I travelled to Spain just last week for a cousin’s wedding, whom I was a bridesmaid for. I spent a weekend over in Palma de Mallorca, followed by five days in Barcelona.
The wedding was held at what the Spanish call a finca, basically a farmhouse, in Palma. A half an hour’s drive from the city centre of Palma de Mallorca, getting married at a finca is supposedly the typical Spanish wedding location. The scorching sun did not spare us throughout the day of wedding preparations, as we ran about completing errands and bridesmaid duties. It was my first time being someone’s bridesmaid, and it felt nice to be of use on a meaningful occasion. While the finca was a charming rustic location, it offered lots of open space perfect for setting up an outdoor ceremony and reception. What was particularly magical was how it started drizzling when the ceremony was about to begin, but that somehow cleared up once we were all seated for the ceremony.
The day after the wedding, we went on the Oasis catamaran and cruised around the coasts of surrounding islands. A private party of 40, it was a nice day out at sea. I don’t usually fancy boat rides since I like to avoid the sun and the heat, but this was surprisingly pleasant. There wasn’t humid air like what we’re typically afflicted by in southeast Asia, so it was a real blessing. The boat crew served drinks and food (a proper meal!) and some of us went kayaking and onto the beaches.
Along with my mother and brother, we left the next day for Barcelona. I didn’t get to see much of the Mallorca sights such as the famed Cathedral (I did see it from afar whilst in the cab) due to the sheer lack of time, but I did have some of the most delicious churros.
Mallorca is overall a lovely resort island, an imaginably good weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city attractions like Barcelona or Madrid.
The rest of my trip in Barcelona was a combination of window shopping and a lot of walking (including walking all the way to Park Guell omg). We spent a lot of time mainly around the La Rambla area as we stayed relatively nearby and visited just a couple of attractions and sights very briefly. We were not so keen to spend too much time at the tourist spots as most were very busy with travellers during this summer high season.
A summary of our time in Barcelona:
We stayed in the historic Gothic Quarter throughout our trip, where we spent every evening on high alert trying to get back to our lodging safely because it was rather dark and dodgy. Something to take note if you would like to stay in the area.
We viewed the exterior of the La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo. Because we are the type of travellers who are happy with just seeing the exterior, snapping a photo and buzzing off to the next place. I really loved the exterior architectural details of these buildings. I think much of Spain’s architecture is stunning.
We walked from the Gothic Quarter to Park Guell and almost died in the sun. I recommend you take public transport or a taxi. Park Guell is a lovely little happy place, but as with most of these attractions, take note there are some renovation works.
And as mentioned in this post’s title, one of the highlights of the trip was seeing a snatch thief in action. It was as strange as it was interesting.
So, we were figuring out our way through Park Guell – how to get to the main attraction area – and decided to use one of the paths which were clearly forbidden and closed off from visitors, for reasons I cannot comprehend because they were in Spanish. We had seen some visitors sneaking onto the path as a shortcut, and encouraged by how everyone didn’t seem to bother about restriction signage, we followed suit.
On the forbidden path, casually strolling and enjoying the shade from the trees above us, we notice rustling sounds from in front of us. We look up and see an average-sized guy sliding down from the side of the hill swiftly. He has two bags clutched in his hand, and looks behind him intently once every few seconds. We were so stunned and confused, but I think the bags made the situation clear. He moves very fast once his feet touch the flat cement path, taking off as if running for his life. We instinctively move away as he runs past us and we just stare at him the whole time. He still turns behind consistently to check as if anyone was giving chase as he runs forward in the opposite direction from us. While he didn’t seem to take notice of the three of us asians crossing paths with him, I half wondered at that moment whether he would snatch our bags while he was at it.
Well, thankfully he didn’t. We did finally make it to the main attractions of the park, and spent an hour or so there.
Barcelona was overall a nice place for a short visit. Its people are generally warm and helpful, and I did enjoy the architecture and design of the city.
Because I was rather worried about the pickpockets during this trip, I was largely on high alert throughout it. It made me kind of paranoid, but I was thoroughly grateful that nothing happened. Some relatives were less lucky, so do keep an eye on your belongings when you are out and about.
Been to Palma or Barcelona before? What was your experience like?