I realized two important things today. 1) I haven’t posted in a week! Time to start writing! 2) I haven’t told y’all about Barcelona yet. Which is definitely the most important thing that has happened that I haven’t gone over in detail.
We resume the adventure flying from Rome to Barcelona. This was my first experience with picked RyanAir. I really cannot complain. I paid $35 for a flight. An unreal price. It also
encouraged forced me to pack lighter for the whole trip, which overall was probably a benefit.
After the worst landing I’ve experienced (already my least favorite part of flying BY FAR) all the people start clapping. It was soo unexpected, and so funny. And so real. I was grateful we made it too.
And make it we did, meeting our friend Drew (Bonnie’s friend from Smith, my friend through DIS and Bonnie) at the hostel at midnight, as prearranged. The hostel was lovely and we had some beers with some guys in the kitchen before going to bed. (Maybe worth noting: Said guys were a Canadian IT guy and two German prison guards. A motley crew it was).
We have a breakfast at our hostel and walked a couple miles towards La Sagrada Familia. Even in the heat, it was but really nice to take in Barcelona, which is much more chill than Rome. We also split a very cheap, pretty good paella. Because there are some things you just have to eat.
La Sagrada Familia is a FEAT in architecture. It has been in progress for almost exactly 100 years, and will not be done for another 20. Cathedrals take a long time, but if you consider the advancement in building technology in that time, it’s… a freaking long time. This place is unmissable.
La Sagrada Familia, from the front.
There are two distinct sides, the “Passion Facade” and the “Nativity Facade.” I believe this is the latter.
The Ceiling. European ceilings are just so good.
Over the pulpit.
Me and a window.
A very attractive selfie of the three of us and the Nativity Facade.
After La Sagrada, we made our way down the widest streets I’ve ever seen to the most narrow ones, then back out again. The old part of Barcelona has winding alleys unlike those in Rome. Much narrower, and curving, so you never know where you’ll end up. We ended up at La Rambla, a very famous shopping street, and possibly the European Capitol of Pickpocketing. So I clutched my bag close and we walked. Drew is practical and destination-oriented, setting goals, reading maps. I read maps, but I’m content to mosey and wander for a while before I do. Bonnie does not read maps (well), but usually is game to wander or find the destination. A good in-the-middle. So, we spent less time on La Rambla shopping and meandering than I would have alone, but it was still good. We also found a very famous food market, and luckily for me, all of us were down to eat some free samples and look at food stuffs. I got a Horchata and struggled to tell the others what it was. Just did some research to better explain it, and the word Horchata is actually Orxata, which is Catalan, the language most widely spoken in Barca. It is a sweet, creamy drink made from Tigernuts in Spain (google it) and made with rice in the U.S.
When we got back to the hostel, we ate a dinner cooked by the hostel staff, and played some pool in the basement. A great hostel, it was. Then the three of us, plus another DIS kid, Kenny, went out clubbing. We did not realize 1am is WAY too early to go out in Spain, and we were greeted by a sad, empty dance floor, and we left before anything exciting happened. The club we were at played the following songs twice in the hour and half we were there: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Call Me Maybe. Make of that what you will. We walked about an hour to get back between 3:30 and 4:30am, all the while having a raucous sing-along of Taylor Swift, Rent, and Mika, to name a few. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
Destinations of the day: Park Güell and the beach! We picked the right times to do both because it rained in the morning for a bit, when we were exploring the beautiful architecture, landscaping, views, and very talented street performers of the park.
Drew pointed out that one time the ANTM finale was here! Caridee’s season!
But like, woah.
Barca, the Med, and oh yeah, La Sagrada on the left.
Stand up base is my weakness.
Parchitecture (see what I did there?) and the city
By the time we got to the beach the weather had cleared and it was perfect. My toes were loving the Mediterranean, and Drew and Bonnie relaxed on the sand.
Oh look, the perfect non-touristy Spanish beach (the trick: get off the Metro at Via Olimpica)
A goal of mine. So perfect.
We headed back into the city for a Tapas Tour we were going on. Tapas were great, and our tour group was rather excellent. We went to three different tapas places, and, we learned, you have to order drinks with tapas (by custom, not law or anything) so we had some traditional style apple cider, beer, and sangria, which was served in a jug that you pass around and pour from a distance into your mouth (or not from a distance if you have terrible aim and care about your clothing, like myself).
Yup, this thing.
We then went back to the hostel, and one of the hostel staff was giving a lesson in making sangria, and it was the most sensual demonstration of basically wine and fruit salad that you could possibly imagine, from a Brazilian Johnny Depp lookalike, again, if you can imagine that.
Because Spain, we went out clubbing again, this time me and Bonnie with two guys who were also staying at our hostel. After walking around and going to a bar, we got to the club around 2:15am, aka PRIME TIME in Barcelona. Bonnie and I got in for free because we’re girls (sometimes sexism is kind of ok) and inadvertently ditched the guys in order to get this deal. We danced and danced and danced and went home in a taxi around 3:30 with significant hearing loss. Oh well. It was really fun.
Drew went to Geneva early in the morning, so it was just me and Bonnie hanging out once again. We went to MACBA, which translates to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum was one of the best I’ve been to, and the art was all from after 1960. Which even in a contemporary art museum, is rather contemporary. Impressive.
I really liked this one.
Wedding trunk, I think? With army men coming out.
Some really innovative music composition
YES, TOUCH IT. (no, not all of it)
A poem on the wall in English, Spanish, and Catalan. (I think “majeure” is supposed to be “major”). I really like this poem.
This is not art, but just a sign as we were leaving. But I really liked it.
Then I really wanted to go shopping, so Bonnie humored me and we walked around La Rambla again, until I finally found something worth getting: stud earrings, which are black stones dipped in silver paint. Fairly cheap because Spain, and handmade in Barcelona.
We got back to the hostel to pick up our bags, and asked for directions to the airport. It was 5:00 and our flight was at 9:30, which in Spain means you’re insane because everything is relaxed and runs late. The Jonny Depp guy at the hostel told us we should stay another hour, and to get us to, he bought us a chocolate cake, and then made us and another guy who worked at the hostel lattes. We went up the the roof and ate and chatted, and the guys smoked and it was fun. The topic changed to acro-yoga (acrobatic partner yoga) and they told us they were learning it and did we want to see their routine? (they were definitely not smoking tobacco). We said yes, naturally, and they showed us this amazing routine in which Johnny Depp was holding the other guy with his arms or legs the entire time while lying on his back on the ground, and the other guy balanced. Then they finished, and asked if we wanted to try. I did.
IT. WAS. MAGIC. Bonnie tried, and then we split for the airport, all smiles, and when we got back to Copenhagen, we put on all of the clothes we brought (Copenhagen is COLD) and went back to her place, where I crashed on her floor. It was quite the week, needless to say. But I’m glad to be back in Copenhagen. At least for another week.
Stay tuned: London is next! No city is safe from my tourism!