[ Chill Journey ] Awesome trip to Spain; Madrid-Barcelona written by Chill Journey

This trip happens when I have been invited to travel to "Spain" by Qatar Airways and Spain tourism board as "Online Media Representative" which I am willing to go. Remarks: - I will provide the metro travel information in this review for those who travel by themselves can follow the review

[ Chill Journey ] Awesome trip to Spain; Madrid-Barcelona

[ Chill Journey ] Awesome trip to Spain; Madrid-Barcelona

 Thursday, August 13, 2015 9:27 AM

 Travel date:  Thursday, August 13, 2015

This trip happens when I have been invited to travel to "Spain" by Qatar Airways and Spain tourism board as "Online Media Representative" which I am willing to go.

Remarks:

- I will provide the metro travel information in this review for those who travel by themselves can follow the review route.

- This review will focus on travelling in Spain first, as for traveling in Business Qatar and Michelin restaurant will be separated the other chapter.

You guys can talk, follow, chat or make an inquiry with me, a officer guy who dream to travel around the world at http://www.facebook.com/ChillJourney

Where is Spain in the map? A question that most people might doubt and the answer is that Spain is located in Europe. Or make it easier, Spain is located below France. However, Thai people often overlook this country and traveling just only France-Swiss-Italy (including myself LOL)

Handy information before travel to Spain

-Spain is in Schengen Area, therefore, Schengen visa has to be applied like those in Europe countries.

-Capital city of Spain is Madrid.

-Spain people mainly use Spain language but most people that I have encountered can also speak English.

-There will be English language indicated along the metro line and public transportation, no need to worry about that.

-The metro in Madrid and Barcelona is rather awesome; you guys should take a metro ride.

-Lunch is the main meal of Spain people; they will eat lunch in full course but will have light meal for the dinner.

-You guys should travel to Spain beach as it is pretty cool, trust me.

-You guys could reserve the train ticket at www.renfe.com and if you make a reservation in advance, you can get a promotion price which is cheaper than the normal price around 20-30%

-Spain is a great shopping spot as Tax refund of Spain is among the top level in Europe at 15.7%.

-Barcelona is the city that I fall in love with; you guys should travel to the city, I highly recommend.

Itinerary - July 2015, a 6 days short trip but full of the quality, the itinerary plan is as follow:

Day1 – BKK - Madrid

Day2 - Madrid

Day3 – Take a train to Barcelona

Day4 – Barcelona City tour

Day5 – Barcelona ( Camp nu & shopping La Roca Village )

Day6 – Barcelona half day and fly back to Thailand

*Highlight of this trip is at Barcelona so you guys should read to an end ^^

Day1 BKK-Doha-Madrid

Start the trip by meeting at Suvarnabhumi airport and flying to Madrid, the capital city of Spain with Qatar Airways. You could start your journey from either Bangkok or Phuket with Qatar Airways. All flight will be transit and spend sometimes shopping at Doha city then continue to fly to more than hundred destinations all over the world. The flight timetable is rather frequent, for more information please visit http://www.qatarairways.com.

From the hard seat of Economy class, my life is getting better this time with Business class; however, I could fly in Business class until to Doha city. After that I was pushed from the heaven to Economy class once again to Madrid LoL.

It is my first time on Business class, I feel really excited that I'm at a loss. I must say thank you to the air hostess for helping and introducing many things to me. The food is great and pretty delicious; the seat can adjustable to 180 degrees. Everything is awesome! I understand now why rich people like to fly in Business class; I would say if I have much more money, I will choose to fly Business class as well.

It takes approximately 6 hours to Hamad International Airport, Doha city. It is a new airport at the present; this place is huge and astonishing that I feel stunned. One thing that should not miss out when visiting this airport is take a photo of cute huge bear.

Later Qatar Airways staff takes us to tour the airport in the side of Business class lounge. I have post some of the photos to show how gorgeous this place is and for more luxurious story, please follow in my next chapter.

From Doha airport, we continue to travel on our flight approximately 7 hours, and then we arrive at Madrid city, the capital of Spain. My first impression of this airport is baggage claim area; it looks strange but also astonishing. ^^

It is afternoon now, we take the bus that Spain Tourism Board has arranged for us to have lunch at the world's oldest restaurant.

Remark: For those who travel by yourselves, from the airport you could take either metro or train to get into the city. ^^

El Botin (Oldest Restaurant in the World)

Metro Station - Opera / SOL ( near Plaza Mayor )

The restaurant is not huge; it is around 2 row houses. We have seat at underground, giving the feeling like we are in the cave.


The recommended dish of this place is Roasted Pork and Lamp. Do not surprise with the photo of the dish as they will bring a whole lot of food first and then put the food in each plates according to the order. Apart from the world's oldest legend restaurant, the food is quite superb (The quantity is also a lot, I think one dish for two people is quite adequate) I eat Roasted Pork and finish the meal with the dessert by ordering the recommended dessert of the restaurant which is "White Chocolate Cheese Cake" It tastes delicious. Just only first meal and I already feel impressive.

After the meal, it's time to sleep, No!!!! Hahaha. It's time for check-in at the hotel. For two nights in Madrid, we will stay at We Are Chamartin Hotel; the hotel is located at a little suburb area. I take the metro back from the city; it takes approximately 20 minutes ride.

The good point of this hotel is the location that closes to the metro and train. Moreover, the hotel is clean and comfy with the delicious breakfast. The room costs around 2000 THB, I think it is a reasonable price.

Metro Station – Chamartin , site : http://www.hotelchamartin.com/EN/hotel.html

The organizer gives us the check-in time for around one hour. When I finish with my baggage, I go out to explore the surrounding of the hotel to find the way for traveling by myself after the tour program finishes like the backpacker like to do. I find that the hotel is located next to the metro as well as the train station. See you in a while, Madrid!


First day, we have dinner at "Platea" Metro : Serrano , Site : http://www.plateamadrid.com/

For me, I will define this place equally to the orchestra which is numerous of foods for selection including the alcohol as well. The ambience is superb, suitable to take the love one for dinner, sipping wine and listen to the song together. One thing that adds up my impression to this place is the design, even though this place has fifth floors but even the ground floor area also has the airy atmosphere and could clearly watch the singer and listen to the music not different from other floors.

If you have someone to take for dinner together here, it would be such a romantic scene.

Spain people generally eat light meal for dinner such as Tapas (alike hors'oeuvre bread). After done with our dinner, we eat the lovely dessert for put on some fatty before sleep. And this is our first day trip here; eat-sleep-eat, life is good.

Day2 City tour Madrid

Day 2, we will break through in traveling in Madrid city. The starting point that everyone often comes to start a Madrid trip is Plaza Mayor. For those who take the metro, you can get off at SOL station.

Upon arriving, I would recommend you guys to visit Royal Palace of Madrid first as there will be a long queue around late morning during holidays. Therefore, you should take a visit here at first place, queue up and the entrance ticket is at 10 EU.

Inside the palace before getting into the building looks quite impressive already.

Inside the palace is named at one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, as beautiful as Palace of Versailles. When passing each halls, it looks exceptional beautiful that everyone cry out Wow and Wowww! all along the way. However, they prohibit to take photo inside the palace, I could just take photo of the entrance area so you guys need to come and watch with your own eyes, I really could not take any picture for you.

Before leaving, let me take a photo of myself, Hey!

After finish exploring the palace, we walk back on the same route and head to Plaza mayor. Before reaching Plaza mayor, we will find Mercado San Miguel; air-conditioned arcade at the right hand side. I heard that this arcade is selected the renowned shops of all over Spain to be here. The price might be a bit high but you could definitely confident in the quality and taste; if it is not really good, the shop will be cut from this market.


Let's explore high class arcade; there are fresh and good looking temperate fruits.

One highlight thing is fresh oyster, each costs around 2-3.5 EU depends on its size and normally eat with white wine.

The ambience inside the arcade is spacious with around 20 selected shops inside. Only the selected shop is here.

And then I walk to explore the town area around Plaza mayor and the surrounding.

In the afternoon, we went to visit El Corte Ingles Department (Metro: Santiago Bernabeu)

This department store surely is the heaven for shopping women as it is the largest department store in Europe with every brand inside and as I have mentioned that tax refund of Spain is 15.7%. Therefore, those who take the lady with you, please beware of your card as well.

Another thing that surprised me is the Personal shopper service. For those who don't know how to match your dress or you kind of feel lazy to walk and find thing, then you could come over here, there will be the personal shopping assistant service for you. Wow! Everything is fabulous when you have lots of money, LoL.

Since this shopping arcade is quiet near Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the home field of Real Madrid C.F. so it is said that their football players always come here and often order a crate of wine which costs 800 EU per bottle.

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My brain switch on to calculate the exchange rate to THB at once, it is around 350000THB!! Wow, What! Football players are super rich, is there still enough time for me to practice playing football? As I already been here, I will take photo with Real Madrid field for some shots and mark that "Red Devil Fan is here"

During the late evening, we went back to take a walk at Plaza mayor area. We are continually walking to the south for some digestion and waiting for the dinner. We are almost ready for the strip club Ha Ha Ha. I am kidding. It's Flamenco Show, the unique art of Spain.

I especially love this picture. ^^

We have dinner and watch Flamenco Show at Tablao Villa Rosa Restaurant, Flamenco Show of this shop is splendid. For those who don't know or cannot imagine what this show is like, you could think of Tab Dance with Spain music in the harder tempo.

(For those who would like to watch the real fantastic show, you could visit this Youtube link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY5yOUev_ZI )

The show finishes at 10pm and everyone head back to the hotel.....but I continue to wandering around a little bit. I separate with others at Plaza Espana Station. Before leaving Madrid, I would like to take some photos during the night time.

Before I get off from the car, the Spain officer seems to apparently worry about me.

Officer: Chill, Are you sure you know the way back to the hotel? You do have hotel's name card already, don't you? You can take a taxi to the hotel though.

Me: Don't be worry sir, this is my 21 countries I have been to now and I already have the hotel's name card with me.

Walk a little bit from Plaza Espana, you will reach Temple of Debod, it is the ancient Egypt temple. Actually, it is completely dark and the scenery is not much beautiful at that time, however, I just would like to watch the real place by my own eyes. At least I could say that I did experience by myself. After that, I take the metro back to hotel. The metro atmosphere at Madrid is great; I think it is not that scary like the metro in Rome or Milan.


Day 3 Madrid - Barcelona

It is time to say goodbye to Madrid City and head to Barcelona City. These two cities located away from each other approximately 600 kilometers; however, the high speed train takes only 3 hours. As I have mentioned, you guys could reserve train ticket at http://www.renfe.com and if you reserve in advance, you guys could get a promotion price which is cheaper than ordinary price around 20-30%.

The atmosphere of main Madrid train station will have trees located in the center; the refreshing and exotic design is not like other places.

For online ticket, you could print out and get on a train right away. You do not need to verify the ticket. We got the promotion ticket price at 90 EU.

The high speed train is pretty fabulous as the standard of Europe's train. For Asian people like us; the seat space is rather wide, so comfy. If you guys get hungry on the train, there is also the food counter as well.

It takes 3 hours, the train arrives precisely at the destination as per scheduled time. Then we go to have lunch at L'eggs restaurant, the renowned restaurant that ranking in Michelin star. And after that we continue to have a dessert at Escriba restaurant. Both restaurants are super delicious that I would lick the plate. (I will do the review in next chapter)

In fact, today we have to join Barcelona Cooking Class, but there is some mistake occurs in the reservation; therefore, it is going to be a free time for us. Then, the officer from Spain Tourism Board said out loud "Let's go to da beach!!" (Everyone looks excited instantly, it shows that we are really like to take a cooking class Ha Ha Ha)

On the way to the beach, there are so many shops along the way, they all look interesting. And after a while we finally arrived at the beach. I heard that Spain beach is really awesome, and I am absolutely agreed with that. you will be regret if you don't come here.

(For guys, I apologize that I may disappoint you. I do not dare to take a photo as some ladies are topless!!)

At Barcelona beach.

Pat : Give me your camera and climb up over there, I will take a photo for you.

After my friend's suggestion, I hand out my camera and then climb up.

Pat : Hey! Climb up to the top.

Well, alright! I continue to climb up.

Pat : Stretch out your arms. A little wider!

Hey, is it ok? Then 3 2 1 shoot!

After that we check-in at Hotel Gran Derby.

Metro : Hospital Clínic , Site : http://www.derbyhotels.com/en/hotel-gran-derby/

This hotel is a 4 star hotel, it is very comfy, good location, pretty near to the scenic spot such as Montijuic. I feel very happy staying in this hotel for all 3 nights as I could take only 2 kilometers walk to take photo of morning and twilight light in a high corner of Barcelona city. ^^

It is night time already; everyone else take a rest at the hotel. However, backpacker like me will go take a walk to Montijuic to watch the magnificent dancing fountain. It takes 2 kilometers walk from the hotel or those who stay in other places, you could take metro and get off at Plaza Espanya station.

During the way to Montijuic, there is the large walkway in the center of the road in Barcelona city, I feel kind of impressed with this city very much.

National Art Museum of Catalonia / Font Magica Montjuic

Metro : Plaza Espanya

After getting off from the metro, you will find the gorgeous building resembles a palace, then walk along the way, there are many people around.

When you walk to the end of the way, you will find The Magic Fountain of Montijuic (Font Magica de Montjuic), the spectacular dancing fountain along with the music. I really feel captivated. I then walk a little closer to the fountain and settle my tripod, the colorful fountain and the music, it's awesome!

Remarks: Close on Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday depend on seasons; please check from official website again.

I stand there and watch the dancing fountain until I feel satisfy. And then I continue to walk up on the staircase, you will find Naional Art Museum of Catalonia stands eminent just behind the dancing fountain.

Continue a walk a little bit, you will find the escalator lead us to the front of museum. At the top, you will find the fantastic scenery of the city like this.

Another corner, God view.

It is late night now and it's time to go back to the hotel. With my curious, instead of walking back to the hotel like before, I would like to try metro back to the hotel. Everything seems smooth but I just mistake the get-off station, so I lost a way around an hour.

I would like to share a story with you all. Barcelona is the city with a great city plan; therefore, every block of buildings looks similar to each other!! A person who is not good with direction like me is simply lost the way. Thus, you guys need to remember the name of the station and direction well, if you guys don't want to take a walk like me. ^^

Day 4 Barcelona city tour

Today, we will seriously explore Barcelona city. Starting the day with Parc Guell, the garden on the mountain that full of the art designs of a great architect,"Antoni Gaudí i Cornet", he also live in this garden. I would recommend everyone to visit this place in the early morning, the light should be really nice and from this spot on the mountain, you could watch the view pretty far until the beach site.

Master Gaudi always gets the inspiration from nature to build art such as this picture has an inspiration from sea wave. I have to honestly admit that I'm not an artist person; hence, I don't quite understand his art works.

This is my natural post; please don't take photo of me.

We continue heading to a popular road that the tourist must visit, La Rambla Road, the landmark road for tourist. It is located near the old town and many important places. To travel in this zone is quiet simple, just take a walk, get lost and take a visit to many shops, it's very joyful!

Metro : Liceu This station is awesome as you will pop up in the middle of the road.

Walking around, it's delightful!

We take a walk at La Rambla area around an hour and we continue to the landmark building of Barcelona city as Master Gaudi has designed this building. In the past, millionaires prefer to compare how the beautiful of their houses are; therefore, they would hire the best talent man to design their houses. Thus, the buildings look really trendy and also situated next to each other.

It's Casa Batllo on the left side and Casa Mila on the right side.

I have a chance to visit the building on the right side (Casa Mila). At the present, the building is kind of historic museum about Master Gaudi. The highlight of the building is at a roof-deck, Master Gaudi build it to resemble the playground. There are the astonished art works for everyone to see.

After exploring Barcelona city, we continue to have lunch at Michelin restaurant, BistrEau Restauant at Mandarin Oriental Hotel and It's really delicious.

After we are full, and in the afternoon we will visit La Sagrada Familia, the main chapel that who come to Barcelona mustn't miss out as Master Gaudi has designed and supervised all the construction processes by himself. After he died, the chapel still not yet finished. This chapel has more than 133 years of age!!

Thus, if you find that the external condition near the chapel is full of cranes, please do not disappoint just yet as inside the chapel is stunningly beautiful. it's like you travel to the future. I would recommend that you should not miss out and I suggest that you should reserve a ticket online as the queue is rather long. http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/

Let's see the atmosphere inside .

The lateral walls of the chapel are decorated with color glass, when the light shines into the chapel, Wow! it's very gorgeous.

It's very huge inside, my neck feel a bit hurt as I take photos.

Now that the light shines inside, I may as well act a wishing pose and take a photo.

In the evening, we continue to travel on Tapas Tour; it is the city tour with eating Tapas for supper. We went to walk at La Rambla again. We promenade around the area; I think the weather in the evening is more pleasant than during the morning time.

Day5 – Barcelona ( Camp nu & shopping La Roca Village )

Today morning, we meet up at 09am. However, actually I went out since 5am to watch the sun rise in the city as I always love to do and I think is kind like "life's gift", I walk to Montjuic, the same place that I went to yesterday; therefore, I would not explain furthermore about the place.

The exceptional beautiful view point, you should climb up to the top and turn to Nation Museum side. Then walk to the left side, the sun is gradually rise-up and the first light of the day glazes all over the city, I am speechless.

A man in the picture is enjoying his "life's gift".

This is the view that I'm searching for and from this point, I can see far to the renowned chapel, La Sagrada Familia with my own eyes. (However, in order to take clear photo of the chapel, I need camera lenses to zoom.)

I watch the scenery until around half past 7 in the morning, it's time to walk back to meet up with our group.

Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona

From the first light of the day, I continue my delightful feeling as today I will go to Camp Nou!! The field of one of the best football clubs in the world right now. (I am The Red Devils fan, but I have to admit that their team is also good, FC Barcelona)

Upon arriving, we then buy the entrance ticket and it costs 23 Eu per person.

Walk a little further inside, you will find trophies for triple champ that FC Barcelona was received in 2014.

We pass a press room which using for announce the new player or news related to FC.

And then we pass the dressing room and the walk way to the field of football player. I and my Thai friend are really excited that a group of Malaysian ladies tease us that "You don't be too excited, we knew already that you guys like it here".

Well! We are now going into the field. First, my heart is thumping as I think that FC Barcelona players are practicing in the field today, but it's not. I don't know the name of football team that are playing like now, seem like they play for charity. Bah!

I show my kicking style a little bit but please don't ask how many takes till I have got this picture Ha Ha Ha.

After that, we take an elevator to upper floor, the stadium. This area is the area that the narrator watch the football game in the high angle, the scenery is superb!

After exploring the upper floor, we gradually go down to the lower floor, it is an exhibition displaying the history of FC Barcelona and a lot of trophies showing a success of FC. I saw a sparkling in their football fan eyes and I feel really happy. Visiting FC that you love is such an awesome experience. And especially kids, they wear FC Barcelona t-shirts and coming with their father, I think it's pretty cool!

Before the exit way, there is a shop selling the souvenir. Someone asks me to buy handcraft, it costs 19.9 EU. ^^

This is the new season t-shirt, it looks nice.

After our half-day tour, then we go to Salt Restaurant at W Barcelona Hotel for lunch. The hotel is located next to the beach that we went on our first day in Barcelona. The hotel has a brilliant view, I think if I could stay in this hotel just one night, walking on the beach and playing the sea water, it would be really great!

After lunch, we go for shopping at Outlet "La Roca Village", this place is a paradise for shopper as the price is dramatically cheap, and the discount is 50-80%. Moreover, you could top up the tax refund of Spain for 15.7%. I don't have much money and I think I won't buy anything at first; however, I got one pair of Oni Tiger shoe, it costs just 1200 baht and I feel stunned with the price. It is much cheaper than those selling in Taiwan or Japan. As for other brands, the ladies bought lots of things as it is cheaper than other places.

Remark : If you do not rent a car and drive there. The outlet provides the shuttle bus service to and from Barcelona city as well, it takes approximately 30-45 minutes to the outlet. For more information, please visit at http://www.larocavillage.com/en/

Day6 : Barcelona – BKK

Last day before falling from a heaven, I choose to fill up my life's gift again by watching the scenery at Tibidabo view point. I ask for the suggestion from hotel's staffs, they say this place is the most beautiful place to watch sunrise.

I don't want to waste anymore time so I ask my friends to go together (to share taxi cost), I try to show them the picture from internet and make an appointment with them that we will meet up at half past 4 in the morning.

Tibidabo is an amusement park located on the mountain; we could watch the splendid scenery of the city over here. For those who would like to come here by public transportation, you will have to connect around 3 times; however, the first round of a bus in the morning is also not in time to watch the sun rise, therefore, you must take a taxi only. The taxi costs around 30 EU from the city (There are 5 of us, so it is just 6 EU per person)

On the way back, we use a public transportation service by getting on a bus -> connect to Tram -> connect to train and walk back to the hotel, it costs around 10 EU per person.

For more information : The most beautiful spot for taking photos, from the entrance of the amusement park, you should walk back on the road around 300 meters and there is a space to watch the sunrise. (We just knew when we were on the way back T-T)

For more information please visit http://www.tibidabo.cat/en/

I usually calls the first light that glazing over the city "a life's gift".

The city plan of Barcelona city is one of the best city plans in the world. You can clearly see that their buildings are orderly arranged into blocks.

A half day time in Spain is over, and now it's time to go back to our hometown. We fly back to Bangkok with Qatar Airways in Business class with a comfy seating and excellent service which suits the best airlines in the world award in the past year.

Before I ending the review, I have to press my special thank you to our kind sponsors of this trip, Qatar Airways and Spain Tourism Board as well as my luck and all the blessed things that push me to travel a lot always in all my past trip. Therefore, I can have a great chance to have a good experience in Spain and have opportunity to share my story to everyone.

You can talk, follow, chat or make an inquiry with me, an office guy who dreams to travel around the world at http://www.facebook.com/ChillJourney

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