Feels like home – Spain

Hi guys,hope you’re having a good day.

Finally  I’m ready with my first travel story featuring Spain!

I really could’t wait to share my experience with you all.

Firstly, why Spain? The reason we chose to visit Spain this vacation is because I really love to find out and explore about a country’s past and  I had already been to the U.S and to the far past as well.We all know that the kingdom of Spain is famous for its pre-history and pre-Roman people so I ended up selecting Spain as our final destination.

To make it more like a real genuine holiday, we decided to explore the country totally on our own and not with a Travel agency otherwise it makes the trip a little hectic.

My journey finally began and I left for the Mumbai International Airport. From there I took a  flight to Frankfurt from where I had another connecting flight to the capital of Spain, Madrid. After touching down to Madrid, I took a shuttle to my apartment which was situated right in the heart of the city. After 8 – 10 hours of travelling I was really exhausted and I was off to sleep as soon as I got there. Didn’t do much of anything that day. Ours was a short 10 day trip including three main cities of the country namely Madrid,Valencia and Barcelona for 3,2 and 3 days respectively. Here’s a detailed description about the trip.

MADRID

Name of the hotel – Madrid Central Suites

Travel within the city – We explored most of the important parts of the city  on our feet and used the public transport at times too.

DAY 1

On the first very day, I started from the centre of the city  which was very near to my apartment as I told you’ll earlier. I stopped by some shops and then I headed straight to the Royal Palace of Madrid which was about 5 Kms from the centre of the city. I was really enjoying the weather over there and the place had something very different and pleasant. While walking towards the Palace, I observed that people there are genuinely enjoying theirselves,they are content with what they have. Irrespective of what day it is, they enjoyed themselves to the fullest. Coming back to the post, on my way to the Palace I also visited Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor which are the two very famous centrally located squares of the city. These are from the prettiest open spaces in Spain, a winning combination of imposing architecture, picaresque historical tales and vibrant street life coursing across its cobblestones. At once beautiful in its own right and a reference point for so many Madrid days, it also hosts a Christmas market in December and arches leading to laneways leading out into the labyrinth. We took some pictures there and left for the Palace again. Finally after walking for like 1 hour, we arrived at the grand and majestic Palace of madrid. The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city, but is only used for state ceremonies. King and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace though. It is so awe-inspiring and regal from even the outside. I also took a segway ride around with my sister. We then took a metro back to Tribunal just where our apartment was situated.

DAY 2

On the second day of our trip, I decided to go for shopping in the morning. Visited some famous shopping streets of the cities like Gran Via and Calle Fuencarral. One of the most distinct features of the Spanish capital is its walkability, with a compact city centre that easily connects the different neighbourhoods. While most of Madrid’s heart is charming, there are some streets you absolutely cannot miss.

In the other half of the day, we visited the Santiago Bernabeu stadium which is the home ground of the Real madrid F.C .The stadium is very luxurious and elevated and they  have wonderfully planned and organised a guided-tour in and out the stadium giving us the ultimate experience how it feels like when matches are actually held there. I really was fascinated knowing more about the club’s history. We went to the The Good Burger to grab a couple of appetizing  burgers  for dinner and straight away directed to the apartment.

DAY 3 

So on the third day, we packed up our stuff and were all set to leave for the next stop Valencia. Before leaving for the Madrid railway station, we had some crispy french fries with a beer or two as I was really craving one. We then headed to the station and used the impressive Euro Rail service to arrive to Valencia. It was a 2 hour journey to Valencia and the view outside the windows was really alluring all the time and portrayed serenity. We arrived at our apartment and I was really excited to see what this new city has in store for us.

VALENCIA

Name of the hotel – ApartUp Berlanga city of Arts.

Travel within the city – We used the public transport here as well. Also, had booked a two-wheeler to move around for a day.

DAY 4

As I had told you’ll earlier, it was only a 2 day stay in Valencia and hence by the time we got to the beautiful apartment in Berlanga,we soon left for the Malvarossa beach to get some refreshing air and to take a dip in the water too. I had one of the best times of my life there at the beach while I took a walk on the shore. That little element of tranquility in the prevailing air just made me forget about everyone and everything else and I kept on walking realising how important it is to live life for yourself without anything to worry about. I took a walk along the promenade and then had some light snacks at the seafront restaurant Llevante. Took a bus directly to Berlanga then.

DAY 5

The Oceanogràfic of the City of Arts and Sciences is the largest aquarium in Europe and contains representatives of the world’s main marine ecosystems and that’s the first place I visited on my second day in Valencia. There’s a variety of buildings constructed within the property each identified with the following aquatic environments: the Mediterranean, Wetlands, Temperate and Tropical Seas, Oceans, the Antarctic and a few more. We had a really great time there observing all the different species and marine life in different environments. Oceanographic was just like 700 m away from my apartment. I packed my stuff the same day to prepare leaving for Barcelona the following day.

 

BARCELONA

Name of the hotel – Villasar de mar Apartment & Swimming Pool.

Travel within the city – The apartment was located about 20 kms ahead of Barcelona in Villasar de mar and hence we used the city taxi to travel back and forth from the place.

DAY 6

Arrived at Barcelona railway station and took another connecting train to Villasar where our apartment was located. Villasar de mar is a town in Catalonia and is known both as a tourist centre and a dormitory town for Barcelona, and is also famous for its horticulture. It is a very small beautiful town situated on the coast to the north-east of Barcelona. The place is full of rugged beauty which kept me in awe and did not feel like to go to the city centre. Was two more days in Barcelona but I couldn’t get enough already. Took a taxi directly to the centre of Barcelona, Placa de Catalonia is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built meet.Some of the city’s most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalonia:  Passeig de gracie , Ramble de catalunya and  La Ramble . We shopped our hearts out at the plaza and then visited the tree-line pedestrian mall along the street,la rambla. We then took a city tour ride on the hop-on hop-off bus and saw the finest works of architecture in the city like Sagrada Familia, Casa Visens and a number of other Gaudi buildings.

DAY 7 

Started the day with some  breakfast at the restaurant in the building’s restaurant itself. Apart from the restaurant,the apartment building had a private swimming pool,laundry room and a club house too. Visited the home ground of Barcelona’s football club,Camp nou and took a guided-tour of the whole stadium here as well. We then took a port cable car ride across the city’s skyline going to Montjuic.The cable car provides an opportunity to see the whole city clearly, so it’s a chance to view Barcelona’s great monuments such as the Sagrada Familia and the Torre Agbar, from above. I paid a visit to the National Museum of Barcelona too the same day. We were totally drained by the evening and left for the apartment where we ordered a scrumptious meal!

DAY 8 

On the last and final day, everyone of us woke up very late in the afternoon as we were completely worn out. So we did some last minute shopping and decided to get done with the few places which were left to see in the city. After that, I came back to Villasar and dropped by the coast just besides our place. I spent some quality time with my sister there,took a walk along the shore and clicked a few pictures while observing the sun set. Another strange yet amazing thing that I witnessed in this time of the year was that the sun used to set only after 45 minutes past 9 in the evening. Isn’t it great? We took a detour as we left from the beach and explored all the one of a kind and old streets of the town. The last day really made it a genuine holiday giving me the best memories with my family.

Spain is indeed one of the prettiest and peaceful countries I have ever seen. I undoubtedly recommend you to visit the country in the near future. The best time to visit would be from April-June.

Cheers!

-Dharam

 

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