I made it back to this wonderful land of paella, tapas and sangria! I first traveled to Barcelona while in 2nd grade when my dad was building a new theme park in Europe. He likes to think (and secretly I do too) that this is where my expensive habits began. At the young age of 7, my mom and I hopped on an airplane with business class seats that reclined all the way back and I was able to watch movies on a personal TV thousands of feet in the air… Nevermind the rolling sundae cart that came around after dinner that I will NEVER forget. Caramel and hot fudge and sprinkles for “free”… SAY WHAT? I was hooked and from then on I secretly hope that every long flight I go on will include such lavishness.
Going back to the story at hand… We had quite the opposite flight adventure as we woke up earlier than the sun to make our way from Madrid to Barcelona. After another cheap RyanAir flight that landed rather roughly (can you say whiplash?), we made our way through the terminal and found a bus that would take us to the city center. Not listening to the wise words my mother has always told me, I traveled with no cash and had to use the credit card machine to purchase my ticket while my friends jumped on the bus. PSA: NEVER count on a credit card machine in Europe, they are INCREDIBLY unreliable anywhere you go. So of course my card wasn’t working and as I turned around to ask my roommates to spot me a couple dollars for the bus fare, the bus they were on pulled away leaving me with no ride into town and a minor heart attack approaching.
Luckily the workers were nice and after a 30 minute delay, I was on the next bus and met my roommates at the final stop to walk to our quaint apartment. We decided to hop on another big touristy bus to hit all the sights and after a 16 hour day, we had seen all of Barcelona including a nice, long stroll through Parc Guell. We made our way home, cranky and exhausted, and I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
We awoke the next day to hopefully spend a full day at the beach. Little did we know that it was an incredibly windy day and after being pelted by about 5 sandstorms, Jennie and I decided to take a walk while we left our sunbathing Californian roommate to bask in her motherland. We walked along the ocean and had a wonderful lunch on the deck overlooking the water while we soaked up a couple rays of sun. After meeting back up with Heidi, we took another long stroll to the harbor then headed home to rest our feet and get ready for a night out at the shot bar! Sounds dangerous (700 shots on the menu) but we were responsible and it was a ton of fun! After a quick stop at the Dow Jones Bar, where the drinks get more expensive throughout the night then go dirt cheap when the “stock market” crashes (clever, huh?), we finished our night and got home safely.
Our last day included a visit to the Sagrada Familia… If you haven’t been, plan a trip before you die. Although the outside was mostly covered due to construction, the inside was something that can only be described as phenomenal. Unlike any church architecture I have seen before, Gaudi is truly an artist. His work, influenced by things in nature, is out of this world. The stained glass windows were amazing and the ceiling was incredible. You must see it to believe it! We left in awe and made our way to a cute Taqueria where the grande quesadilla was smaller than my hand (serious disappointment for this Mexican food lover), but the atmosphere was fabulous. After a swing by the Arc De Triumph, I drug my roommate to the fishy spa where I put my feet in a tub of water filled with fish… Weird but totally cool! Once I got over the tingling, vibrating feeling, I relaxed and enjoyed my smooth feet when it was over. Heidi and I finished our night at a Flamenco show which was a great way to end our wonderful trip to Barcelona.
Next up, Brussels… Where the chocolate shops are endless and the smell of waffles fills the air!
Until next time…