Driving Through the Most Diverse Destination – Spain
Posted by Avis on July 18, 2018|
A honeymoon is something every newly wedded couple looks forward to the moment they get married. It gives their new life some sort of kickstart as they travel to new places in each other’s company and going on a self-drive road trip is indeed a great idea. Not only it gives you the privacy while commuting but also makes the journey more adventure driven. Read on to know Arjun and his beloved wife’s travel account.
Image source: arzotravels
Contributed by Avis Travellers, Arjun & Himani
With the 5 years of togetherness, our craving of travelling together was finally getting fulfilled, what I’ve realized, no matter how much you know a person, you best connect when you’re travelling together, that’s when you not only explore the places, you explore each other’s personalities. Our destination was quite clear, the mystical SPAIN, although Greece was a close contender, we decided to explore the mesmerizing Spain, having the best beaches, nightlife, history, and culture, it was a memoir! wasting no more time, join me on the journey through Spain’s incredible cities, beauty, beaches, restaurants, markets, nightlife, islands and beyond.
To begin with, our destinations were Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid, we were determined to cover as much as we can in the 8 days that we spend in this incredible country. While planning the travel, we were in the dilemma of deciding our travel mode. I came across AVIS Car Rental Services – let’s just call it “SAVIOR” from now on. I quickly hopped on the website, only to find out AVIS RENTAL SERVICES has a worldwide range and is the best car rental in Spain. Almost everywhere you can find Savior carriage services. Keeping in mind our extensive travel, getting behind the wheels was the best solution.
We landed in Barcelona on May 16th at 3:00 PM, quickly dropped luggage at the hotel, without wasting any further time searched for a car rental in Barcelona and got out to explore the city. The excitement fuelling within was boosted by the energy of the people. While the sun sets at 10:00 PM, the city gets alive by the night !! we decided to explore the local markets and the nightlife. Also until unless you don’t have your own set of wheels don’t use TAXIS, not because it’s expensive, you would be missing out on so much happening on the streets, WALK !!! as much as you can. Any place would be just a few blocks away. Splendid and Fast metro system. The clubs roll in at 12:00 am and the party goes on till dawn!! After nearly 3 hours of clubbing, we decided to call it a night, so that we are up and alive for the next day sighting.
DAY TWO- After having breakfast in our cute little balcony on a beautiful sunrise, our agenda was to cover the city as much possible. We reached the AVIS CAR RENTAL STATION, despite the language barrier and first time signing up, clocking the time, it took us only ten minutes to meet the friendly representative and get behind the wheels.
Arjun is a CHELSEA FAN, need I say any more about what was our first destination, CAMP NOU STADIUM. Honestly, I was a bit sceptical, but if I have to define that stadium in one word, it was ASTOUNDING. The digital display and the museum were intriguing; it was like walking into a timeline from 1954, the year of inception. While you walk, you can see exactly what it would be like from the players and managers point of view which adds a whole new dimension to your experience. You can walk through the players changing room, the FC chapel and the press room. Then you come to Players’ tunnel to the pitch and I could see Arjun running his eyes full of excitement. It is an opportunity to feel how the players feel as they run up onto the pitch before a big game. After spending 4 hours at Camp Nou, I can only say, you cannot miss coming to the stadium, if you’re not a football fan, you might just become one.
After the thrilling experience, we headed to LA SAGRADA FAMILIA CHURCH, the construction of this holy family church began in 1882 and is still incomplete, let’s just say however I define the beauty of this church, my words would also be incomplete. Facing setbacks of vandalism, progress on construction has faced a few setbacks over the past 130+ years. We both stood there and gazed it while rummaging through the history in our minds.
With the glimpses of it still in our minds, we drove down to the LAS RAMBLAS STREET, it was time to explore the markets, the local streets, the vibrant culture and the authentic food! Arjun dug right into Paella (the most authentic dish of Spain, seafood served on a bed of rice), I enjoyed my Tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) and a glass of wine to the sunset! After binging, we walked around the street., I was lured by the life on that street, it was effervescent!
We headed straight to THE GOTHIC QUARTERS, adjacent to the Las Ramblas street, the gothic quarters are the ruins of the Roman village and thus has some remnants of its glorious past. The beauty of it has been restored in such a way that it blends the old and new culture, there is something bewitching about this place. The night-life in the Gothic Quarter is lively, to say the least, and you will always find somewhere to have a drink or a dance, so we were in the right place at the right time. We ended up at a cute little café STORY CAFÉ, sipped on our sangrias, chatted with locals, headed back to our hotel, as we had to leave early morning for COSTA BRAVA. We couldn’t believe how much we had covered in a day, all thanks to our SAVIOR Chariot!
DAY 3- We left for Costa Brava, a drive of 3.5 hours. While the car grazed through, the beauty unfolded, ALSO I hardly blinked because not even a moment I could take to miss the view. Quick note, you could not have experienced this view through any other mode, not even Eurorail, wheels are actually what you need.
We headed to the Sa Caleta, Lloret de Mar beach, one of the most gorgeous beaches with an unspoiled stretch. After enjoying the blue sea and getting our European Tan;),
we headed towards Girona, this town offers many opportunities to pleasurably get lost and observe local life and culture. Also, we being huge Game of Thrones fans, Girona was one of the prime locations where the episodes were staged. The steps of the famous Cathedral and Pujada de Sant Domènec, where shots from Season 6 were taken.
Of course, you cannot expect the same view you see in Game of Thrones, as they are radically enhanced. We walked through the streets reaching the Plaza de la Independencia where you could see a sculpture in the centre of the Square which is the first of memorials dedicated to the heroes of the sieges and defenders of Girona. Surrounded by buildings, this place is compact and quaint, full of cafes. We decided to rest our feet, to enjoy a meal. After leaving at 11:00 PM from Girona, we slept with the thoughts of the day that we had had.
DAY 4- last day in Barcelona !! early morning we were at the PARK GUELL, commissioned by Eusebi Güell who envisioned a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. This Park is not a regular park, this park dawns amazing stone structure and fascinating buildings. Dragon fountain at the entrance is adorned with beautiful coloured tiling and there is something rather hypnotic and magical about it. Since we didn’t have much time, we quickly strolled on the walkway supported by twisting rock pillars, reached the top from where we got a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City.
For fun sake, we both raced each other to the metro station, of course, I won since my husband was sweet to carry the maximum load on his back. We couldn’t have left this city without shopping for some souvenirs at the Las Ramblas street. Once again we were caught up in the infectious happy chaos on the filled streets and gothic quarters. After saying “adiós hasta la próxima vez” (goodbye until next time) to Barcelona, we took the euro rail to Seville. We were just one scenic high-speed train 6.5 hours ride away from our next big adventure.
DAY 5- we checked into our hotel at 1:30 am, snoozed as we had an early morning ride to Granada. We reached the AVIS STATION, within a jiffy, we were in our SAVIOR, let me just flaunt a bit !! our beautiful Black BMW 420-D CABRIOLET was awaiting us to jump into. Our 3.5 hours scintillating ride to Granada began. I think I won’t be doing justice to call it a beautiful ride. Let’s just call it a ride through heaven! My Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara vibes were out and I couldn’t help myself humming to those songs and enacting scenes from the movie. This road trip meandered past fields filled with sunflowers, through fairytale towns, seaside cities, and stunning landscapes.
Granada is a jewel to Spain which bestows mighty cathedrals, with spectacular architecture. We reached the Alhambra Palace which is elevated above the bustling city of Granada. This great palace is an incredible place to visit, dawning an intriguing network of stunning rooms, underground tunnels, beautiful pools and fountains, enigmatic carvings and breath-taking gardens. After the charismatic view, we decided to explore the streets, crossing the gypsy quarters, quirky shops and aromatic fresh tea leaves shops we reached the PLAZA NUEVA which is one of the oldest squares, we decided to walk past it to browse the Calla Navas street which has countless shops. You can always hear music on the streets, as on every corner, you can find a musician strumming. It had started raining, and we couldn’t have been happier about it. we came back to Plaza Nueva, sat at an outdoor café, sipped on sangria while eating tapas. After visiting the heritage of Granada, we decided to head back to Seville. At this point, I couldn’t be more thankful to AVIS, having a car gives you more independence and not sticking to a time-bound regime.
DAY 6- Next morning, our 1.5 hours magical drive to Cordoba began. We reached the famous Roman Bridge on the Guadalquivir river, we walked across the bridge to take pictures, Game of Thrones fan alert: this bridge was also featured in its 5th season.
After clicking pictures, we moved to the La Mezquita, a massive mosque with lustrous decor, I believe the most alluring treasure of Cordoba. It has a lovely courtyard, with orange, palm and cypress trees and fountains. We reached Seville around 3:00, how could we have left without watching Flamenco which is a dance form which involves handclapping, foot stomping and poised moves. The rhythmic and upbeat sounds created here was ringing in our ears long after we had left. It was time to explore Seville. We had parked the car at the designated parking on the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a neighbourhood full of life. There is a picturesque area where you can wander along the streets, with GELATO in your hand, stop for a drink at one of the innumerable outdoor cafes, shop at artisan stores, This barrio is alive night and day with many bars, churches, shops and musicians. Once we had enjoyed the beauty of the barrio, we moved to the Cathedral and the Giralda Tower which are adjacent to each other. Another stunning Church, with astounding architecture which shows off the city’s cultural wealth. The Giralda tower is a simple yet so defined structure. Around this tower, you can find many horse ride carriages. While walking we were pulled by fresh coco fragrance from one of the shops where you can see fresh chocolates being made. We couldn’t control from bingeing and buying goodies. The whole day we spent around walking the streets, finally, in the night we decided to sit back and relax at a local bar.
I think renting the car from AVIS was the best thing that we did in Barcelona and Saville, the ease and the independence, the flexibility and the fun that it provided was unmatched. Having a global reach, I look forward to renting a car from AVIS on my next travel.
DAY 7 and 8 – Next day we left for Madrid, the capital city of Spain, from the easy slow pace life of Seville, we moved up to the hustle bustle of Madrid. We checked into our hotel, got ourselves a car rental in Madrid. Our hotel was quite centrally placed, we walked up to the plaza of Madrid, it’s like the time square of NewYork, I was determined to shop in Madrid, we walked around, grabbed a bite and there it was !! PRIMARK. One of the largest store ever. With 5 floors wandering and 5 hours later, I and my husband walked back wondering about our luggage weight. After leaving the bags in the hotel, walked back to the plaza, sat there and enjoyed the madness on the square. We had decided to experience the nightlife of Madrid. After hopping bars and endless dancing, we slept looking forward to the last day in Spain. next day we walked around the plaza walking past PLAZA MAYOR and the PALACE of Madrid since my shopping vibes were unleashed I couldn’t stop myself at the local shops. The bear hugging a tree statue at the main plaza is the landmark of Madrid. After clicking innumerable pictures, chattering and drinking wine, we headed back to the hotel with happy memories of Spain.
If I have to sum up the Spanish perspective — move slowly, enjoy yourself, eat well, and relax. This country is a beautiful blend of interesting people, diverse culture, artistic architecture, scenic beauty, dynamism with a lot of regional uniqueness and variety. You can never get enough as this country offers so much diversity. While Barcelona is a blend of the passionate culture and zeal, Madrid is the energetic city, Seville and Granada will offer you historical beauty and artistic culture. If you’re travelling to Europe, make sure you choose Spain as one of the destinations, because this country will stay with you forever.