I’ve never been on holiday in September before. Usually I’ll have been working my toosh off in school, getting settled back into the routine but because this year “school” didn’t start till 19th September, four of my friends and I sashayed off to Spain.

Well we flew, we didn’t sashay.

I’ve never been to mainland Spain before (I’ve been to Mallorca once) and I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did. I knew I’d enjoy the company (obv), the sunshine (obv) and the break from real life (obv) but I didn’t think I’d actually like Spain as much as I did.

The lifestyle is super chill and the mornings weren’t the earliest which is a welcome change and they also do the siesta shenanigans when the sun is at it’s highest. Supermarkets in Salou didn’t open till around nine which was a big change from the UK. Salou is a very tourist-y resort which suited us fine but next time I go I would like to stay in a less tourist-orientated place and live a more Spanish lifestyle whilst I’m there.

Our apartment was something I was very pleasantly surprised by, it was in quite a good location, not too far away from the main attractions but far enough away that it was quiet. It slept six and Ali and I shared the bedroom so we had plenty of room for all of our stuff. Plus she snored the duration of the trip so that was nice and fun? My favourite thing about apartments abroad is balconies. Our one was quite large and you could access it from both the bedroom and the living room so that was pretty lush. It was a great place for drinking and playing cards in the evening, reading in the morning and storing unnecessary items such as a the inflatable pineapple and turtle.

Most days we chilled at the beach, having pastries from the supermarkets (there was like a zillion mini supermarkets in Salou) for breakfast in the morning and sandwiches on the beach, we sunbathed, read, played in the sea and went for walks. I read two super books whilst in Spain, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and The Shakespeare Secret by J. L. Carrell. Both were smashing reads and I’ll be talking more about them later in the month so look out for them!

The sea was lovely and warm and it appears I have gotten over my fear of the ocean from the Bahamas. We also rented out pedal boats twice during the week, the first time for Ali and Lewis’ birthday and the second time as a treat on our last day. They are really fun but it was annoying how they kept floating back towards shore as we would almost take out about ten swimmers if someone wasn’t watching it, cue angry looks from angry Spanish holiday-makers. Getting pedal boats is such a cheap and fun thing to do on holiday and makes your day at the beach a lil bit more exciting.

We also went to Port Aventura’s waterpark on the Wednesday which was lots of fun. I’ve never been to a waterpark outwith the UK before so it was nice to come out of the water and not be die of frostbite. The lazy river was super chill and there was lots of floats in it so you could just totally relax instead of throwing shade at the chaotic children on the biggest family holiday ever when they scramble past you and “steal” your float. My favourite ride was one where you all went down in one giant doughnut so we could do it all together. We also tried to get a picture of this about five times and still we didn’t succeed. Next time I visit this part of Spain I’d like to go to the theme park instead as it’s about 3x the size and looked pretty cool. The whole day here cost 30  euros and we were there from before 10 (which is before it even opened cos keen beans over here) till 5ish so we really got our monies worth!

Even though we were in Spain, I didn’t even eat paella and I am *quite* ashamed of myself for that. I had tapas once but the best food we had was a curry on our second night. On our final night we also went to a Chinese restaurant where it was basically all you can eat and drink for 19 euros which we took full advantage of. I drank a lot of sangria that night. I can’t remember the exact name of this restaurant but it was off one of the slip streets off the main street but FIND IT if you go to Salou. The staff were lovely and the food was really nice too.

The highlight of my trip was Barcelona. Ali and I went on Thursday and after finally managing to catch a bus, we arrived in Barcelona at about half eleven. Gathering our bearings we headed off in search of La Sagrada Familia for some pictures. We didn’t go in as the queue was huge and we didn’t have that long but next time I visit Barcelona, I’ll definitely go inside. We then searched for La Ramblas but got a bit lost and ended up going on a huge detour but I didn’t mind as we got to see the Arc de Triumph and tootled along lots of little side streets, stopping for some tapas for lunch.

Eventually we found La Ramblas which is tourist tat heaven and stumbled across the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria by complete accident which was heaven on earth. I love indoor markets, that’s something about me I’ve discovered this summer. We strolled around taking in all the food and atmosphere and I could spend a fortune there sampling all the food. Whilst in Barcelona we also nosied in the shops, especially Zara, Pull & Bear and Sephora. This was the swankiest Sephora I have ever been in and it makes my heart ache they aren’t in the UK. I treated myself to a Kat Von D tattoo eye-liner which my bank balance could have done without but YOLO ON HOLIDAY. Barcelona was a beautiful city and I would kill to go back so I’m probably going to go and look at flights on SkyScanner after this.

It was a beautiful week in the sunshine and really chilled out. I feel very relaxed and ready for university to start again. Spain was lovely and it is definitely on my to-visit list again!

I know I haven’t given Barcelona the gushing it deserves but do not fear, I’m going to be rambling a whole lot more about this beautiful city later in the week!

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