I had my toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a (fake) mojito in my hand. Life is good in Barcelona.
20.04.2016 - 23.04.2016 65 °F
My most recent trip to Barcelona came and went quickly. Just like the entire semester, it came upon me in the midst of so much else (other trips, work, studying) and then all of a sudden it was over. My short two day excursion to the beautiful Catalina was packed with too much fun and too little sleep.
I left on a late night flight Wednesday, and got to the city even later. Because my flight was delayed for an hour, I missed the last train into the city. I had to take a special night bus (which thankfully runs all night) and got to bed around 2:30. My hostel was centrally located, and I spent the extra few euros for a private room that made everything that much more comfortable. I brought my laptop to study, and I wasn't about to get that stolen a week before all my finals. Thursday morning early (not really, 11:30) I met my friend Nicole to explore a famous market called La Boqueria, which I'm sad to say I only got to see that one time. It was full to the brim with the freshest food in the city, from chocolate covered everything to fruit salads to fish that had to have been caught that morning. After begrudgingly doing a couple hours of studying, we started to explore what the city had to offer and headed towards the beach. What started out as a rainy day turned into hours of sun for us in the afternoon, and we happily soaked it up while drinking fake (actually--we got scammed) mojitos in the sand. In a weird mix of rain and sun we next climbed up to the city's World War II bunkers to watch the sunset with a lot of the city's young people. The 360 degree view did not disappoint, and the views from here were my favorite anywhere in the city that I went. These bunkers lie in a huge hill situated so that we were surrounded by city. Beyond this behind us were even higher mountains, and in front was the entire city, complete with the beach and the Mediterranean. It was vast and awe inspiring. I could have stayed up there my entire trip and been happy.
Fortunately there was a lot else to do. The following morning, again very early (12:45), we headed to the famous La Sagrada Familia, which has been under construction for almost 100 years. Still, the inside was worth the overpriced ticket: this famous Gaudi-designed cathedral was definitely unlike any cathedral I'd been in thus far in Europe. Although the church is incredibly monetized, I suppose the detail and intricacy on the inside and outside alike command the steep price--25 euro for the full package audioguide and museum pass. I opted for the budget 13 euro entrance fee. That afternoon, after one of the best authentic seafood meals I've ever had, we saw another of Gaudi's major works, the Parc Guell. This beautiful and hilly park offered yet another spectacular view, but I appreciated the designs and nature in the park more. You could walk through the plants, terraces, trees, and open spaces for hours, and we did just that. If you're lucky you can find a peaceful spot to sit and think while talented musicians serenade you with music to complete what can only be described as bliss to all five senses. After a good sandwich dinner on the go, we were just in time for a performance at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. This huge fountain, built in 1929, "offers a spectacular performance of water acrobatics and lights which generate over 50 kinds of shades and hues." I had to look this up just now because I was utterly unprepared for how cool this show ended up being. I didn't even know it was a show until we got there and it entertained thousands of people for over an hour. The Barcelona nightlife made the 7:10am flight Saturday morning a bit more painful than necessary, but getting Chipotle in Frankfurt after landing was my prize. Trip complete.
I don't want my travels to end. I can't imagine not being able to wake up and decide to visit Barcelona, or Venice, or Anywhere, but that day is coming soon enough and I must return to the real world. Or maybe I can find a way to take some of this lifestyle, this sense of freedom and purpose, this thirst to explore and learn, back with me, wherever it is I go.