Let mie begin by expressing my love for this state of Spain. Barcelona is absolutely spectacular. I did not take nearly as many photos as I would have liked, simply because I was busy seeing all the city has to offer, laying on the beach and meeting new friends! My adventure here bagan on the train from Paris to Barcelona where I met Angelica and Sofia, both of which hail from Sweden. We were all equally confused about the trains, so we worked together to find our final destination successfully. When we arrive in Barcelona, the three of us decided to find a hostel together. After a McDonald's hotspot and an hour of wondering on the streets of Barcelona and La Rambla, we found the hostel and set up shop. By this time it was 3p.m., so what better to do than go to the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny and 75 (24 for you non-americans :p)! The catch, to any mediterranean beach, is the water, however clear and beautiful, it's temperature is quite cold. I did not find this a problem, as the sun was able to quickly warm my body upon exiting the water.
The large building at the end of the beach is a W Hotel.
This was a gondola to take people from the port where the cruise ships moor to beach to catch some sun rays.
A sand statue which had music accompaniment, an orchestra from Viena!
Barcelona's Muscle Beach.
Frank Gehry's fish at the base of the right tower. The three of us relaxed on the beach for several hours before returning to La Ramble, the main road of shop, food and entertainers, for a classic Spanish dinner: tapas, paella, and sangria. We spent the rest of the evening socializing and exploring more of Barcelona.
The next day I wanted to really see Barcelona, so I rented a bicycle to do my touring. I began by heading directly to Antoni Gaudi's Familia Sagrada. This building has been under construction since its groundbreaking in 1882 and isn't expected to be completed until 2028. How crazy is that! I didn't realize there would be so many cranes erected around it, but it's was still very easy to admire with all the construction. Gaudi's style is anything but ordinary. All of his works extremely organic. My second stop was another one of his works, Casa Mila. It was originally an apartment building, but now I believe it's completely a museum. Again, notice the organic element. The further I went, the more I realized this was a Gaudi tour! My third stop was Gaudi's Park Güell. It's a large sprawling public park situated on the hillside far inland in the city. You can see Sagrada Familia in the background. Large open space, in contrast to the rest of the park which is walkways through the green hillside. Looking toward the Mediterranean from the park, over the majority of Barcelona. This was the grand entrance to the National Art Museum of Catalonia, near the Olympic Park. The National Art Museum of Catalonia. Like I said earlier, I really wish I had spent more time here taking photos of things. Though I was close the Olympic park, I did not see any of it. Riding the bike around made it difficult to pull my camera out and snap photos, and riding a bike with the camera around my neck was equally distracting.
After my tour, I met up with Angelica and Sofia at the beach for more relaxation. We spent dinner in the hostel, conversing and meeting even more great people. The next day I packed up and headed for Porto, Portugal to meet up with Charlie, who I met on an airplane from Zurich to Prague two years ago! You never know who you'll meet, or when you'll see them again, but it's great to be meeting so many people and being in their lives, if only for a few hours.
Another update about Porto, Portugal to come soon, but until then, I must make my way to Africa!