Barcelona Beauty: Jim & Lynn Explore Gaudi’s City

BOOM! Holidays Barcelona City break winners, Jim and Lynn certainly made the most of their trip to Spain – we’re not sure that anyone could have fitted in much more exploring. We’re delighted that they took so many pictures and videos that we can share – it almost feels like we went along for the ride…

Private Transfer, Anyone…?

Their trip started as every luxury holiday should – with a personal driver for the ride from home to the airport. BOOM! Holidays mission is to send our winners on holidays that make them feel a million dollars – and this should, naturally, begin with a private transfer from your door.

Bye Bye Blighty – Hello Barcelona

Before they knew it, they were waving goodbye to the green grass of home from their aircraft seats, touching down in Barcelona a mere couple of hours later. Again, a private hotel transfer meant they were checking into their room in the shortest time possible.

We hand-select our winner’s accommodation for every BOOM! Holiday. The 4-star INNsIDE Apolo in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter not only guaranteed comfort, but also provided the perfect location. Every moment on your travels is precious, therefore we only use hotels/villas etc that are sited close to the action. For Jim and Lynn, this meant that they were only steps away from Barcelona’s most famous street – Las Ramblas – and they were able to easily walk or take public transport to all of the must-see sites, including:

  • Sagrada Familia: Gaudi’s iconic cathedral.
  • The Olympic Stadium: Home to the 1992 games.
  • Nou Camp Football Stadium: One of the most famous grounds on the planet!
  • Port Vell: The harbour overlooked by the famous Columbus Monument.
  • Montjuic Park and cable car: For the best panoramic views of the city.
  • La Pedrera – Casa Mila: Another architectural work of art by Gaudi.

 

The Perfect City Break Location

After a quick freshen-up, our winners were keen to get out and explore. They soon realised what a prime site they were staying in, with the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas on their doorstep. That first day was a whirlwind of delicious Spanish food, the odd Aperol Spritz and Estrella Damn, seeing the sites in the immediate vicinity and – of course – simply sitting, people watching and enjoying being part of the general buzz.

With their comfortable room with private facilities and all mod cons only minutes away, the hotel location struck the perfect balance between convenience and the chance to relax in luxury.

Las Ramblas by Day

Las Ramblas is an addictive place, no matter when you visit. The boulevard runs through the centre of the city, providing a three-quarter mile (1.2km) walkway that runs from the Plaza Catalunya to Port Vell. Mainly pedestrianised, the street’s location invites visitors to stroll its wide passage, pausing multiple times to perhaps grab a coffee, refuel with some tapas, visit one of the museums or simply while away some time seated beneath a shady palm tree and watch the world go by.

Buskers, singers and entertainers intersperse the constant throng of tourists and locals. Jim and Lynn made every minute count, enjoying the balmy 25-degree sunshine before the sun dipped below the horizon and the night owls came out to play.

Las Ramblas by Night

The area is no less enchanting by night. In similarity to every city and town across the world, while the street draws visitors looking for all kinds of entertainment tourists can enjoy open-air singers and entertainers, al fresco dining, cosy bars and all manner of food on offer.

When they shared their videos and pictures with us on their return, we were amazed by Jim and Lynn’s stamina. But after a full day of travel and adventure, we’re sure they were relieved when the time came to head back to the hotel. With soundproofing and luxurious cotton linen, their room was the perfect place to recharge the batteries ready for whatever adventures the next day was to bring.

(Almost) No Metro Mayhem…

While Barcelona is a fabulous city to traverse on foot, the clean, fast and safe Metro offers an easy way for visitors to get around. The lines are colour-coded, and even without much Spanish our intrepid pair only managed to get on the wrong train once! All part of the fun when travelling…

First stop was what has to be the number one attraction in Barcelona – Sagrada Familia. Referred to as Gaudi’s Unfinished Masterpiece, the cathedral was less than a quarter complete when the architect met his untimely end in 1926. Since then, the city’s finest designers have been doing their utmost to realise his vision – and the building remains semi-clad in scaffolding as work continues to this day.

As they emerged from the gloom of the Metro, Jim and Lynn gasped at the enormity and closeness of the impressive building towering into the sky. However, when they tried to buy tickets, they found out that the only way to purchase them was online.

Thank goodness for mobile internet. But when they logged on, they found out that all the English-speaking tours were sold out – and there weren’t any available until after they were due to fly home. But never fear… This is a couple that obviously views a bump in the road not as a problem, but as a challenge to be solved,

No Tickets? No Problem

So… Instead, they booked a tour in Catalan for the next day and simply downloaded an app audio guide in English. With their headphones in place, they got the best of both worlds – a guide to show them around and all the info in a language they could understand.

Even though they had to wait another day to discover the inside of the cathedral, the entrepreneurial pair weren’t phased. Not ones to waste any time, they tagged onto the back of another tour group to get some inside information about the rest of the Sagrada Familia area.

From the Cathedral to the Ocean

As previously mentioned, the city is a great place to walk. Dressed appropriately for the gorgeous weather in shorts, t-shirts and trainers, Jim and Lynn spent many delightful hours wandering all the way to the port. Here, boats of all sizes made for a pleasant backdrop – and, no doubt, the odd thought about whether they’d buy a superyacht if they won the lottery (after all, they’re on a roll with their BOOM! Holidays scoop!).

They also found the impressive Banksy Museum. Here, more than 130 works of art from the world’s most famous street artists are on display.

Other delights that they stumbled upon included parks with ornate buildings, open spaces, fountains and lakes, chic cafes nestled below shadow-casting buildings (the perfect watering hole for a caffeine fix – or a beer – they were on holiday, after all), street artists, dancers and singers of all genres. They were even serenaded by a choir!

All of this, forever overlooked by the omnipresent spires of Sagrada Familia that peer above the narrow streets and pop in and out of view like a constantly vigilant guardian angel.

Thank You BOOM! Holidays

Of course, even the best of trips has to eventually come to an end. Again, we ensure that our winners travel home in style, repeating the private transportation to the airport and back home.

Jim and Lynn had a ball… And they couldn’t thank BOOM! Holidays enough for their prize. For us, seeing their videos and photos was rewarding enough, and we can’t wait to send more families and couples on amazing holidays.

It’s so easy to enter. All you need to do is visit the Live Draw page on our website and choose the ticket bundle for your dream destination (don’t forget to add the upgrades).

There are so many amazing holidays to choose from, including:

  • Orlando
  • California
  • Maldives
  • Australia
  • Paris
  • A Caribbean cruise

Or, if you can’t decide, then it’s easy! You just need to buy the BOOM! Bundle for entry into all the draws.

And then… Be sure to follow us on social media and we’ll see you live on Facebook for our next holiday draw.

And maybe – just maybe – we’ll be surprising you, just like we did for Jim and Lynn – and sending you and your loved ones on the holiday of a lifetime.

So… What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets now and….

Good luck!