Well, Barcelona has my heart. This past weekend my friend Annika and I went on our first solo excursion from Toledo to beautiful Barcelona. Barcelona was on my bucket list of places to see this semester (partially because of the Ed Sheeran song called “Barcelona” (which is also the inspiration for the title of this post)), but I also have another friend, Amanda, who is studying abroad there. It was really nice to see her, catch up, and also have our own personal tour guide for the weekend. We booked our flight for Thursday evening so we would have two full days to spend exploring all that the city has to offer: the beach, the port, the food, the metro area, the art, and incredible architecture.
Our trip began with us getting lost in the Barcelona airport. After a few minutes of wandering, phone calls, and snapping back and forth photos of the views from our locations, we finally found Amanda and headed to her apartment. After the first good night’s sleep I have probably had since arriving in Spain, we set out to do some sight-seeing on Friday afternoon. With the sound of Ed Sheeran’s “Barcelona” running through my head, we headed to La Rambla, a popular street full of shopping, restaurants, and street artists, and at the very end of the road are the ports and an incredible ocean view.
On the way to the metro station from Amanda’s apartment we also walked past La Sagrada Família, the basilica, which is absolutely STUNNING. I was truly in awe when we turned the corner and it came into view. This basilica was designed by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudí in the early 1900’s. It is still unfinished because Gaudí died tragically before his vision was complete but it is projected to be finished by 2026. On Saturday, Annika and I had the opportunity to see the incredible work from the inside. I hope the photos I am posting will do the incredible stained glass any kind of justice. I don’t think I have ever been so in awe in my life, because the stained glass windows of the church span from nearly floor to ceiling painting the entire building in brilliant rainbow shades.
On Friday night we went to the discoteca. Amanda’s family had hosted a Spanish student when she was in high school who I met last summer, so he and a bunch of his friends came with. It was super fun but I am still not accustomed to staying out until 4-5 in the morning on a night out.
On Saturday afternoon, Annika and I went to check out the beach (and on the way, stopped at Burger King to get some fires to eat on the beach ~so americana~). We also went to another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces: Park Güell. This Park is located above the city so it has a breathtaking view of Barcelona. It is also full of beautiful mosaics and interesting architecture. I really don’t have any other words to fully express my love for Gaudí’s work in Barcelona.
Annika and I had an early flight on Sunday morning so we wanted to have a relaxed Saturday night. We decided to go see the Arc de Triomf and on the way we stumbled upon a Chinese New Year street festival. This was definitely a cool little find and we spent a while walking up and down the row of vendors and even tried something. (Neither of us know what it was but it was good, see the photos)
Finally, we ended our trip with a movie night back at Amanda’s apartment and watched “The Cheetah Girls” (which is based in Barcelona). We got to bed early so we could get up at 6, hop on the metro, and get to the airport by 7ish for our 9 o’clock flight. Let me tell you, the metro in Spain at 6 in the morning is an interesting environment. First of all, it was surprisingly busy. Second, I would say about half of the people were heading to work/the airport and the other half were first coming home for their Saturday night out.
Overall, it was a very successful trip and I will definitely be coming back to Barcelona soon! I think Barcelona quickly became my favorite city out of those that I have seen thus far but I am truly at a loss for words. Soooo here are a bunch of photos! Enjoy