All good things must come to an end, but that is not always a bad thing. To close my European adventure, my roommate and I flew out to Barcelona for the weekend.
Our flight from Athens was at 4 AM, which meant we had to leave for the airport at 2 AM. I would not recommend it since I did not sleep prior to our flight. In addition to my lack of sleep from the early flight, our hotel check-in was not until 3 PM. This meant we had to carry our luggage around the city. I was not excited about that at all, but this was overthrown by the fact that I was in Barcelona!
We started our day at a cafe with some Spanish Toast. It was not really good, but I can say that I tried it! Afterwards, our long day started. The first sight we went to was one of Antoni Gaudi’s most famous works, Casa Mila. Its architecture was very unique —like nothing I had ever seen! It stood out from the other surrounding buildings. Casa Battlò was a few minutes away from Casa Mila and it was even more beautiful and unique.
The next place was the Placa de Catalunya. It was surrounded by fountains and it was pigeon central. Being spontaneous, we bought some sunflower seeds and fed the pigeons. They ate right out of my hands. I am personally afraid of pigeons, but right then and there I somehow managed to conquer my fear. I was surprised at myself for doing something like that.
Close by was the Mercado de La Boqueria— a famous outdoor market. Stands lined the road and advertised products like juice, smoothies, sweets, meats, and many others. It was crowded and hectic, but very colorful— much like the rest of Barcelona! Afterwards, we wandered through the main “tourist street” of La Ramblas. Beautiful trees lined the street on both sides and provided us with shade while we looked into shops.
The day was concluded with the Cathedral of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter, and the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. To me, it was like an open museum and it did not matter if I went inside because the outside architecture was enough for me.
The Next Day
At this point we kind of saw most of the tourist attractions and the goal was to finish them all before our flight at 11 PM. No one really talks about how hard it actually is to travel or how little you end up sleeping, so my friend and I decided to sleep in a little bit longer. It was the best decision we made! Honestly, I feel like people just rush things and want to see everything that they forget that their bodies need to rest.
Once we were well rested, we got ready and ended up at a street carnival. People were dancing and making music and it was so interesting to see that side of Barcelona. The day before, we only saw the touristy side of Barcelona and while it was pretty, I felt like there was more to the city. The random streets are usually the most interesting to me.
I know I just said all that about not liking the touristy side too much, but I had to see the rest of the architecture while I was here. So went and saw La Sagrada Familia. It was still under construction and will not be completed until 2026. I hope to go back and see it completed. The other touristy thing we had to cross off our list was the Teleferic de Montjuic, a cable car that leads to Castell de Montjuïc. I’ve never been inside a castle before and it was nothing but grand! From the castle, the city was in full view and we saw beautiful coasts of blue water.
The GRAND Finale
We concluded our night at the Font Màgica de Montjuïc. We arrived an hour early before the show started and yet it was packed! Did I mention that it started at 9:300 PM and our flight was at 11:30? The show was said to last about 20 minutes and it felt like we were cutting too close but we decided to just stay. It was the most magical thing ever. There was music and lights and water looked as if it were dancing to it. Because the fountain was so big, a lot of people got sprayed and my friend and I were sprayed. It was just a perfect way to end the night (and we didn’t miss our flight back to Athens).
So this concludes my summer travels. It has been an interesting summer for sure. Over the weekend, I found myself in a different country and over the week I was in class. It was something I was never used to and I am thankful for this opportunity. Although, it was fun and everything, I can’t wait to be back home. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to travel in the future but for now, I think I’ve seen enough. At the end of the day, there’s truly no place like home.