the countries I visited, Spain is on top of my list of favorites. I visited Spain when I was a child, but I remember every single detail from that trip. I loved it, specially Barcelona. That city is pure art. Antonio Gaudi was a genius. I hope I get to go back there soon and visit the city again. I even get butterflies when I am thinking about it.

    I’m glad you had an amazing experience there. The photos look amazing.

  5. Cassidy says:

    I love your pictures! It looks like you had an amazing time! The beach looks amazing and I love the architecture and the landmarks

    I’m hoping to travel to Europe at some point in my 20s and I’ll definitely have to keep Barcelona in mind.

  6. Michelle says:

    My dad is Salvadoran and thus, I have some Spanish influences in my life, and Hispanic ones too. I guess I just miss that culture and sadly because I do not speak the language, but never mind that, Espana is a beautiful country with a lot of history (which I know) and beauty. They colonized Central America and that’s where my dad came from, El Salvador, and thus, I have Spanish ancestors there. I wanna go back to look at my family tree because it would be so awesome, I already have Italian relatives, what else do I have?

    Still Espana is gorgeous! I love old countries that have history, makes them seem more alive and well taken care of. I’m glad you took this holiday and enjoyed it! We all need it sometimes!

  7. Cat says:

    I saw all of your Instagram posts, and it looked like such a great trip! The beach and water look beautiful there, and the town looks lovely too. Love the view you got from the lighthouse!

    I definitely agree that we all need a holiday once in a while. Not only is it good to take time to relax, but I actually feel more productive afterwards since I don’t feel burned out anymore!

  8. And now I want to meditate by the sea! Bet its awesome. All that water looks beautiful, but I always loved water.

    And all those buildings look so beautiful! Sounds like a great trip!

  9. Amy says:

    Wow, glad to hear you had a great time in Spain! I love your video and your photos. It all looks so beautiful! I really wish I could take photos like that, but sadly I’m not that skilled. I’d blame my camera, but I’ve seen people take amazing photos with nothing but an iPhone!

    I’d love to go abroad. It’d be so interesting to see another country. Everywhere in the UK is pretty much the same. Even the shops in each city are just copies of one and other, for the most part. And our “beaches” are rubbish, if you can even call them beaches!

    Glad to hear you had a good time!

  10. Nancy says:

    Bah, I can’t believe how much trouble you had to go through to get from the airport before flying off until checking into the hotel! But glad to see that things went smoother afterwards :). Looking at the your ocean pictures makes me feel relaxed at home!

    Barcelona looks beautiful! The monumental looks amaaaazzzzinng!!! Love the architecture.

    I love the video compilation! It gives a really neat POV perspective about Espana! I agree with you, we all need a holiday from time to time!

  11. Kya says:

    That is so great that you got to have a trip! The photos look really beautiful. It is a shame that it did get really hot and there were some delays. It would be exciting to think about the next holiday, once a year would be really nice. 😀

  12. Holly says:

    Lovely photos!

    I’ve never flown with Ryanair before but I will be when I go to Norway next month. I hope they don’t delay our flight as I’m only going for two nights!

    I absolutely love Barcelona! It’s such a big place so it really is a challenge to see everything in just a couple of days. I think the tour bus is worth the money as you get to see most of the city and you can hop on and off when ever you like.

    I went to Calella when I was about 4 years old but I don’t really remember it. It looks beautiful though.

  13. Clare says:

    Ah! Europe is soo beautiful. It’s one of the countries that’s on my bucket list. A Youtuber I follow on youtube is currently having a vacation I Europe right now and I can’t help but be amazed on all the beautiful buildings, castles and houses. I really hope I can travel abroad one day. You took amazing videos/pictures btw.

  14. Claudine says:

    Oh wow, Spain is beautiful! I love all of your photos and it looks like you all had a great time! The view from your hotel room is gorgeous too, I want to see it for myself someday 🙂 It just sucks that the heat was intense though, and I can definitely relate to your family’s experiences of spending time in the shade while everyone else is enjoying under the sun. The same thing happened to us in Florida, and the other tourists were all like, “Why is that family staying in the shade?!” HAHAHA.

    Going abroad once a year is doable and if you can afford it, you really should go for it. Spending a holiday abroad is a great way to de-stress and learn about other cultures as well 😀

  15. Ella says:

    This looked like a wonderful and relaxing trip. Your photos and video capture the beauty of Spain and your time there. I’ve never traveled overseas, but if I did, this place would be one of the first I’d visit. Isn’t the ocean amazing? The first time I went was while visiting family in California. Since then, I’ve missed the cold water, sand and seaweeds at my feet. I hope you make it a point to travel out at least once a year, that sounds like a wonderful goal. 🙂

  16. Georgie says:

    I am so glad you got to have a holiday. Two years without one is quite long, though I remember only ever going to visit my family in Indonesia every four years! It wasn’t until recently that I was travelling every year (on a plane).

    I liked the video, there was so much water and sea and ocean in it. Sorry to hear about the heatwave. I felt that way in Rome, I was just like, gah, can’t take the heat anymore. D: Sometimes it can be hard to predict when it will be really hot, but those would be good days to do attractions that aren’t out in the open.

    I have heard that RyanAir are crap, haha. Sucks that your flight was delayed by an hour – my plane to San Diego last week was too! And on the way back home. Totally atrocious.

    Good thing you didn’t get hassled by pickpockets in Barcelona. I also heard it is the worst city for pickpockets. :p

  17. Liv says:

    Ahhh I would love go to Spain and especially Barcelona!! I love the gothic architecture and Calella reminds me of this little town I passed by during my trip to Mexico – well it was built by Spanish settlers, hehe. I love your photos! 🙂

  18. Tara says:

    This sounds and looks like a fabulous trip. All your photos of the beach and ocean . . . they’re so relaxing and beautiful, Pauline. They all make me feel like I’m there with you. It’s good you also went to Spain to get closer to a part of your root. This has been a super rewarding experience for you!

    Reading your post, I find myself super determined now to travel somewhere abroad next year. Whether it’s Japan (it’s a high certainty) or Europe, I’m going to make it happen. I would not be able to afford abroad every year, but every couple of years sounds doable ^^

  19. Tiff K says:

    That Holiday in Spain sounds wonderful!! I’ve only been to Barcelona and I insanely loved it. Planning to go next year with my dad. I really can’t get enough of Europe.

    I booked with Ryanair before… but never got to go on the flight because of the Spanish airport strikes. Sighs. I go with Easyjet and I think they’re better but my other friend in London prefers Ryanair. Oh well, you get what you pay for!

    Am glad that you didn’t experience anything bad in Barcelona. Also heard about the thefts from friends but nothing happened too when I went there in 2010. Let’s pray for safety! 😀

    I am soo not good with the heat so when I went to London last month feeling like I was back in Manila, I was soo sad! Was expecting clouds and cold in London but in the end I got darker/tanner and I got sunspots on my face. Insane! hahah

  20. Chynna says:

    I am so pumped for Barcelona! 17 days to go~

    RyanAir are pieces of sh*t, but at the end of the day, as long as I eventually get to my destination I’m pretty chill. Can’t really expect much from a cheap airline, to be fair. I usually fall asleep during take off and landing. I can literally sleep anywhere. When I went to Amsterdam, I didn’t even realise we had taken off because as soon as I sat in my seat and buckled my seatbelt, I fell asleep straight away XD

    Love your photos! I didn’t get to visit any of the smaller towns, the last time I went to Spain, but Mutay and I have decided we want to visit some of them since reading your post. Your tan is just 100% the best. I’m the same when it comes to staying in the sun – when we go on holiday, I will literally soak it up, and come back darker than my dad. And he’s BLACK. Kakakakaka~ If you ever go back to Spain, you should definitely try the food outside the hotel. Paella is the best and omg, the tapas. The tapas!!

    I’m glad you had such a fun time – I especially love your video! Such cool shots 🙂