Barcelona, Spain

December 3, 2008Devon 1 Comment »

For my last trip I wanted to go somewhere different. So Briana and I went to Barcelona, Spain. It just so happened that we went on November 29th and M’lynn and Rachel were going on the 30th. We made arrangements to stay in the same hostel room and to all come back to Bonn on December 2nd. Because this was my last trip I wanted to try and spend as little money and posable. So I had everything budgeted down to the last euro cent. Little did I know Ryan Air had other plans–Barcelona was amazing, but getting/coming back was horrific.

We found a good deal on an airline, Ryan Air. It left from Dusseldorf and arrived in Barcelona. Dusseldorf is not that far from Bonn so we figured it would be fine (take a train for 6€). Well, it turns out that Ryan Air fly out of small airports, so even though it said Dusseldorf, it was in a small city closer to the Netherlands. We had to take a bus from Koln HBF to Weese Airport; 21€ extra and a 1 hour and 30 min bus ride. Here is where it gets worse. Right as our bus arrives, we see that the terminal is being evacuated. Someone was not clamming a bag so they evacuated the terminal and we all had to wait outside in the cold (I mean cold; -1 Celsius) for 3 hours. Our plane was delayed for over an hour. After the evacuation we got everything sorted out and finally landed in “Barcelona.” HA! No, it was another small city 1 hour and 30 min from Barcelona. So, yes, another 21€ bus ride.

Once we finally got into the city, we used the metro to get to our hostel. Our hostel was amazing, Briana did a good job. It was very modern, clean, tall, and stylish. We even had free access to the neighboring spa (with pool, sauna, so on). That night, because we had been traveling for 10 hours, Briana and I stayed in. We went down to the cafeteria and sampled some authentic Sangria–which was, for lack of a better word, divine. We had a bit to much and stayed up talking and laughing until 2am. While talking we also planed out a schedule for the next few days.

The next morning (November 30), while waiting for M’lynn and Rachel to arrive in the afternoon, we went on a city tour from one of Briana’s travel books. First on our stop was the famous “La Rambla.” We walked down the pedestrian corridor and gawked at the architecture, shops, artists, and ambiance. It was so nice being somewhere that was “warm” (comparably to Germany).

At the end of La Rambla, we came to Barcelona harbor. Standing tall in the air was Christopher Columbus; you can tell it is him because he is pointing to America. We walked along the harbor and to the beaches. For lunch we talked to some locals and they told us to go to “Origins.” It was an organic restaurant that uses 99.9% local ingredients. It is a Tapas restaurant; meaning you get allot of little things and eat the all together. I got spanish sausages and Cannelloni. The Cannelloni was in a rich cheese sauce and had tuna in it; different, but good. That was Briana’s and my “nice” meal, 13€ each.

After lunch we went to the Picasso Museum. I know Picasso is very famous and his paintings are innovative, but I never fully understood why, until after the museum. It took us through his entire life, from about age 9 to death. It was amazing to see how he was trained as a professional “traditional” painter and how he evolved into “Picasso.” We were at the museum for over 3 hours. After, we went back to the Hostel for a siesta. We napped for 2 hours, awoken when M’lynn and Rachel arriving at 5pm.

We went out for a simple dinner and to take them to La Ramble at night. It is interesting to see things at night, compared to the day. The change has such an effect on the feeling and even the type of people that are out. It is nice to have time in a place to see the differences. At the end of the Ramble, we went to the beach. We walked in the sand and all touched the Mediterranean sea, for the first time, at the same time. It was cold, but warmer then I thought it would be. After the beach we walked to the closest metro stop and headed back to the hostel.

After breakfast (December 1), we took a metro and a bus to Park Güell. The park is by Gaudi, the famous architect. The park is on a hill to the north of Barcelona so it has amazing views over the city. The layout of the park is simple, from a landscape architecture view, but the style and architecture is stunning. All four of us stayed at the park for hours, taking hundreds of photos. Gaudi’s use of tile, shape, lines, scale, views, are just fascinating and so spanish. He really did lead and embrace the art nouveau style.

After the park we took another bus around the city to see his architecture facades. We hoped around the city just big eyed at all the buildings. It is so fascinating that this one man did so many things. His name is so synonymous with Barcelona style. He really put Barcelona on the map. To top everything off, the final stop on our self tour was the ornate and extravagant church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The church is so power full it speaks for itself, so I am just putting a photo.

After, we went back to the hostel for our siesta. We got up around 5pm. It was our last night in Barcelona so we wanted to go out that night. Because we all wanted to save money we decided to “pre-game” with the hostel sangria then head out. At 6pm we went to the cafeteria and has our sangria pitchers. I love this picture from that night because it explains the night perfectly: sangria, random people, and blurry. In the hostel we met 4 German women on a vacation. We befriended them and talked as much as we could in german and they in english. It was a fun night just talking. At 1am Briana, M’lynn, and I went out on the town. Rachel passed-out in the hostel room.

We took a taxi to the city center because the metro stopped running. Once at the city center we wandered around stopping locals around our age asking where to find a place to go out. The answers were all the same, “It is Xam on Monday, everything is closed.” So after wondering around the streets of Barcelona we headed back to the Hostel at 4am. Everyone was really nice and spoke good English, more english then I thought people would speak. Even though we did not find a club, it was fun being together in Spain wondering around aimlessly for hours.

In the morning (December 2) we checked out of the hostel and went to the city center for another few hours before having to leave at 2pm. We went to one of the local Spanish markets. It was so cool. Such strange food I have never seen before and so much sea food! I know Texas has alot of sea food, but I was speechless. It was an authentic market with meat, fruit, vegetables, spices, oils, fungi, fish, and more. I even saw an old woman toss a flounder up into the air and cut its head off before it hit the counter. It was cool and nauseating at the same time, a good time to head out. At 2pm we left Barclona and went to the bus station.

I do not even walk to talk about getting back to Bonn in detail so I am going to shorten it. I took a metro, bus, plane, train, train, train, U-Bahn, and walked allot somewhere in there. It took over 10 hours. I am so tired of traveling, not tired of seeing places, just the traveling. Anyway, at the airport I saw a Spanish sunset, a perfect ending to my Barcelona trip.

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