The lovely thing about France is that it is surrounded by a number of Western European countries, including Spain, which is where I have spent the past week, first in Barcelona and then in Lloret de Mar, attending the awesome TBEX conference. As mentioned in my last post, Barcelona is just a quick train ride from Paris and while some might not be admirers of the architecture by Antoni Gaudi, one cannot dismiss the impact his style has had on the city. It has taken me years to visit this city and I am glad I made the side-trip.
Here are some reasons (there are a ton) to visit Barcelona:
-People of Spain are super-friendly
-Sagrada Familia: a large Roman Catholic church that is also a UNESCO World Heritge Site designed by Gaudi. I personally preferred the inside of Sagrada Familia to the outside. I just couldn’t get my head around the design. They started construction in 1883 and are STILL working on it. They hope to finish by 2026 and many are concerned about its stability due to the high-speed train that could run under it.
-Park Guell: one of the major works by Gaudi. Has some very interesting monuments within the large park.
-Transit system is clean and user-friendly. There are many lines and the 9.95 Euro pass is a deal giving you 10 trips on the subway or bus. I used it all the time.
-Food and wine. Tapas reign supreme and the La Boqueria market is outstanding for a meal.
-Prices. Even though the Euro was low, compared to the Canadian and US dollars, prices were still very reasonable. Your Euro goes far in Spain
-Weather. Sunny. Warm. Glorious…especially in April/May
TBEX in Lloret de Mar
I attended the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference in Lloret de Mar, just north of Barcelona and 1.5 hours south of Perpignan. Lloret de Mar has a beautiful beach and I was one of many blogger newbies attending.
I was WOWED by the conference, beginning with the Opening Night Party at Santa Cristina Beach where food and wine/champagne stations where plenty and we (600) indulged in delicacies such as fresh sardines, scampi, strawberry and basil sorbet (my fav) and local cheeses and meats. We were also entertained by the creation of a “human pyramid”. Not sure what else to call them. The Sangria party sponsored by TripAdvisor the next night, and the food at break time and lunch were out of this world. So much fresh fish and wine!
I met a lot of wonderful bloggers and company reps and the workshops in the following two days were very helpful in my journey as a blogger.
I was thoroughly impressed with TBEX and will be sure to attend another in the future. I have made solid connections with some bloggers and company reps and I look forward to keeping in touch with them.