Sunday, October 8, 2017

My Barcelona Trip - Part I

A week ago I returned from my Spanish adventure with one of my best friends from college, Marie. The two of us spent our time in Barcelona and it was amazing! We packed all we could into four days, and I truly feel like we saw everything on our list. Barcelona was different than other European cities I've been to; it didn't feel as old-timey as I was expecting. Their main architect, Antoni Gaudí, really put his mark on the city, with intricate details and ornate designs. Below is a peak into our first two days touring around the city.


WHERE WE STAYED: The Hotel Silken Saint Gervasi was wonderful! Marie and I had two beds, there was free wifi, and the staff was very friendly. But best of all, it was a two minute walk to the metro station, Le Putxet, around the corner from a market, and was both quiet and safe. Highly recommend it!


OUR DAY 1 ITINERARY

After heading to the hotel to drop our bags off, Marie and I went to Plaça Catalunya for lunch. We had some coffee and sandwiches, and then headed on our bus tour. When I was first putting together a mock itinerary for us, this was something I knew we should do on day 1. It's a great way to get a lay of the land, as well as learn about the history of the city you're exploring. We decided to do all the three routes, starting with the Red and ending with the Blue. During a switch between lines, we stopped at the beach to get a look at the Mediterranean Sea - it was beautiful! Once finished our bus tour, we were pretty hungry, so went for dinner. We each had some tapas and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather. I love that in Europe, there are certain boulevards that are blocked off from cars so that you can truly enjoy eating outdoors, in the middle of everything. We had a wonderful first day exploring!



OUR DAY 2 ITINERARY

Our second day in Barcelona was packed! We had a relaxing day on Monday, so knew that we wanted to see as much as we could on day 2. Our first stop was Park Güell. We walked up so many stairs to get there! Before heading into the park, we stopped at the sweetest cafe for breakfast, with an amazing view of the neighborhood.


PARK GÜELL: The park definitely lived up to its hype. It was a mosaic dream. Marie and I kept marveling at how colorful and intricate everything was.


SANT PAU RECINTE MODERNISTA: Once we ate lunch, we headed to Sant Pau Recinte Modernista. What a cool place! It used to be an old hospital, with several different buildings, all connected through tunnels below. It's incredible the amount of detail that went into the design - not only with the outside of the buildings, but the colors and patterns inside.


LA SAGRADA FAMILIA: This was by far my favorite thing we saw while in Barcelona. I was just in awe. While there, we went up the Passion Tower for a stunning view of the city! From there, we listened to the audio tour, where we learned so much about the church's inspiration! Each side of the church is a different part of Christ's life - his early life, his crucifixion, and once construction is finished, his glory. The inside was just as thought out. The architect, Gaudi, used nature as his inspiration. The inside was meant to resemble a forest, the stained glass was representative of where the sun rose and set, and the doors paid homage to leaves and flowers. I could go on and on about all the little details that went into this incredible church! It is such a beautiful monument honoring Christ.


FLAMENCO SHOW: Seeing as Spain is known for flamenco, we knew we had to go see a show while there. I loved the one we chose! It was in the coolest little place called Palau Dalmases in the El Born neighborhood. It was all stone, served amazing sangria, and had very enthusiastic flamenco dancers and musicians. 


SOB STORY: On our way home from the flamenco show, my phone was stolen. Still not totally sure how it happened, as it was in my purse, but nonetheless, someone took it. I cried. I lost all my photos from the past two days (thank goodness I had my camera, though) and then had to travel without a phone. Not so fun. But, what can you do?

We had a great time exploring Barcelona the first two days! Looking forward to showing you what we did on Days 3 and 4!
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