BarcelonaPosted: April 17, 2012
Hello, hello, hello! I have just returned from an 18 day travel break through Europe, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world for all of the great experiences I had. The first week was spent with my family in Rome, Positano and Florence. The rest of the time was in London and Barcelona with girlfriends from high school. I don’t think I could pick a favorite city, as they were all incredible and unique. I’m excited to write about all of these places, and think I will start with the last stop and work my way backward. That brings us to Barcelona 🙂
Last Friday, my friend Hannah and I left her flat in London at 5 am to make our way for the airport. Now, we didn’t realize it at the time, but we were traveling on Friday the 13th. After nearly missing the bus to the airport, standing for an hour in the wrong baggage drop line, and getting held up in security for 45 minutes, we managed to make our 8 am flight – probably helped by the fact that it was delayed half an hour. We started laughing at the ridiculousness of our morning once when we finally were seated on the plane, and put some Juanes on our iPod’s to get us in the Spanish mood.
Our first stop after getting settled into our hostel (which was really nice – Hostel One Centro – for anyone who cares to know) was La Sagrada Familia, the phenomenal and (relatively) contemporary cathedral by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. This Roman Catholic church was commenced in 1888 and is still under construction, but there was still enough of it completed to gawk at.
A photo of the exterior, stolen from Wikipedia because it was covered in scaffolding when I was there. Already, it stands out from anything else I’ve ever seen.
Isn’t that incredible? Gaudi was influenced by the natural world, and designed the interior to look like tree trunks, branches and leaves. That first photo in this sequence is of the ceiling, which Hannah and I sat down and just stared at for a while because it’s so mesmerizing.
Then we went up on the roof where I, once again, confirmed my fear of heights but got a great view of the city.
It wasn’t quite as remarkable as the top of the cathedral in Milan, but we saw some other examples of Gaudi’s nature influence. At this point it started raining so we made our way back to the hostel and took a little siesta before rallying up for dinner. We ended up finding this place with a really great dinner deal: 3 course meal and wine for 9 euro! Of course, I took pictures of my food….
My gazpacho and flan. And I had to include the picture of Hannah and her sugar yogurt. Our waiter spoke no English and we didn’t know what a lot of the dishes on the menu were, so Hannah ended up with yogurt for dessert. Gotta love language barriers.
The next day we woke up and walked the shoppers street, La Rambla, down to the beach.
It was pretty warm out – maybe 65-70 degrees – and it was really fun to be by the water. After our walk, we went out on a search for this sandwich shop called Bo de B’s, which we were told was “life changing” from friends who had been to Barcelona before.
Finally, we found it up the beach a ways.
And I don’t know if I would call it life changing, but it was really really really really good. We worked off our monster lunch by walking around Gaudi’s park called Park Guell. Again, we were amazed by Gaudi’s unique design and spent a few hours just roaming around looking at the architecture and the amazing views of the city.
For dinner, we went back to the beach with our hostel roommates for some paella. And then I had to get up in the morning to journey back to chilly Copenhagen. It feels good to be back somewhere homey and catching up on sleep!