i. love. barcelona.
sevilla is fantastic and i love it here, but that aside i just absolutely adore the city of barcelona. it’s location is northeast spain, kind of near the french border on the mediterranean. the weather is much cooler there than in sevilla, and for that i was truly grateful (always nice to have a break from the sweltering heat of southern spain).
we flew in on friday morning and it rained pretty much all day, which was no fun. despite my soggy shoes and overcast attitude, i was able to push through the dreary day and see lots of great things. first stop was a cathedral in barcelona — i know a lot of people on this trip say that they’ve seen enough cathedrals, but i just cannot get enough.
we didn’t get to spend too much time there since they were getting ready to close for the afternoon so that they could start charging people, but what we saw was just so beautiful (per usual with things i have seen in spain so it seems).
then, we went to the chocolate museum. yes, the chocolate museum. my ticket was a bar of dark chocolate:
everything in the museum was (obviously) made of chocolate. they had some machines on display as well and there was also a pastry school/dessert-making-place attached to the museum. talk about satiating my chocolate cravings for a lifetime!
after that, we trekked in the rain to the picasso museum — sadly, no photography was allowed, so i didn’t get to snap any shots of that adventure. it was really neat because the way the museum was set up allowed you to see picasso’s progression as an artist, from some of his very first works down to some of his more recent stuff including some of his ceramic work. he had such a unique and original perspective — his work is just so recognizable, it’s incredible.
we went out that night with a lot of people from the hostel — everyone who was staying in the hostel got a stamp (if so desired) to get into a popular club for free rather than paying the 15 euro cover, so we all decided to hit the town. the place we went was cool and right on the mediterranean — too bad it was too dark to see any of the beach!
the next day was awesome — first of all, there was no rain. second of all, we did lots of neat stuff. what kinds of neat stuff, you ask? let me tell you.
1. la rambla.
so this place is fantastic and so full of life. it’s more or less a street in central/downtown barcelona near the plaza catalunya. there are tons of shops and street performers and everything else you could think of located in this area. there are also a lot of shorter streets off of the main one where you can find even more shops and markets and things of the like. one of my favorite things was hitting up this place:
this market is one of the most popular open air markets in the world (and also one of the most likely places in the world where you could get pick-pocketed..fortunately, i’m safe and responsible and there was never any need to worry)! everything was SO fresh and everything smelled delicious and wonderful and i could have spent hours in there!
these juice-smoothie concoctions were easily the tastiest thing i consumed while in barcelona. it was literally straight fresh fruit thrown in a blender. my flavor of choice was pineapple-strawberry — refreshingly delicious!
it was awesome seeing the colors of all the fruits and vegetables everywhere. there was also fresh fish and seafood and meat and spices — pretty much anything you could think of, this market had it.
2. la sagrada familia.
this is probably the most overwhelmingly (in a good way) beautiful building i have ever seen. it’s a church that was designed by gaudi — he worked on it for 43 years (building started in 1882) until his death and there are currently architects making attempts to finish what gaudi imagined would be la sagrada familia. today’s architects are trying to stick with gaudi’s inspirations, but all of his blueprints for the church were destroyed during the spanish civil war (1936-1939) and private funding/donations halted during this time as well. they plan on finishing the church by the year 2026, in order to commemorate gaudi at the centennial of his death. pretty cool, right? well wait until you see what the place looks like:
so the story here is really great: the doors that lead into the church from the outside have the story of Jesus from the gospels of matthew and john on them. it is really amazing how every word is engraved into the wooden doors!
pretty breathtaking, right?! right. i love moments when i’m in a church like that and just get consumed by God. it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
after admiring that part of gaudi’s brillance, we went to park guell, which is a park that gaudi designed (1900-1914). sadly, we didn’t get to spend too much time there because the park was about to close, but what we did get to see what pretty stellar and we had a great view of the city!
ahh, i just cannot get over how great this weekend was and how much i was able to see in such a short amount of time. so far i think if there is one place i could go back to, i’d choose barcelona. there was just so much art and history and unique aspects to the city that i just cherish.
two weeks left in spain and monique and i have a colorful bucket list made! what to expect these next couple weeks: more on life in sevilla, a bull fight, and the completion of what is left on our bucket list (which may or may not get posted soon)!