Ah Barcelona. While I loved Madrid for feeling like home, I loved Barcelona for simply existing. It is a cultural mecca filled with art and the beauty of life. Using my eyes to guide me and the occasional referencing of a map, I navigated the city.

My first day there was largely uneventful. Not because there was nothing to do, but because of the weather I finally became ill. I had slept most of the way there (obviously because it was a night bus), but it really didn’t do anything to help. Once I got to my hostel, I gave the manager Rafa my all my clothes to wash, I showered and slept for a good 5-6 hours. I really liked this hostel. It had a real homey feel. It was called Sant Jordi Les Corts. It is one in a chain of hostels by Sant Jordi. I am sad to now learn that it is no longer there. It is a place I would definitely have recommended. It was really close to Camp Nou and the metro to get into the city. One of the nights they had a Argentinian barbecue and a group us chilled out playing the wii in the common area, while another night we had a group outing to see a football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC (discounted and Barcelona sadly lost 2-1). The atmosphere was comfortable and the people were friendly.

Once my clothes were dried and folded, I got dressed and headed out. As much as I love football (it is the best sport in the world), I had never seen a live match. I wanted to see Real Madrid play, but since I couldn’t, I bought a ticket to see FC Barcelona. My seat was in the second section from the felt a few rows from the front. It seemed like a great seat (and for the most part it was), but it was behind goal so my view was slightly obstructed. I did get a full view of the single goal Barcelona scored which was pretty cool. I had gone with Tim, an Australian guy I met at the hostel.

Something I was very happy about in Spain was the Farmecia. Before going to the match, I stopped by one to get some Ibuprofen (my drug of choice when I’m ill). They gave me a packet of 40 600mg tablets and throat lozenges for a mere €3.20. I had never seen 600mg Ibuprofen. I took one and was able to continue my adventure.

The next day, Tim and I met up to go on a walking tour. I was late because I decided to go to church. I missed most of it because I couldn’t find it. On my way to the Travel Bar, I found Tim as he couldn’t find the bar. He couldn’t find the bar and we did find it, we were too late. So we walked around the city. We found a park and the cathedral (all places I visited later without him) before eating. There is an amazing tapas restaurant in the courtyard of the Barcelona Cathedral and I’ll be damned if I can’t remember the name of the place. Good thing I’ve learned to keep tabs of the places I eat as well as the places I visit. The food was amazing though.

The only place we actually went into that day was the Casa Battló, one of the houses created by Antoni Gaudi. The house was incredible. This was only one of the works I got see of his in Barcelona. There was a chair he designed at an art museum as well as  La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It does cost to go in, but it was worth it.Casa Batllo

I got to see one of the most impressive edifices the next day. I have longed to see La Sagrada Familia ever since I bought Monopoly: Europa Edition when I lived in Germany. I had always wondered if I would ever see it, and now there I was waiting in line to buy a ticket inside. A long time ago, I had done some research on the place. I knew that it was still under construction and would likely still be fir a long time to come. You would literally have to be standing there to truly understand why. The only other building I’ve seen close to the same magnitude was the Köln Cathedral. The cathedral is Gaudi’s contribution to the religious society. There are going to be twelve towers symbolising the twelve apostles with a large tower in the middle for Jesus Christ. The best thing, is that it is supposed to be done within the next 2 to 3 decades. I am very excited to think that I should get to see its completion within my lifetime. As you’ll see from the picture below, it is quite the imposing structure.IMG_1485When I finished there, I made for the Travel Bar once again to try for the walking tour. I don’t mind going on the walking tours. They tend to be more relaxed, informative, and less restrictive than tours you pay for. If you happen to find out about walking tours when you visit a place, I suggest going on it. This one took us through the old city and around the Barcelona Cathedral. Something cool I did learn was that when you see statues of people on horses, four hooves on the ground means a natural death, one hoof off the ground means an unnatural death, and two hooves in the air means death in battle. Pretty cool.

I really wanted to see the Mediterranean so I made my way there. I found a mall like place before finding a couple girls to take a picture of me standing in the water. They actually thought I meant to get all the way in. It wasn’t freezing, but I’m not dumb enough to do something like that. Then I went back to the park.  Parc de la Ciutadella was the park Tim and I found. The park was awesome. There were tons of statues, buildings, a zoo, and a ton a greenery. It was a huge park that I didn’t even get to see all of. There was this really cool structure at one of the corners.IMG_1533

On my way back to the hostel, I stopped back at the cathedral. It was nice inside. Sadly my camera died shortly after I got inside, but I was able to use my phone camera for a little while. The funniest thing I saw was in a courtyard where there were some ducks. One of them was standing on one foot and reminded me of the story my friend Renee (from the post about Granada) about the pigeon she befriended.

On my last day there, I walked all around the city. My first stop was at the Montjuïc Castle. It was nice to see and there was a bunch of gardens around it, but I wouldn’t suggesting taking a ton of time there. The nicest thing about it is that you can get a really good view of the city. If you don’t have a car, you can either take the stairs as I did, or there is also a cable car. I liked taking the stairs, but it can get tiring after a while.

There were only two other places I saw while there. The first place was El Poble. I found it interesting to have a village within a city. What I didn’t know was that it was a modern creation of the past. It was very cool though. It had a church, an art museum, and many streets and alleys to navigate through. Though a very touristy place, if you want to get a good view of the architecture of old Spain, go there.

The last place I visited was and incredible looking art museum. I actually didn’t realise it was an art museum until I got there. I just love the look of beautiful architecture and that is what drew me to it. The museum was huge. It is called the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. There was tons to see. I really loved the murals taken from churchs. Most of them were fragmented, but they were still beautiful.IMG_1644

Like any other place, there are a few suggested places to see that are touristy: the Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Parc de la Ciutadella, and El Poble. Otherwise just grab a map and explore. And definitely catch a football match. Barcelona has a lot to offer off the beaten path. Have fun 😉

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