Hola from Barcelona! Although here it’s pronounced ‘Barth-elona’ and gracias is pronounced ‘gra-she-as.’ A little different from how we speak Spanish in the states but easy enough to pick up on.
We did another early morning yesterday so it wasn’t a buenos dias for me with a 5AM wake up. We hopped on the train from Paris to Barcelona, settling in for a seven hour trip. I popped a sleeping pill and zonked out uncomfortably for a bit while Todd watched Ray Donovan. The night before, Megan mentioned when she took the train years before from Paris to Barcelona, when she hit the border of France and Spain, they made her switch trains. We were glad for this tidbit of information because this happened to us. Let me tell you… Waking up from a crappy sleep to a woman yelling we had to switch trains was somewhat unsettling. I thought there was a terrorist on the train or something but Todd reminded me of what Megan told us the night before. With the traffic within the train station you would have thought there was something wrong though, with all the crowds and pushing and shoving to get through. A group of Japanese tourists were riding the tail of a gentleman who’d had enough of them invading his space so he stopped at the top of an escalator, with them crashing into him and screaming at him. I mean I guess you have to ensure you’re personal space isn’t invaded. I get it.
We arrived in Barcelona around 2PM and saw a McDonald’s in the train station. Todd and I got an ice cold fountain Coke Zero and it was magical with all the ice in our cup. We took a cab to our hotel, the Hilton Diagonal Mar, passing the beach we probably won’t have time to get to on the way. Word is, it’s a topless beach. Europeans…
We checked in and Todd let me take a two hour siesta… Since we are in Spain it’s only appropriate. We then freshened up and hit the town. We went to La Rambla, a famous street with tons of shops and restaurants. We found a cute cafe with shaded outdoor seating and ordered our first sangrias of the trip, served in fishbowl glasses. Todd ordered classic and I ordered cava sangria. Both were delicious but SWEET… Somewhat like drinking a liquid pixie stick. My days of drinking liquid sugar ended with Smirnoff Ice in high school so I’m glad I tried it but the local drink might be a little sweet for my taste. A man cut my silhouette and Todd didn’t want to buy it but I talked him into it. Why not? It kind of looks like me. We wandered around a little more, passing a market that was closing so we decided to come back the next day… Which was today. We ended the evening at a restaurant, trying various tapas and my first paella with a mix of chicken and seafood… Pretty good but Todd was not that impressed with the paella. After we finished we went back to the hotel and to bed. It was a long day of travel.
This morning Todd told me I had to be up early again since we had tickets for La Sagrada Familia at 10AM. I was allowed a reasonable wake up time of 7:30AM compared to my 5AM wake up call the day before and 4:30AM wake up call the day before that. I could deal. We had breakfast at the hotel and it didn’t disappoint. Have you ever had peach juice? I hadn’t until today and it was like heaven in a glass.
We headed out for a Gaudi-inspired day. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia, the basilica Gaudi designed that is still being worked on. It was very cool and modern… Like no Catholic Church style you’ve ever seen. I’ll post pictures because explaining doesn’t do it justice but imagine lots of modern stonework, lots of colorful stained glass and colorful tile work that also looked like stained glass. We took an elevator to the top tower and were able to snap some photos looking over most of Barcelona. Then there was the walk down. It was the most narrow staircase I’d ever seen and I’m not scared of heights, but this got me nervous and clinging to the handrail.
We headed out from there, back to La Rambla to grab a quick bite for lunch. We had mas tapas… Delicious chorizo, croquettes and chicken skewers. We than walked to the Market de Boqueria within La Rambla and took in all the fresh fish, meats, fruits, vegetables and candy you can imagine. The peach juice just may have been surpassed by the kiwi juice I tried there.
We headed back to the hotel after that for a little siesta and when we got back I got a text from my mom that Cigna (my employer) is to be bought by Anthem… I wasn’t sure what to do with that news so I slept it off for an hour.
We headed back out for dinner and liked the market so much that we went back. We ended up eating more delicious tapas and enjoying some street performers playing for us while we ate.
Our last stop of the day was Park Guell, another Gaudi masterpiece. There were lots of beautiful natural views as well as modern art and tilework throughout the park. It reminded me of Candyland a little bit. All of these sites were amazing but the true highlight of our park visit was when a bird pooped on Todd’s head. A big fat splatter on his head. Luckily he had a bandana in his pocket because that bird did a bullseye right on him. Poor Todd.
We ended our evening after that and are now settling in for the night. Tomorrow is the last day of our EuroTrip so we plan on making it count. Stay tuned for my next post!