Tuesday, October 9, 2012

La Ciudad de mis Sueños: Barcelona

Barcelona: the most magical place on earth. I must have some sort of Spanish ancestry, because Barcelona seemed strangely familiar in a comforting way. I was enamored by the people, the sights and the FOOD, and I was deeply upset by our departure after a few short days. Everyone is always in a good mood, constantly talking and singing and just trying to experience life to the fullest. I admire the Barcelonians (is that what you call people from Barcelona?) and their spunk, and I hope to return as soon as possible. 
View from our hostel looking toward la Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia
Our travels went smoothly, and upon arrival, Erin and I split from Courtney and Allie to check into our hostel. Let me say a word about hostels: they are VERY basic and are not just “hotel” with a random “s” in the middle. We got one fitted sheet, one bed sheet, a pillow and a set of keys to stay in a room with four other girls. I was relieved that the other roommates weren’t too odd and I wouldn’t exactly say the hostel was the ideal living situation, but when you need to save money, that’s about the best you can do! The best part about the hostel was that it was just a short walk away from la Sagrada Familia, a beautiful museum that we absolutely could not get into because museum entrance is free on the first weekend of every month! It was a bummer that we couldn’t go inside, but we refused to spend a day in Barcelona waiting on a block-long line.

La Luna-so good!
On another note, on our first night, we went to dinner at La Luna with some Elon girls doing their semester abroad in Barcelona. The food was delicious, the atmosphere of the restaurant was great and the Sangria was out of this world. Continuing on in the night, we detached from the other Elon girls to go to a club called Opium, which was possibly the most fun I’ve had since being abroad. 
Street view of Catalunya from our bus tour

Our first full day consisted of a scrumptious brunch, shopping around and the longest bus tour you will ever encounter. We thought we would be able to go on all three routes around Barcelona within a few hours, but we only ended up taking one because it literally took up our entire afternoon!
One of the many streets we ventured down!

That night we went to dinner yet again, where the true cultivation of cultures occurred. We were a bunch of Americans traveling from London at an Irish pub, ordering British food (fish and chips-yum!), in Spain (hey, I think it’s funny). A man came up to our table just to chat, and I couldn’t help but think I knew him from somewhere, he just looked unbelievably familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then someone realized it was Tyler Hoechlin from “Teen Wolf” on MTV, so, we hung out with a celebrity all night as we went to several bars and clubs, which was the coolest. Let’s just say that the nightlife of Barcelona far surpasses that of London in terms of partying, although I can’t decide which I like better at this point.

Gaudi Park-no words!
Sunday in Barcelona was interesting, as we had to check out with our huge bags by 11 a.m. We carried them around with us to Gaudi Park, a gorgeous venue not far from the hostel. We trekked up the beautiful trails of the Park to the highest point, where we got a breathtaking sight of much of the city. Gaudi was the most uniquely beautiful place, and although the hike to the top was rough, it was well worth the view. Erin and I then went along the coast at Catalunya, taking in the port full of sailboats and yachts, exploring the obscure little alleyways and shops along them and adoring the beach. The day ended perfectly with churros and a performance by a street band, Made in Barcelona, with the most energetic vibe that was contagious and left us with a little bit of a beat as we sat on our plane to come back to good old London.  
The port at Catalunya

Officially my favorite band in the world

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