The first thing I noticed upon our arrival in Barcelona was the graffiti. It was on every single door. This might have had something to do with the fact that we didn’t get to our hotel until about 1:30am (thx Vueling – our on time arrival percentage with you is now a whopping 25%).
But, I also think it has something to do with the fact that Barcelona is a really artistic city which probably gained some of its inspiration from the famous Gaudi. His works are scattered throughout the sprawling city. We went to see many of them including: La Pedrera, Parc Guell, Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia, and de Parc de la Cuitadella (pics below).
The other places
We did a few tours:
Casa Batllo – One of the houses that Gaudi built. The tour was pretty cool, they gave you an iPhone looking thing that was a virtual reality player and it showed you what the house would have looked like back in Gaudi’s day. It also made this mushroom room below look like it was on fire.
Park Guell – a park on the top of a hill in the city that Gaudi designed. It was pretty crowded, but you could see the whole city and the ocean from the top of the mountain, and the designs of the buildings were typical Gaudi.
White boy can’t jump
La Sagrada Familia – Probably the coolest place that we went to was La Sagrada Familia. It’s a church that Gaudi helped design, and construction began in the late 1800s. Construction is planned to be finished in 2026, the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi’s death (by street car). I understand why it has taken so long to build with all of the intricate designs and grandiose facades.
We purchased the guided audio tour and the tour of the Nativity Facade, which I must say was definitely worth it. It was interesting to hear the history of the church and to see the breathtaking views from the top of the tower. If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, this is something you can’t miss (I mean, its #1 on TripAdvisor, so it’s probably already on your list).
The other thing I really loved in Barcelona was the weather. It was gorgeous outside the whole time we were there. Sunny and 70. I joked with Tyler that I’m such a northerner now that 70 was almost too hot, but that was a lie. I loved it. And there’s a beach.
Since we arrived on Thursday night (technically Friday morning), we had ample time to explore the city. It was such a big city that we really did need all of that time. One weird thing is that Uber was not available and we had to take cabs everywhere, which is something we are not really used to.
The other highlights of the trip included a 15-18 (I lost count) course meal at Spoonik. This restaurant was insane. The food was so different and the presentation was theatrical. When our meat dish arrived, the table looked like it was on fire (through a projector screen), and when the fish arrived, it looked like the ocean.
We tried all kinds of food..
Including sea creatures in a set of dentures.
The only downside was we were sat in between a French and Spanish couple, neither of whom spoke English, so we were kind of on our own. I don’t know if I’m honored or annoyed that they didn’t put us at the American table. Also, dinner lasted for 4 hours, which I guess is typical in Spain, but I don’t know how I felt about eating until 1:30am.
On Saturday evening, we opted for a shorter dinner and went to a Flamenco show afterwards. The outfits that the dancers wore were something else, and the band wasn’t bad either. The venue is one of the top attractions on TripAdvisor and it didn’t disappoint.
We spent the day Sunday exploring the other side of the city and went to the Placa de Catalunya, which also happened to be the site of the finish line to the Barelona marathon, unbeknownst to us.
It was pretty cool to see all of the people running, but it was very difficult to maneuver our way back to the hotel and we ended up walking the whole way. And since all of the roads were closed I thought we were going to miss our flight home (again). But, we ended up making it!
I was very glad that we took a Friday off work to see this crazy beautiful city and experience three full days of sunshine. Our next trip won’t be as warm, as we’re heading to the Alps to try our hands at skiing for the first time. Crossing my fingers for no broken bones.