July 10, 2015

Best Weekend Getaway From Barcelona

When I started planning this trip a mere couple weeks before the trip, little did I know it would end up being the best weekend for the hubby and I since we moved back to Barcelona a year and a half ago. This may sound a bit exaggerated but belive me when I say it's not at all. When I think about it, I find it almost unbealievable that being a Catalan I had never visited any of the places we went to last weekend. Oh well, the hubby, Liam and I got to discover the whole lot together!

I hope my description of this getaway will be detailed enough for you to do it if you feel like it, if you have any question do not hesitate to write a comment or drop me an email! 

Our weekend getaway started on Saturday morning, we left home by car a bit after 8AM and arrived to Figueres before 10AM. We had booked our tickets for the Dalí Theatre-Museum for 11AM, since we heard there were some longs queues to buy tickets during the peak season. The tickets for both the museum and the Jewel Collection were 12€ each {Liam for free}. 

The museum was really something. I always thought by seeing Dalí's mustache that he was very probably a bit crazy, and his museum confirmed it. It is an amazing surrealist work filled with art that challenge once perception of reality.

I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream. - Salvador Dalí

We absolutely loved the museum. We were done with the visit in about an hour and half, and then went over to the Jewel Collection, which was another area dedicated to jewels Salvador Dalí had designed. I personally didn't like this as much as the museum and thought it could be skipped, but I know some people like this even better than the museum, so just buy the 12€ entrance ticket and check out by yourselves :)

Next on our plan was lunch at Restaurant L'Ou D'Or. I had done my research online about restaurants in Figueres and I'm so glad I did, because I couldn't recommend this restaurant enough. The venue may seem uninviting from the outside, but once inside, a glass-covered terrace unfolds and it's just perfect. This is not the reason we went there though, the main reason was superb food and really good price {a Saturday lunch set for 15€!}. We enjoyed a delicious Catalan cuisine meal with entrée, main course, dessert and drinks, and the hubby and I couldn't stop saying how this was an "Olivia's choice". We like to say something is an "Olivia's choice" when it's something I chose and the result has been a very good choice :p

After that we were off to El Port de la Selva, the loveliest coast town ever. When I first starting planning this trip, I actually wanted to sleep in Cadaqués, but everything was full there by the time I checked, so we booked here instead, and I'm so glad we did!

We booked a hostel here basically because it was the only thing available we saw on booking.com. It didn't look that good so our expectations were not high, but the truth is when we got there, we were welcomed by amazing sea views from the terrace of our room! The hostel was Hostal German and we only paid 52€ for our stay, so price-quality wise, we can't complain =D 

Last weekend, during our trip, took place the biggest heat wave northern Catalonia has seen in more than a decade, and guess what, our room didn't hace AC!!! At 2AM, unable to sleep, Jeff said that hostel was not an Olivia's choice after all haha, oh well.

Between the towns of El Port de la Selva and Cadaqués, stands Cap de Creus, the most amazing Natural Park in Catalonia, with perfect beaches, roads for hiking, and just filled with breath-taking beauty. 

We went to Cala Tamariua, the first beach at the beginning of Cap de Creus next to El Port de la Selva, and we absolutely LOVED it. The water was cold and I didn't dare swimming despite the heat, though! The water was deep blue, who knew these dream beaches existed so close from home!

The beach was not only beautiful because of the sea, but also because of Cap de Creus standing right behind it. While laying on the beach, with Cap de Creus at the back, and a clear water sea at the front, I felt like nothing could ever be more beautiful!

That night we had dinner at Racó de Mar. I hadn't done any research for that, so we just went in because the food we saw looked yummy, and yummy it was! They serve simple but delicious tapas, we had another great meal! :)

On Sunday we went to Cadaqués. I had planned to just walk around the city, but the heat was so intense, we ended up at the beach. There's lots of little beaches in the town, and we went to the beach of Hotel Llané Petit, which was good enough to cool down for a bit.

We absolutely loved Cadaqués. It's a gorgeous coast town all in white, Greek style, filled with little alleys and several beaches that we loved getting to explore!

If you've never been to Alt Empordà {that's how this region is called!}, then I can't recommend you this trip enough! No wonder it was our best weekend in such a long time, right?!

July 2, 2015

Sant Joan and Kinfolk discovery

Last week we had a public holiday on Wednesday for Sant Joan {Saint John's feast day} on June 24th, which marks the summer solstice as well. It is customary on the night of June 23rd to light fireworks and enjoy the shortest night of the year with bonfires at the beach. Truth be told, I wasn't very looking forward to the fireworks this year, seeing how Liam was so little and I was worried he might get scared! In the end we didn't hear much noise from out summer house, so Liam fell asleep pretty early and wasn't woken up at all. I myself didn't take part in any activity involving bonfires or firecrackers, we stayed in with my brother and the hubby watching a movie and by the time we finished everything was over, ha! 

I loved having the chance to allow myself some well deserved rest in the middle of the week, it changes everything! Also, I finally got the chance to fully unwind and get some quality time reading Kinfolk magazine. What an amazing discovery this was!

I had been seeing people raving about Kinfolk magazine for too long already, so when I saw their new issue had just come out, I rushed to get a copy for myself. Oh boy, I wasn't disappointed! In fact, I was ecstatic! Kinfolk is the best magazine I have ever laid my eyes upon. And I do read a lot! It's a lifestyle publication that promotes slow life in a holistic way, that meaning, in each and every aspect of your life. Hence, they talk about work, family, community, decoration, architecture, but also, food, photography and travels, it's just so very complete! This issue is all about essentialism, or how to prioritize by leaving all clutter behind and focusing solely on what really matters. I couldn't recomment the magazine enough, I'm even thiking about buying the older issues if they're available! Kinfolk is a quarterly magazine, and you can read some of their articles on their websiteI realized this all sounded like I was paid to brag about Kinfolk, but God save me, I was not! I simply truly love it :)

We set up the pool for Liam for the first time and he absolutely loved it. He was super cheerful, laughing while splashing around, a heart-melting sight for his mama, papa and grandparents! <3

This coming weekend will be special too, because we're going on a weekend getaway to northern Catalonia {Alt Empordà}: Figueres {Dalí Museum!}, Port de la Selva, Cap de creus and Cadaqués. Make sure to follow me on Snapchat @oliviaschoice because I'll be sharing most of our trip with you guys! I can't wait!!!