Barcelona was fantastic because we let it be. I guess you just have to decide what you want out of your travels. So much of life can be made up of your mindset, who you’re with, and who you meet. Also, Barcelona is not the safest city, but if you play it smart it’s easy to have a killer time.
11 Americans left their flat in London many hours and modes of transportation for about 8+ hours of commuting. Leslie and I stayed in a wonderful 20something-friendly youth hostel. Some of the guys stayed with Nick’s friend and everyone else stayed in a straight laced bed-locker-breakfast hostel. We really enjoyed our place because it was super chill and there were travelers from all over the world, and music was playing during the day, breakfast came with NUTELLA, free internet in the lounge area, and we met some really crazy and fun guys from Bristol.
Las Ramblas: the first day
We begun the trip by walking around the main city street: Las Ramblas. There were lots of restaurants and street performers. Leslie and I toured outside the beautiful gothic catherdral and really enjoyed the architecture. Every 10 minutes, “we’re in SPAIN!” It was a little colder than we expected, but survivable. We stumbled upon manuscripts that were hundreds of years old. Being in Europe is making everything I learned from Medieval Art History back to me. I am much wiser at appreciating architecture and religious artifacts, I suppose. They have more significance to me than “book with drawing.” That night we actually ended up getting pizza with the big group and proceeded to nap. Somewhere inbetween I began the first lot of socialising with the travelers in our youth hostel. There was a group of 3 guys from Bristol who had been there all week.
Looking for nightlife
I had been feeling a bit cramped by London (which is silly because Barca is much smaller) and overwhelmed by Americans actually. We attempted to hit up the nightlife that the city is known for. We found a few places to go out, but that night we mostly kept to our group. Don’t tell mom and dad, but we needed Alan to walk us back to the hostel, considering the small gathering of ‘ladies’ on the street.
Soaking in sights of Spain
Leslie and I woke up bright an early to make it for the breakfast that included cereal, juice, bread (jam, butter or NUTELLA!) We had a wonderful leisurely breakfast and met a darling couple (our age) from Rome. They were so cute and we loved talking to them. We encouraged them to go on a pubcrawl tha was later in the evening. Leslie and I met up with the group and made our way to the gorgeous harbor on the Mediterranean sea. We saw some of the shopping in the area. Between the our delicious Paella and evening siesta, we took a group trip north of the city. We saw some of Gaudi’s famous architecture including La Pedrera. As a broke students, we decided not to pay the charge and enjoyed it from the outside.
The pub crawl was fantastic. There were people our age from a few different hostels and from every corner. For a terribly reasonable flat fee, we went to 4 pubs and a disco–all drinks included. Honestly, I met more Londoners that weekend than I have in England (which is near none). As expected, we were out all night and had the most fantastic night possible. It was perfect.
The next (very sleepy) morning, we stumbled to breakfast then to checkout. It was our plan to see a light and sound exhibit with our Bristol friends, but they were more dead from the night than us. So we said bye to our ‘Roman’ friends and other cool people we met and set off with our backpacks for the last day.
The learned traveller
It was the plan to go to the free picasso museum. Limited time, long cues, and tired brains sent us to the chocolate museum instead! We shared a sipping chocolate and lady fingers. It was perfection. We camped out the Arc de Triumph and people watched for about two hours. Going to Barcelona helped me get out of my rut and renew my lost positive energy. The honeymoon period had ended at our flat and weirdly enough I think we all needed a vacation. Unfortunately, a wallet got taken (and found), a bag got stolen, ATM cards not working and some flights almost missed. I guess that’s part of traveling and learning to prepare better. I wish everyone could have had a glorious time.
I’m better because of it, and my first day back was the best day yet.
The best part: feeling photosynthetic. Totally rejuvenated by seeing the sun. I could not stop smiling all day today. I remember why I wanted to come here and how amazing it really is. It’s so sad that I forgot. Moreso, I am remembering how important a diversity of people in my life is. I went to Camden street (a younger funkier? area) today and met some pretty cool friendly guys who work at a coffee shop there. They were also sitting with a girl, NAMED NINA, from Dublin. We all chatted for over an hour or so. We were all about the same age, and just talked about life, where we were going, what we were doing, music, travelling, and just what brought us all to that table at that moment. THIS is what I am here for. That’s life my friends. I’m glad I opened my mind back up, it was getting crowded in that head of mine.
Amigos from Barcelona Mar:
Laura and Ricardo: Rome, Italy
Brad, Gavin, and friend: near Bristol, England
Tall man: Melbourne, Australia
(The skater): Marseilles
(Complaining Girl): Isreal
Language Studies: girl, Alabama
Macho guys: Minnesota and Alaska