May 9, 2013
After the “hot-mess” that is Ryan-Air, M and I took Vueling airlines from Madrid to Barcelona. Ummm…a complete 180. Except for the fact that we had to run out on to the plane “parking lot” to catch the plane and give a nice guy my bag (we were a bit late on check-in…let’s not talk about it). So we were off to a “great” start. Thankfully, the plane ride was absolutely quite. A bit too quite though and as someone who freaks out at the slightest sound/change in noise I was pretty wide awake the entire time. M passed out. (I wish I could fly like her).
So what’s the first thing you do when you get off at Barcelona at 8:00 in the morning? Why you eat chocolate, of course. After stuffing our faces, we found the bus that would take us straight to Las Ramblas (the main street). As soon as I got off, I knew right off the bat that this was not going to be like Madrid. There were tons and tons and tons of people walking around, riding bikes, on scooters, stopping at every phot-op, shopping, eating—it was a bit hectic. Almost like being in Morocco but replace all the cats with teeny-tiny dogs. I was hooked. Note: In Barcelona they speak Catalan (a dialect of Spanish). So it was a bit trippy to have gone from Spanish to French and Arabic back to Spanish and then to Catalan. At the end of the day, I’d like to think of myself as multi-lingual but really I’m just a mess-linguist (even my English sucks at times).
We had some planning to do (and could not check into our Air BNB place anyways). So we lugged our luggage (like how I used the word “lugged” for luggage) to Moca Café to have toast and café con leche (I’m fitting right in). Since I hadn’t had any butter (mantequilla) in about 10 days, I ordered a tub of it. Ok…not really but it was definitely spread all over the toast…like ALL over it. We busted out our travel guides, maps and phone and planned out two days of non-stop, amazing Barcelona fun!
After checking into our place, I was on my own. With a little help from M, I figured out the metro system and was on my way to La Sagrada Família designed by Antonio Gaudí. As soon as I stepped out of the metro, it was right there, staring at me in the face. I stopped dead in my tracks and stared up at it for a good two minutes. It is absolutely breath-taking and even more so when you get closer to it. The 90-minute wait to get in was completely worth it as nothing about the outside is going to give away what is on the inside. The detailing and carving is just unimaginable; it would take a life time to understand and study it. It is nothing if not absolutely amazing and genius. Pictures do not do this place justice and if one is ever in Barcelona, it’s a must see. After parting ways with the cathedral, being scolded by M for being on the wrong side of the metro platform (honestly, it’s not like I know these things!) and climbing up to what felt like the highest point in Barcelona we were in Park Güell (another area designed by Gaudí).
After having a couple of bocadillos and cerveza con limón we decided to explore. Now, I had seen pictures of Park Güell and was so excited to take some really awesome shots. Did I get to do that? No. Why, because yet again there were hundreds of tourists sitting there on all of his work. Ugh. Like why must you ruin a piece of art (by “piece of art” I mean MY photo-op) by putting your sweaty butt on it?!? Regardless, I think I ended up with some nice shots. The park is definitely something that I recommend going to early in the morning or maybe a bit after dusk. There will be far fewer tourists and you’ll really be able to enjoy it.
After walking down from Park Güell (naturally stopping for Magnum ice cream bars) we made our way to Casa Batlló. I mean, it’s just another amazing creation by Gaudí. The casa is supposed to look like a dragon from the top but what’s even more fascinating about it, is that it looks like a skeleton from the front. I’m not even sure how to describe it but hopefully the pictures I put with this post will really depict how awesome it looks. I didn’t get a chance to go in because honestly, I couldn’t move once I had plopped down on a bench.
Unwillingly, dragging ourselves back to the apartment we took a short nap. Then got dressed and met up some of M’s friends from Spain (originally from the U.S.) for a girl’s night! We ended up going to a restaurant that had nachos on the menu. Being, you know, a group of girls – we ordered them but with very low expectations. I mean very low.
Yup, it came back to us with some kind of shredded cheese/guacamole concoction on top. We ate that up like no other. Now, the night was not over yet. We decided to go salsa dancing (!) and with a bit of help from Trip Advisor we were on our way to Mojito Bar. Wow…I mean…wow. So, we had initially decided to put our Zumba dancing skills to good use here. The entire bus ride and walk over there, in my mind I was like “Yeah…I got this. Whaaat!” Now when I say these dancers were amazing I mean it’s more like this is where the professional dancers come to PRACTICE. It was unreal and all four of us just stood there gawking at them. We must have looked like a real bunch of creepers.
M finally pushed me into dancing with a guy who had come up to me twice. I was awful, I mean just horrid. Luckily, he wasn’t an ass and really helped me through the moves. It’s probably the most work he’s ever done. As I’m lying here, I’m still traumatized by my moves. However, I think I may just take some classes when I get back to the states. YOLO, you know.
How, I just wrote this…I don’t know. I am so dead tired and I think I just dragged myself into bed not even remembering…
This is where I stopped writing and most likely passed out.