Barcelona!

I’m back! Sorry I haven’t been updating as often as I had hoped. I have been busy traveling the world…no big deal.  Well, two weeks ago myself, along with three of my friends, ventured over to Barcelona for a couple days! What an adventure!! We took an overnight bus (two Thursdays ago) and got there early Friday morning.  After a rough night on the bus, we walked (still basically asleep) to grab a cab and take it to the hostel.  We arrived at the hostel and dropped off our luggage.  Even though we were running on no sleep, we were determined to start exploring the city.  We walked for a little while and came across this gorgeous art museum.  We then decided to hop on the metro and head over to La Sagrada Familia—which is Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece.  After you come up from the stairs of the metro, you turn around and see nothing but perfection.  Gaudi’s masterpiece not only takes your breath away, but the amount of detail that went into every little inch of this really tall cathedral is incredible.  Gaudi was a pure genius.  We paid an entry fee, and headed inside.  My mind was blown.  There are still no words to describe the feeling when you are inside the Sagrada Familia, looking up at the ceiling.  I stood in the church for about an hour in utter shock and amazement that such a man could create perfection.  Just thinking about it gives me Goosebumps!! (see pics below).  After walking through the inside of the church we went to the underground museum that gives the history of how it was built, why it was built, and gives background about Gaudi himself.  It amazes me how much thought and perfection went into this building.  It is not only an incredible sight to see, but understanding the history behind it is something that has changed my life.  After that we headed back out to the front, just to make sure it was real.  We spent some time in front of this incredible cathedral taking picture after picture.  Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel for a quick nap.  We got back to the hostel, napped, and woke up just in time for dinner (about 9pm). 

ready for the overnight bus

ready for the overnight bus

beautiful art museum!

beautiful art museum!

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

We woke up and walked down the street to treat ourselves to a nice restaurant.  We finally decided on a place to eat and sat down for a great meal.  Of course, the first thing we did was order some drinks.  My friend Melissa and I got sangrias and my other two friends got some blended drinks.  Well, the waiter for some reason loved us Americans.  After having some drinks and ordering food, the waiter appears with a bottle of champagne.  Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get free champagne.  Then once that bottle was finished, the waiter decided to bring us some free shots—and of course we couldn’t pass that opportunity up either.  Well, dinner ended and we headed back to the hostel to get ready for the night out.  We got dressed, did our makeup, had some more drinks, and we were ready to go.  We had heard of this really fun club on the beach in Barcelona called Opium, so we decided to try it out.  We arrived at the front door, and the bouncer asks us if we have VIP reservations.  Uh oh, obviously we didn’t.  I had remembered one of my friends from back home told me that someone had used to be a promoter at this club.  So, I casually say (in my half Spanish/Catalonian accent) his name.  IT WORKED! The bouncer basically escorted us down the stairs of this really expensive club, and we walked in like we owned the place.  It turned out to be a great night clubbing on the beach!

The next morning we woke up really early and decided to take a FREE bike tour!! The hostel we were staying in, was promoting this bike tour and we decided to try it out.  We walked along the harbor, and headed over to the meeting spot.  A man speaking perfect English approached us and brought us over to the back of someone’s bar to get bikes.  It turns out that this guy (around 28 years old) had moved to Barcelona from New Zealand and was giving free bike tours—working off tips—to fund his local bar on the beach.  The bike tour lasted about three and a half hours, and we rode throughout the entire city.  We got to see La Sagrada Familia again, the park (with a beautiful fountain), Gaudi’s two masterpieces, and the old bull-fighting stadium.  It was a blast! The bike lanes in Barcelona are also great!  There is a space between the sidewalk and parked cars for bikers.  During the bike tour we met these girls who were from Ohio, studying abroad in Luxemburg, and we all decided to hang out after the tour.  We all had lunch together in the tour guide’s bar.  We ordered fish ‘n chips and of course tons of sangria. 

bike tour!

bike tour!

stop number 1: the beach

stop number 1: the beach

one of Gaudi's masterpieces we saw on the bike tour

one of Gaudi’s masterpieces we saw on the bike tour

stop number 3: the Barcelona fountain!

stop number 3: the Barcelona fountain!

 

 

 

After lunch, we decided to split up and try to meet up later that evening.   My friends and myself decided to take the hike up the Park Guell.  Park Guell is this beautiful park that houses Gaudi’s park bench tiled masterpiece.  Everyone of course trusted my to find the way, but we were definitely lost.  Trying to read a map that is bigger than my wingspan is actually extremely difficult.  But, one street led to another and we found some escalators.  We weren’t sure where it would lead to, but we made our way up the mountain and finally stumbled upon the park.  We hiked up some of the parts in the park to get incredible views of the city.  After that we stumbled upon the famous bench.  This is the longest park bench in the world!! (see pics below).  Its intricate tiled patterns and curves make Gaudi’s masterpieces unique and unforgettable.  After seeing the famous bench, we also found Gaudi’s famous tiled lizard!  The sun started to set and we were getting tired.  We headed back to the hostel and took another siesta.  Let me just say, I have taken full advantage of siesta hour here in Spain!  We woke up at around 11pm and started getting ready for another great night out in Barcelona!  In Spain, people do not start going out until about 1 or 2am.  So we were right on schedule.  We ended up getting ready, and leaving for another club at around 1:30am.  It was another great night with my friends in a great city, filled with dancing and laughing. 

they trusted me to read the map...bad idea

they trusted me to read the map…bad idea

Gaudi's park bench!

Gaudi’s park bench!

Gaudi's famous tiled lizard!

Gaudi’s famous tiled lizard!

The next morning, Sunday, we woke up and took a walk down Las Ramblas.  This is a huge street in Barcelona, filled with shopping and restaurants.  We walked for a while and ended up in this square to have lunch.  I ordered some Paella, and it was amazing!! It was, however, my first time seeing an animal with eyes in my food—crawfish.  But, I got over it quickly and enjoyed my lunch.  After lunch we only had a couple hours until we had to head over to the airport.  We decided to walk along the harbor, and sit down next to water.  We sat for about an hour just taking in the scenery and reflecting on the incredible weekend we had just had!

paella with crawfish!

paella with crawfish!

perfect end to an amazing trip!

perfect end to an amazing trip!

 

With so much history and incredible site, Barcelona is definitely a city that has a piece of my heart.  The more I travel, the more realize how fortunate I am to be living the life I live.  I know I have said this before, but my appreciation for culture and life continues to grow!! Thanks for reading and here about my newest adventure, Rome, in the post above!!

Xoxo

Muchos besos y abrazos

Alli   

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