Destination

#ElaishaGoes to Barcelona: Photo Story & City Guide

Arc-Again.jpg
picnic-drank
picnic-drank

Barcelona was a dream. I honestly feel like I woke up and couldn't possibly have been there. Travelling to Europe to visit some of my greatest friends (and making new ones) was a treat. I'm not picking favourites here, but Barcelona was a city I had the chance to really immerse myself in and explore. Thankfully my girl Katie rounded up her favourite places in Barca and my good friend Graeme and I were able to visit a lot of them. Keep reading for what to do in Barcelona Guide and Photo Story!

Where to BrunchPicnic is the spot. After strolling past the Arc and down a back alley I found the quaint (and popular) restaurant. I sat down and ordered a burrata and mimosa immediately. Both were sweet and amazing. I'm still dreaming about the tacos I got too. Graeme grabbed fluffy pancakes and a beer and we just ate the day away before exploring Barcelona.

picnic-2
picnic-2
picnic
picnic

How to get around Cabs are pretty cheap, but as a city girl taking public transport was the way to go. I had a European data plan from three which worked all over the city (I didn't visit the outskirts, however). So this allowed me to just quickly use Google maps and plot out a trip using public transport. Grab a 3-day pass and wear comfortable shoes. Exploring a city by foot has always been my favourite way to learn the ins and outs of different neighbourhoods.

reso
reso
stair-master
stair-master
strolls-by-the-arc
strolls-by-the-arc
strolling
strolling
backstreets
backstreets

Where to go dancing After a later dinner at midnight (yes, that's how late people eat out there) hit up the club district by the beach. At about 2am we noticed things were picking up and lines were immense at Opium especially.

night-hands
night-hands

What to see There were so many historical places to visit so we decided to hit up as many as we could walk to within a day instead of tiring ourselves out too much.

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arc-again
arc-again
consolate
consolate
towers
towers
familia
familia

Where to Beach  We did not hit up the beach on the weekend but instead decided to settle on a weekday to beat the crowd. We went to what's considered to be the 'Gay Beach', which is an LGBTQ-friendly space with mostly men. What we didn't realize is that it was right next to the nude beach. I was unbothered and Graeme was entertained (but polite obviously). I felt comfortable and for the first time in days no men came up to me or cat-called at me. Then we hit up Xiringuito Escribà for a delicious meal by the beach.

da
da
fish-and-chips
fish-and-chips

Where to go Shopping  There were so many spots dotted across the city. Of course, La Rambla (aka tourist trap) was the obvious option. However, we ducked down some little side streets and I was able to purchase some cute shirts. However, the salesgirl didn't let me haggle at all. I also hit up Glòries Centre Comercial. It had the stores I really wanted to see (Zara, H&M and Massimo Dutti) without the crowds of the most popular malls. It also had a Walmart-type store where I was able to buy gifts for some friends and pick up food for the weekend.

flowers-at-larambla
flowers-at-larambla
Barcelona Choclate
Barcelona Choclate

Plan on visiting Barcelona? Leave me any questions you have in the comments below!

#ElaishaGoes to Paris for a Day

On my last weekend off before starting school I spontaneously decided to head to Paris for a day.

After landing I took the metro south from Charles De Gaulle Airport into Paris. We sped through the suburbs and I transferred at another station that would bring me to La Ville-Lumière.

I quickly Vined my first steps in Paris as I rose from the underground to a lush city square.

Getting to my hotel was a bit difficult since I didn't have any data on my cell phone. I relied on city maps and horrible screen shots of directions and maps on my iPhone taken before my flight.

I finally made it to Hotel Du Bois, an adorable boutique hotel right next to one of my favourite European stores, Massimo Dutti. I excitedly passed a Diptique as I journeyed on the cobblestone where I also passed a homeless man peeing right on the sidewalk. I vehemently avoided all puddles in Paris thereafter.

Coppola's indulgent food scenes in Marie Antoinette sold me on Ladurée (also recommended to me by my friend Olivia). On the way to the Eiffel Tower between wandering in and out of shops I made a quick stop in the luxe pâtisserie for a pain au chocolat and a few macarons.

When the Eiffel Tower finally came into view I was star struck; frozen in place my mouth agape in shock. The summer day gave a perfect view of the iconic structure across the water.

I got lost about 4 times on the way back to my hotel and retired to my room to rest. After being up for over 24 hours and touring the city I was admittedly burnt out. After a shower and power nap I began Googling dinner spots until finally deciding on one.

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After getting lost around the Arc de Triomphe round about I was 5 minutes late for my reservation but I finally found Brasserie Lorraine which was only a 30 minute walk from my hotel.

The night was definitely alive with guests ordering overflowing seafood plates (a specialty at the restaurant) and pasta dishes. Fresh bread, braised duck and handmade pasta left me stuffed and content. My server convinced me to go with the chocolate lava cake for dessert and I left full and in absolute bliss.

After a 5 hour sleep I was back on the metro headed to Charles De Gaulle; headed home to Toronto after my day in Paris.

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