One of my favourite days on the Disney Magic was, unbelievably, the day we got off. We were dreading it as we had to disembark pretty early and our flight from Barcelona back to the UK wasn’t until 7pm. I had no idea what to do or where to go.
Happily, it turned out that our lovely friends Drew and David are huge Barcelona fans and have been to the area loads of times. They offered to show us around for the day, avoiding the tourist traps and it turned out to be such an incredible day, we just can’t wait to go back and spend longer in this amazing city.
We were dropped off by our coach right by the enormous ‘El Peix’ fish sculpture just at the Port Olimpic, and took a leisurely walk along Barceloneta Beach. It was ridiculously scorchio and although we were dressed in jeans, we rolled them up and had a paddle (well, you just have to). Our bimble along the beach led us to the rather awe inspiring Port Cable Car, or to give it its full title: the Transbordador Aeri del Port, which was slightly intimidating, but took us waaaay up above Barcelona. The views are incredible – we could even see the little tiny Disney Magic docked in the port to our left!
The cable car takes you up to the most beautiful gardens, with dancing fountains and more amazing views of the city. The hotel here is called the Miramar and we’d absolutely love to come back and stay here, it looks stunning. Here we are, standing outside the hotel:
After that, Dave and Drew had promised us a special treat. We took a gentle walk from the Miramar Gardens and couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this, through a little gap in a fence:
Two perfect squares of shimmering Listerine water, with barely a soul about. You might recognise these pools, officially the Piscines Municipals de Montjuïc, from Kylie’s ‘Slow’ video. They really are stunning and apart from a few locals they were practically empty. We hadn’t brought any swimming stuff but the boys stripped off and swam in their boxers – I have to say, I was mighty jealous as it was really steaming hot. What a beautiful experience, though, even if I could only dip my toes in the water! The pools are only open for a short time during the summer, but at €6 for entry, they’re a total bargain and again have a stunning view over the city. Just gorgeous and one of my favourite memories from the day.
After a couple of hours swimming and lazing, we decided to head back into the city for a well deserved G&T. We walked through the beautiful Joan Maragall Gardens – an absolutely lush oasis – you just wouldn’t believe they were so near a bustling city – they were completely empty too. The Albéniz Palace is in the gardens and there are amazing waterfalls and features dotted all around it:
The meandering walk eventually took us around to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, from which steps (and some escalators) lead right back down to the city centre. The waterfalls on the way down are spectacular:
Following Dave and Drew, we headed into the city to the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and into the huge Arenas shopping centre, which used to be the bullring in the centre of Barcelona. The old facade hides a new, glossy shopping centre, and trying not to look at several floors of shops, we whizzed up in a glass lift right to the top of the building, which is encircled by the most amazing terrace packed full of restaurants, bars and cafés. We ended our day with goldfish bowl sized glasses of gin and tonic, made perfect with the addition of a scoop of lemon sorbet.
Heaven. I can’t wait to go back.
I’ve added this post to the #citytripping link up – click here to discover more incredible cities!