So last weekend Allie and I set off on another weekend adventure, this time to Barcelona, Spain. I was especially excited for this trip because 1. My sister studied in Barcelona and loved it 2. A lot of my friends studied in Barcelona this semester 3. They have amazing weather. Our flight from Prague left around 11 and we landed in Barcelona at 2:30ish. We tried to change up our living situation for the weekend from hostels and b&b’s so we booked through AirBnB. AirBnB is a really cool company where people can list extra rooms, full apartments, houses, guest houses for travelers to stay. There can be extremely nice beach mansions to really cheap little apartments on the site. When I booked our room, I THOUGHT I was booking a whole apartment with a kitchen, living room, yadi yada but in reality, I actually just booked a single ROOM in this Spanish man, Leonardo, and his partner’s apartment. The realization of this upon arrival to the apartment was kind of awkward but kind of hilarious. Allie and I were just sharing this teeny tiny room that literally could only fit a queen size bed, and our suitcases in the apartment of this gay Spanish couple. It turned out to be absolutely lovely, we did our own thing, they gave us muffins in the morning, they did their own thing, all in all the stay was great but it does make for a good story. One morning when they were gone we did a little snooping at all of their pics on the wall/mantle (you know you would do it too), and we definitely found some interesting glamour shots of our sweet host, Leonardo….
Anyways we got there and hadn’t eaten anything and it was like 4 at this point so we ventured out into our neighborhood to find some food. One thing I didn’t realize, siesta is a real thing…I always kind of thought that it wasn’t real or this only happened in smaller Spanish cities but everything was closed. We went to one of the few places we could find that was open. Long story short, we were starving and saw that they had pizza so just ordered it. Turns out it was just a kind of stale frozen pizza that we could tell had been in the freezer for a while. Since Allie and I are foodies, we were extremely upset that we wasted a meal in Barcelona on that thing, but we ate it anyways because that’s how hungry we were.
We headed to Las Ramblas, one of the main streets/tourist attractions in Barcelona and automatically fell in love. Barcelona is so green and sunny and open that you kind of feel like you’re in a Spanish paradise. We went to La Boqueria, this huge open air market, and we were amazed. There was sooooo much fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, EVERYTHING…we have nothing like that in Prague. The Czech Republic is a land locked country so most of their fruits and vegetable are imported, which explains why the basis of Czech food is meat and potatoes.
After that we kind of ventured around that area and along the water front. We ate dinner at a place that our friend, Bailey, suggested, La Rosa Negra, a little cool Mexican restaurant and it was delicious. After dinner we were exhausted and it was late (people eat dinner really late in Spain) so we just went back to good ole Leonardo’s and went to sleep. One thing I will mention though, we got pretty acquainted with Barcelona’s metro system, and they know how to do it. In Prague, everyone seems annoyed/in a hurry. No one speaks on the metro and everyone just sits or stands and tries to avoid eye contact with anyone around them. In Barcelona, there is music EVERYWHERE. Everyone seems so happy in the metros and everyone is talking and dancinggggg I loved it. Metro musicians bring there own amps so their tunes are amplified throughout the whole station…this NEVER happens in Prague. AND there was the best sunset that night!
Another cool thing about Barcelona is that most of their TV is American tv that they dub over in Spanish soooo it was very easy to just turn the dubbing off and watch good ole American tv in English! I got really caught up on the new MTV shows of today and was reminded of why I don’t watch MTV in America but either way, it was in English and it was entertaining.
The next day we woke up and went back to Las Ramblas to get some fresh fruit for breakfast on the go and start our tour of Barcelona. Allie got this weird fruit that looked interesting but really didn’t taste like anything…we still have no idea what it’s called so if you know, let me know. I also snapped a lot more pics with my big camera…
From there we walked down the waterfront and decided we wanted to go to the aquarium…not a typical thing to do in Barcelona but it seemed cool. I don’t regret this decision but also if you’re in Barcelona…I don’t suggest going to the Aquarium. We had read that it was the largest aquarium in Europe but I dont that’s true…the NC aquarium was 1000x better. But it was fun to see all the fishies.
Allie had to tie my shoes for me a few times…..
From there we walked around the Gothic Quarter which I loved. There were so many cool shops and things throughout this narrow streets. It was one of the times in Europe that I truly felt like this was very European and it couldn’t have been in America. We window shopped around for a bit and then ate at this place that Bailey suggested (again) for lunch called Bo De B. It was like a little sandwich stand but I think it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had. We waited outside until it opened at 1 and the line was really starting to build up by the time they actually opened the line was around the corner…thankfully we got there early and got to sit inside. This sandwich had EVERYTHING on it. Avocado, capers, mustard, lettuce, tomato, salsa, cheese, chicken etc…it was amazing.
After Bo De B, we headed down the beach. This was a much needed afternoon. I haven’t been to a beach in so long and I really have been missing the ocean/waterfront lifestyle. We spend the afternoon sunbathing and I even got a foot massage! Allie made fun of me for doing this but if I can pay for it in coins…there’s a big chance I’ll probably do it. https://vine.co/v/bUIHviL9z2D
We sunbathed for about 2 hours and then we headed back to the apartment and got ready for dinner/the night. That night we met up with Bailey and 2 of her friends from Clemson, that also study in Barcelona. We went out with them that night and had a ton of fun. The beach bars in Barcelona are super cool. They look like little stands from the street but then when you enter them you go down some steps and then the whole club is underground. It was really cool and we had a great time…
The next day, Sunday, we got off to a late start…probably because of the late night…but we went to a tapas place for lunch that my sister suggested. It was in the Gracia neighborhood which we realized was actually really close to our apartment! This was a really nice part of Barcelona, they had a lot of name brand stores and great restaurants. Unfortunately (kind of fortunately), since it was Sunday all of the stores were closed so we could only window shop. The tapas place we went to was called Cerveceria Catalana. We couldn’t get a seat at the bar so we sat at a table and really had no idea what to order since we couldn’t see any of the options, so we just told our waitress what kind of stuff we liked and she pretty much chose for us. This was great since Allie and I are probably the two most indecisive people on the planet…which sometimes becomes and issue when you travel together. This was probably the best breakfast/lunch/brunch of my life and it didn’t even cost that much!!
After that we explored around Paseig de Gracia and saw 2 of Gaudi’s buildings…very cool, and very weird. We went to a park designed by Gaudi that afternoon, Parc Guell. We didn’t realize before we went that it was wayyyyy up a mountain (okay, not really a mountain..huge hill) but it was kind of a hike up there. Parc Guell was a really great place to spend the afternoon. It had all of these weird structures and then classic Gaudi mosaics, beautiful gardens, plus a great view of the entire city. We went up on the highest point (the thing with the cross) but that was just an anxiety attack waiting to happen. You climb up these narrow steps, with no railing, and then you’re standing on this platform thing and everyone is trying to take a pic and everyone is bumping into each other…I don’t know, my fear of heights kind of started to kick in, plus no guard rail…we didn’t stay up there for long.
Anyways, Allie and I FINALLY got a good picture together sitting on the mosaic benches in front of the Gaudi museum. When you travel with only two people, it’s hard to get a good picture together because you have to awkwardly ask people (who usually don’t speak English) to take your picture…and then my camera is also kind of complicated so trying to explain that with a language barrier really just isn’t worth it a lot of the time. When you hear people speaking English, and you’ve got you picture pose in mind, you gotta pounce before it becomes to awkward to ask.
There was this one tunnel with holes in the wall…so I made Allie go climb in it. Doesn’t she look like a mole? hehe
Anyways, so Park Guell was really great/pretty and then we headed to the church designed by Gaudi, Sagrada Familia. This place was A LOT bigger than I thought it would be. Like it really is huge….unfortunately we didn’t get to go inside because it was Sunday and it was closed but we were okay with it.
That night we went to another delicious tapas dinner at this place called Citrus that Alison suggested also on Paseig de Gracia. It was on the second floor of a building and had a great view of the area. It was delicious once again.
We left Monday morning and headed back to Prague…only had one issue with line cutters at the airport but we survived and the flight left on time. I didn’t want to leave Barcelona…they seemed like that had literally everything you could want in a European city. The beach, old areas, new areas, good food, good shopping, great parks. Basically it was amazing.