London to Barcelona
Hi everyone, let me tell you something about my favorite city in Europe! (And since I haven't been to Rome or Venice yet...Barcelona will do). *If you want to know why you should go to Barcelona just scroll down to the bottom :)
Fortunately I had about three weeks of spring / easter break. Regent's psychology program gives students one extra week off called Reading Week. It's an opportunity to catch up on reading or studying but most students use it to go visit their family or have an extra week of holiday like me.
So I planned to stay in Barcelona for a week. I used AirB&B and booked a private room for one of my flat mates and I. It cost me $122 for four nights which is great. The room was situated in the neighborhood called El Poblo Sec. 5 minutes from Port Vell, the water and 15-20 minutes from the beach, La Barceloneta.
Port Vell at sunset.
The first day in Barcelona was a nice sunny one, however the temperature was still in the 50's. My flat mate and I opted to do a city bus tour which cost about 24.30 euros. For this price, the tour was well worth it. It took us to the old and new part of Barcelona. The bus has an open sun roof where people can take good photos. The tour is also a hop on and hop off tour. We saw La Sagrada Familia, La Barceloneta, Park Guell, and various beautiful buildings and sculptures. I highly recommend this tour because it gives you a perspective of what you really want to do and see. Also you are given a little bit of history on each location and building, which was quite nice.
After Park Guell we tried Paella which is a popular Spanish dish. It includes sea food or sometimes meat with olive oil, saffron, and rice. That and a sangria, sitting out on the terrace enjoying the warm sun made for a lovely day in Barcelona. The rest of the days I spent lounging around at the beach, visiting La Rablas, Placa Catalunya, and walking around through beautiful parks and streets. If traveling through different countries in Europe I recommend just walking and skipping taxis or metros. Everything is usually really close anyways and walking with good company makes the time pass faster. Also walking allows you to explore gelato cafes, coffee shops, gift shops, and various tapas places.
I can't remember quite well but this was part of a State Building
A beautiful building in Park Guell
Colorful street art
Candy in Mercat market
Yummy yummy paella pronounced: Pie-ay-ah
Spanish Arc de Triomph
*Why Barcelona is my favorite city in Europe. Well...if you are someone who really enjoys art, sun, the ocean and city life then Barcelona is the place for you. This city is the epitome of modernism and contemporary art. I mean this is the place of Gaudi and Salvador Dali!!!!! For all you art lovers, I plead you to visit Barcelona. People love their city and are very proud of Barcelona. For that matter they want guests to have a nice time. I have been greeted in shops and streets and in my flat countless times with a friendly "Hola." Reminds me of the Aloha Spirit. In some ways, Barcelona reminded me of Hawaii so that might be another reason why I enjoy it so much. Another reason of course is the culture. I read somewhere that the Spaniards are a lazy but passionate bunch. Time to them is a luxury. They lounge at various tapas bars in the middle of the day and drink wine or smoke a cigarette. I see a lot of smiling faces. Maybe because it is the good weather, good food, or just the great atmosphere. They are proud of their history and their art and architecture. Barcelona is colorful and vibrant and bursting full of life. There is much to do and much to see but you don't feel the pressure of rushing around at all. I love that feeling and atmosphere of just being able to enjoy a place quietly. But on another aspect Barcelona and Catalonians love to party! Shops and restaurants close at midnight! The clubs open even later! There is a vibrant night life that slowly unfolds before your eyes with dancing and good music. It's quite infectious. Barcelona is a must. Sorry London but I secretly wish I had studied in Spain now...