28 July 2015

Exploring Barcelona

Back at the end of June, me and the girls jetted off to sunny Barcelona for 5 days to do some relaxing, sight seeing and cocktail drinking as an end of second year getaway. Barcelona itself can get pretty pricey for accommodation so because of the good deal, we ended up staying in a town called Mataro, a 40 minute metro ride from the bustling city of Barcelona. Mataro is a beach town and our hotel overlooked the pretty port, I was slightly hesitant on our arrival as it isn't a very touristy place at all but as the day went on I realised how nice it was to actually be in with the locals. This made for the perfect mix between a relaxing poolside/beach holiday and a city break. So, as well as soaking up the sun by the pool we ventured into Barcelona to do some touristy things on one (and a half) days as travelling meant we only had three full days there. The metro system is thankfully really good with clean and air conditioned metros, I would definitely recommend it as your main mode of transport if you're visiting. Our journey from Mataro to Barcelona passed many beach towns which made for a journey more pleasing to the eye than the darkness of the underground. 
We chose a bus tour to transport us around the city which was a great way to see everything with multiple stops. We chose to spend our time in the city seeing all of Gaudi's beautiful work, including the incredible unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia which is just as gorgeous inside, his park, Park Guell and two of his buildings, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera. We took an audio tour around Casa Batllo which definitely highlighted the amount of detail and thought that had gone into his work. Barcelona is definitely the city of amazing architecture, no matter where you look no two buildings are the same, the quaint little streets were my favourite with their picturesque balconies. Our second visit into the city was the evening before we left and we spent a while wandering the streets in the search for the Arc de Triomf which was unfortunately rather unsuccessful, so we headed along the beach finally reaching the Hard Rock cafe to fill our tummy's with a tasty burger and a cocktail. We took in the sights one last time when the sky was darkening and the fountains in the main square were lit with the prettiest colours before heading back on the metro. I loved our time in Barcelona, it was the most relaxing break and I would definitely like to return to do some more exploring one day.

Rachael x

10 July 2015

June 2015

June, a pretty lovely month which managed to sometimes feel like summer up here in the North. June was the first full month with no uni, no exams and no looming deadlines and it feels so good. Apart from working, my June has involved spending some time with both myself and my loved ones as our summer unrolls.

The month witnessed me make some naughty purchases with a new camera purchase, the Samsung NX3000, which is very different to the standard cameras I have previously owned but I'm loving playing around with it. I purchased our first piece of home ware for our new home, some cute and totally unnecessary heart shaped serving bowls and I made a rare venture into TKMaxx at a new local branch, leaving with the most beautiful notebooks and a Mario Valentino bag, oops. Also, with a bikini body in mind, I signed up to a new gym in June and have a new found love for spinning classes. Another highlight of June was my good friends returning home for the summer from uni, the first thing on the agenda was to meet one of them for some pub grub and a catch up later followed by a fun day of holiday shopping with two of my girls, planning our Barcelona trip and refueling over a burger and milkshake from the Fat Hippo Underground. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed it, the burger and fries were really good for a relaxed lunch stop and the chocolate milkshake had me craving for weeks.

Lee celebrated his 20th birthday in June. The day began with a McDonald's breakfast before a drive to Kielder for another long, relaxing bike ride, this time stopping at a pretty lakeside restaurant for a tasty burger to top up our energy levels for the cycle back. If there's any excuse to eat a lot of bad food, a birthday is definitely one so we chilled for the night with some Ben and Jerry's and a rather large takeaway. On another occasion, our friend made us a delicious homemade curry one night, so we chilled with drinks and Netflix and many laughs were had at another of our friends new homes as we watched the boys attempting to put together flat pack furniture, I can confirm, it wasn't a smooth process. Later in the month we met their gorgeous baby girl, it's amazing/totally scary how fast we have grown up. At the end of June me and two friends jetted off to Barcelona for some exploring and relaxation, dedicated post to follow.

I hope you had a lovely month of June.
Rachael x
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