Even though it was “just a park”, I would say that walking through Parc de la Ciutadella and just taking in the sights and sounds of all that was going around me was hands down my favorite part of my Barcelona day visit.
I felt genuinely happy and at peace. It was as if time stood still, and this perfect afternoon existed for me to enjoy.
I may have been soaking in all of this serenity on my own (female solo traveler, heyyy), but I felt like I had struck gold in terms of having “properly toured” Barcelona.
I mean, the lush, green courtyard was full of gems…ahh, just typing this up makes me want to go back…
I definitely selfie-d here, haha:
As I continued walking, I didn’t want to leave the idyllic park, but the Gothic Quarter was just a few blocks away and was calling to me.
Oh, and the beauty just continued:
I didn’t get to the beachy side of Barceloneta, but I did get in some gorgeous views of a marine dock.
It was late afternoon by the time I got to the dock, and since I was running low on my phone battery, I thought it would be best to head home and charge up before getting dinner later on that evening.
When I did head out for dinner, Vegetalia in the Gothic Quarter was my destination, so pretty much the area was in just before. I took a bus again, and used Google Maps to navigate my way through some alleyways lined with shops and cafes. It was 6pm, and the hip neighborhood was starting to grow in crowds.
I waked past Vegetalia for a few blocks, but eventually found it tucked away surrounding a giant outdoor seating area.
I read before leaving for Spain that Barcelona has a bunch of cool vegan-friendly places to check out. Vegetalia stuck out to me the most since I saw it made quite a few appearances on Instagram. Especially for their paella…
It wasn’t too crowded, but their were other tourists around as well. A German couple sat in front of me, at least based on what I could tell from their conversation. In order to avoid mispronouncing anything and embarrasing myself, I simply pointed to “Paella vegetal de arroz integral” when the waited came by my table.
It only took like 15 minutes or so before a hot, steaming pan filled with bubbling rice and veggies (including artichoke hearts!) arrived at my table. Because it was so hot temperature-wise, I took the time to savor each bite and the flavors.
After my meal, I slowly walked back through the alleyways to the bus stop I got off at. The sun was setting and people were stirring about. It was a Saturday night the crowds outside were definitely warming up for some night adventure. I didn’t mind heading back to home base though, since I did want to get a run in the morning before leaving for Sitges in the afternoon.
I had heard about the La Merce 5k/10k run that was going on, but I wasn’t able to register in time. Part of me wanted to just show up at the race start and see if I could still participate, but I decided to just go with the flow and worry about it in the morning.
Have you ever visited Spain? Barcelona?