I’m really grateful that I’m able to travel to other locations in Europe during my time abroad. This past weekend I travelled to the wonderful city of Barcelona. It was my first time in Spain and also my first 17+ hour bus ride in the EU. Even on the long bus rides though, the views are beautiful. We drove near the French Riviera and saw amazing views of the sea.
We arrived Friday morning and went on a walking tour of Barcelona shortly after. Our guide, named Vera, was a local, and she showed us the main points of the city that we were staying near. We walked down Las Ramblas which are streets in Barcelona where a shopping district runs. We also explored El Gòtic, the Gothic quarter, with the Cathedral of Barcelona, Plaza Real, and historical sites that date hundreds of years back.
Our guide talked about how the Gothic quarter was influenced by Antoni Gaudí who did a great deal of designing the gorgeous architecture for the city of Barcelona. He designed key sites in Barcelona like La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, which are both locations I was able to go to during my short time in Barcelona.
Later on Friday, we went to La Sagrada Familia, which is an expansive basilica that’s still under construction. Construction began in the late 19th century and Gaudí’s work is still being built, honoured, and celebrated.
The basilica stretches into the sky and could be seen from Park Güell, where we went on Saturday. Park Güell is a public park with gardens and of course, Gaudí’s breathtaking architecture. While walking through, I was recalling all of the instances I had seen Park Güell in movies and on TV. I recalled America’s Next Top Model cycle 7, when the girls went to Barcelona and strutted the runway in a haunting theme. And again in (of course) The Cheetah Girls 2, during the song “Strut.” And no, I am not ashamed for these being my points of reference. I thought it was just so cool to be in the space that so many other people have been.
On Saturday, we also made our way to the beach in OCTOBER! I couldn’t help but think about how it had just snowed in my hometown in Colorado and here I was walking on the beach in a short-sleeve shirt. The water was chilling but it was a beautiful day to go for a swim.
I didn’t leave Barcelona before experiencing paella and tapas. We went to a restaurant that was right off the beach and we ended up getting the tapas for free to complete our sangria and paella meals. Later that night, we experienced the Barcelona nightlife everyone raves about. And let me tell you, believe the hype. That is all I have to say about that.
I really hope I’m able to return to Barcelona someday. I felt as though the city had welcomed me, and I’m so grateful for such a positive experience. A short weekend was not enough and I would’ve liked to see and experience so much more!
Until next time,