I went to Barcelona last weekend and I have to say that it is byfar the most beautiful and intriguing city that I have visited so far. It even surpasses London its in beauty, mainly because of it gorgeous beaches and crystal clear waters from the Mediterranean Sea. Sadly to say, I wasn’t that interested in the works of Gaudi as I’m not a huge fan of the artsy stuff, but everything else, including the awesome food, was just unbelievable.
We arrived at Girona Airport (flew Ryanair, they were so much better than Easyjet!) at around 6:25 PM and we managed to get into Barcelona (by airport shuttle) but around 8:30. Our hostel was really close to Plaza de Cataluna so on our first night, we came here to take pictures. The surprising thing about Barcelona is that it reminded me a lot of China: the bustling streets, the smell in the air, crazy nightlife, everything reminded me of what it was like to be back in my home country.
My friend Miscia from Queen’s is on exchange at ESADE in Barcelona, so on our first night, we met up with her for dinner. She took us to a restaurant called “The 15 nights” (El quinze something… I never realized how crappy my Spanish was, despite haven taken 3 years of it in high school, until I came to Barcelona).
On the second day, we decided to walk around aimlessly and just look at the beauty of the city. We went up Montjuic and saw the amazing city from up high.
Me sitting in the Funicular de Montjuic. Its like a metro that goes up the mountain (from underground of course).
Views from halfway up the mountain. It was already GORGEOUS. You can see Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in the back!
We took that little cable car up to the top of the mountain. The ride was really steep and scary but it offered a really great view of everything.
View from the cable car… I think.
On the top of the mountain there was this fortress. I wasn’t sure what it was for, but it was open to the public (and free!) so we went in. I think that little instrument was for torture or something.. or maybe just hanging the person there publicly, not sure =S
Me inside the fortress!
You have a 360 degree view of Barcelona from the top of this thing, it was absolutely breathtaking. Here is the land…
And the sea.
Gotta be touristy and take a pic with the cable car!
Afterwards we went to Barceloneta to walk around and have some lunch. Miscia told us about this Menu Del Dia, which is basically a meal that includes 3 courses, drinks, break and coffee/tea. For appetizer I had mussels, it was SO GOOD. I haven’t had seafood in a long time and having grown up in areas where seafood is abundant, you have no idea how good it felt to eat some.
For main dish, my friend Sichen and I shared a Paella. It was kinda of greasy and dry at the same time, but it was still really good. Plus the mussels themselves could have been a main dish, so when the paella came we were already kind of full…
For dessert, I had creme brulee =D Can you imagine, our lunch took us 2 hours to eat!! That’s pretty crazy when we’re trying to be tourists and see as much of the city as possible…
And then we went to the beach after lunch.
On the pier. The sky had cleared up by then and it had become even more beautiful than before.
The streets are all lined up perfectly, unlike some places in Europe… cough.
Lots and lots of palm trees (at least, thats what I think they are).
There was this little kids playground randomly on the beach, so we went and played on it, haha.
Now here are some really funky shots. Enjoy =D
On the third day, we went and saw the Gaudi sites. Here is me at Parc Guell.
You can see even the details on the column are in the style of Gaudi.
Perfectly lined up columns…
Sitting on the terrace of Parc Guell.
View from the top!
It was SO bright and sunny that day. That is why in every picture my eyes look barely open >___>
Here’s another random shot, LOL.
See that sun? SO bright! I was super warm that day too, didn’t feel like March at all, more like May or June.
It was so busy that day too, maybe because it was a Saturday, but there were tons of tourists around.
I’m not sure what this house is, probably where the Guell family lived? I dunno, its pretty though!
Another view of the house. You can see the sea way in the back on the right =D
Barcelona from the top. Look at that blue sea!
Me and Sichen =)
At the Sagrada Familia. Its still under construction and won’t be completed until 30 years later, so we didn’t go in, just took some pictures outside.
They were having a BBQ that day. I think it was of green onions or leeks. I remember Miscia telling me about this but I can’t exactly remember what its called.
Casa Mila, another one of Gaudi’s great works.
For dinner we went down to the pier and had good, old fashioned seafood! It was so tender and juicy, cooked just right.
We forgot to take the pic before it was gobbled up, but these are lobster “legs” baked in olive oil and garlic. It was really good, but when we asked the server what lobster “legs” mean, he said it was the claw, but it actually wasn’t, just the actual legs of the lobster (aka, not much meat).
Me with my finished food, hehe.
And that was it for Barcelona; we left the next morning. I really enjoyed myself here. It felt more like a vacation that anything else. One thing I didn’t mention was the shopping. We stayed near Las Ramblas and Plaza de Cataluna and around that area is where all the shopping is. We basically spent the day sightseeing and spent the nights shopping. Shops in Barcelona don’t close until 10 PM! Perfect for a tourist like me. I bought a ton of stuff in Barcelona, my suitcase was loaded to the max on our way back. It was definitely a memorable trip and I recommend that if you ever get a chance, definitely go to Barcelona.
If you are going to Barcelona and want recommendations for food, shopping and lodging, please feel free to contact me =)