We were starting in Barcelona where we were renting a small apartment for five nights from Airbnb. Airbnb is a great website where you can rent out a room of someone's apartment or their entire apartment. We chose to have the whole apartment and it has been a great decision.
I flew into Barcelona through Ryanair, managing to carry on my backpack with no problem at all. They didn't even weigh it, it was amazing. I am pretty sure it was underweight as it wasn't very heavy but we shall not make any assumptions. I landed in Barcelona, hopping off the plane and getting my passport stamp. I hustled through the airport and set up camp outside of where the bus that travels between terminals arrives so I could make sure to be there when Jess got off the bus. I arrived at 5 pm and Jess was landing from Munich at 5:30 pm.
The metro was very easy to navigate and we only got single tickets at the time. I highly recommend getting a T-10. Which can be shared between multiple people and is good for 10 journeys on the metro system.
After we got off at San Antoni we hurried up the street and met the very friendly owner of the apartment. The apartment is just a small studio with a kitchen, bed and sofa and a bathroom. Its just nice to have our own space without being in a stuffy hotel or in a crowded hostel.
After we got settled we headed out to explore Barcelona a bit, find my bank machine and get some food. We walked along Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes all the way to Plaça de Catalunya. There we discovered that the bullfighting arena had been turned into a shopping centre complete with cinemas called Las Arenas. Bullfighting is illegal in Barcelona so I am sure there were many debates about turning it into a mall. It had not been occupied as a bullfighting ring since 1977. The original ring was built in 1900 and the mall was opened in 2011. The exterior of the bullfighting ring has been kept the same.
We went inside to explore the mall as well as to search for food. Jess and I ended up on the roof which is an amazing viewing platform of the surrounding area. Highly recommend checking this out if you are in Barcelona soon as it is free to enter and go onto the top platform which also has the restaurants of the mall. We went to Abrassame and had burgers. Jess' was a little undercooked but mine was good. I ordered a sangria and it was amazing. Just as I hoped it would be.
Will be posting more of Barcelona in sections which will be interrupted by dated posts from my Topdeck tour. Any questions or ideas, let me know.