Barcelona

In: Sydni Johanson

22 Jun 2016

This was my favorite trip so far! But, of course, there are more to come! Flying into the airport over the Mediterranean was so beautiful, and from the plane window we could see the beach and even Sagrada Familia! Even though it was February, the 60 degree weather felt incredible after rainy and cold Rotterdam, this was just the break we needed.

After struggling at the airport with getting a train ticket into the city (my years of studying Spanish in school apparently did not pay off) we finally made it into the city. Coming up the stairs from underground, we immediately saw Casa Batllo, one of the many architectural sites by Gaudi in Barcelona.

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Casa Batllo

It was only a short walk away to our hotel. After dropping our stuff off in the room, Oliver and I walked down one of Barcelona’s famous walking streets, Las Ramblas. It was packed with people and pop up stores selling all kinds of treats and touristy key chains. There were also a handful of people selling selfie sticks! We bought one, no shame at all. We also walked through La Placa Catalunya, a huge public square, which was covered with pigeons. I literally don’t think I have ever seen so many pigeons in one place, it was frightening to walk through. I hadn’t realized how afraid of birds I was. But we survived the swarm of pigeons and took a detour through the gothic quarter. I loved the architecture, the old buildings, and navigating the little alley ways (with our new selfie stick of course).

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Las Ramblas

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La Placa Catalunya

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Gothic Quarter

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Basílica de la Mare de Déu de la Mercè

Our second day in Barcelona started with a long walk to Barceloneta beach in the morning, with a stop at Starbucks on the way. Sadly, Barcelona in February isn’t quite warm enough for a warm beach day, however, I did get to dip my toes in the water. The pier was full of runners and dog walkers in the morning, I’ll have to be back in the summer!

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Barcelona Pier

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Barcelona Pier

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Barceloneta Beach

From the beach, we made the one hour walk to Montjuic. After hiking up quite a ways, we had the most beautiful view of the city! Hiking up further, we made it to Castell de Montjuic, an old military fort.

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View from Park Montjuic

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Castell de Montjuic

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Castell de Montjuic

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Castell de Montjuic

After making it all the way up, we walked down the other side of the hill towards the Olympic Park, another 45 minute walk or so. After walking in nearly an entire circle around the massive stadium we finally found the doors where visitors could walk in, so cool! The park itself was gigantic and pompous; and, the fountains were the perfect spot to hang out in the sun.

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Olympic Stadium

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Olympic Stadium – Outside View

It was all downhill from the park (thank goodness) and we walked another 20 minutes or so back into the city. We were going hang out in the area and eat dinner and see that Magic Fountains at night, however, it looked like the fountains were temporarily shut down. So, starving and exhausted from all the walking, my boyfriend and I walked back to the hotel stopping by a small bakery on the way to get a chocolate croissant. For dinner, we decided that we should try some traditional Spanish tapas (spoiler alert: delicious but so SMALL!). We literally needed a second dinner afterwards.

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Near the Magic Fountains

The third day in Barcelona started with coffee (of course) and the Picasso Museum. It was mostly full of Picasso’s early works, which was really cool to see since it wasn’t the ‘typical’ Picasso paintings he is associated with.

Our next stop was the Sagrada Familia! Although it is not finished yet (I’ll be back in 2026!) it was so extravagant and fascinating to see. Every square inch of the church is full of tiny details, all having special meanings and symbolism. After walking around the church, we finally got to go inside and it was probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The colorful stained glass windows, the intricately designed pillars, the stonework– so gorgeous! The building is so big we had such a hard time getting the whole thing in a photo!

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La Sagrada Familia

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Inside La Sagrada Familia

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Inside La Sagrada Familia

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Inside La Sagrada Familia

One of the biggest things I miss about the US is mexican food. So, after finding wifi I googled “places like Chipotle in Barcelona” and, to my surprise, I actually got a hit: Teciwey. It was this super small shop in a side street (thank goodness for google maps) and it was so tasty! We actually ended up going again and getting burritos to go before we flew out of Barcelona the next day.

Since our flight the next day was at night, my boyfriend and I still had all day to explore. Park Guell was the last site on our list. Getting there we walked through El Portal de l’Angel, a street full of high end shops. We also passed La Pedrera (another Gaudi house) on the way. This was the warmest day during our weekend in Barcelona and walking uphill with our backpacks to Park Guell was not easy! But, the park was a great place to relax and hang out and enjoy more Gaudi architecture (which reminds me a lot of Toon Town to be quite honest) before leaving the city.

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La Pedrera – Guadi House

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Park Guell

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Park Guell

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Park Guell

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View of Park Guell

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Park Guell

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Park Guell

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View from Park Guell

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View from Park Guell

 

Loved Barcelona! I’ll definitely have to come back in the summer months to really enjoy the beach and night life!

 

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