After spending some fascinating days in northern Europe as you read in part one of my trip, part two came with more adventures and discoveries in Paris and Barcelona. The bus ride to Paris was filled with beautiful scenery of the countryside however given the last hostel experience in part one of my trip I had (as you can imagine) my reservations as we neared our hostel in Paris. This hostel was located in what seemed to be an unsafe area which we were advised against walking around alone and late at night, however the hostel itself interiorly was clean and I felt comfortable staying there. Upon our arrival late that night I focused on planning out the next few days in order to complete all the goals of places I wanted to see.
The first full day in Paris started off with a visit to the immaculate Palace of Versailles followed by having some exquisite French onion soup and spending the late afternoon taking in the Eiffel Tower while eating some delicious macaroons. No matter how many hours we sat there I couldn’t get over how intricate and marvelous the tower was, I could have stayed there all day. After consuming an unnecessary amount of baguettes the next morning my friends and I headed to the Louvre to get a firsthand look at the Mona Lisa. After spending a significant amount of time there we grabbed some fresh croissants and strolled through the park nearby. We spent the remainder of day riding electric scooters around Paris and taking in the beautiful buildings/architecture and atmosphere the city has to offer.
From Paris we headed to Barcelona which was an unbelievable time. Not only was it one of the places I had been looking forward to, but we were also blessed with amazing weather during our trip. Again, it started with a walking tour around the city where we got a lot of information about its history and culture which I was never educated in before. After the tour we checked into the hostel which was in an awesome location and was just as good as the Berlin hostel that I mention in the previous blog. After a much-needed shower and freshening up we headed to a highly recommended lunch spot with my roomates that was on the beach. Not only was the walk there breathtakingly beautiful but the food was absolutely delicious which included the best nachos I had ever eaten. We enjoyed the sunset at the beach and then headed back to the hostel to prepare for a night out to get a taste of the lively nightlife that Barcelona has to offer.
The next day Francesca and I woke up early and concurred our day, and by that I mean had the best day filled with sightseeing and food tasting. We had an amazing breakfast and then continued our day by visiting the Basilica Sagrada Familia which was massive and breathtakingly beautiful. From there we went to see the Arc de Trionfo and walked through the Parc la Ciutadella which was a hidden gem to us. It was very charming, beautiful and peaceful everyone there seemed so happy and content with music playing, bubbles blowing and just an overall amazing vibe. After walking through the park, we headed to the beach again where I ate some very delicious churros while I took in the warm weather and watched all the different people and activities surrounding the beach.
After spending the afternoon at the beach, we decided to get lunch at another highly recommended restaurant called Rosa Negra where we again had one of the best meals consisting of fish tacos and enchiladas. Once we finished our lunch we headed towards Park Guell for the sunset. It was such a beautiful area filled with various bright and colorful flowers, lush greenery and we even got to see native parrots nestled in the trees. The view from up there just added to brilliance of this park and it made me want to stay there for forever. It was the perfect way to end our time in Barcelona.
Throughout this trip I was able to visit such notably famous cities in Europe and experience their culture through walking around, enjoying their native foods and visiting their museums and public spots. Although many aspects of this trip where not ideal, I was able to compromise and improvise throughout the trip in order to get the best experience at each city. It was an unforgettable experience and I am happy I pushed myself out of my comfort zone in order to accomplish everything I hoped for and to grow as a student and as a human being!