We could tell that Barcelona was going to be an exciting time before we even departed Paris. My mate Avery got flagged at security like she always manages to do, but this time she had to get her hands swabbed about five times and her purse swabbed a few times and then she was literally interrogated. “What are your hobbies?” security asked. “Are you sure you don’t paint…?” Finally they let her through, even though we never found out what was being flagged since she had not, in fact, been painting. (Up to this point we have realized that some airports don’t like baby powder, others don’t like toothpaste, and one of them even hates on bananas, true story.)
Disclaimer: We’d all much rather have heightened security than lessened security, and we understood why the security checkpoints were so intense at this time! With that in mind, we were glad that they were being safe rather than sorry, and we laughed about the oddity later after patting ourselves on the back for arriving somewhere with time to spare for once.
After getting through security, our flight to Barcelona was smooth-ish. Ish because we had what you might call a “crash landing.” We learned yet another reason why Ryanair is the cheapest way to travel: They definitely skip the landing lessons at pilot school. It is my understanding that this is also the quickest way to wake up nappers.
We took a taxi to our ‘hostel,’ also known as a campground. The receptionist informed us that Booking.com was somewhat misleading in their advertising, and we did not have a kitchenette, heat, air conditioning, WiFi, or a bathroom. The girls were super excited about this but I was not, because I’m not outdoorsy. Since there was nothing I could do, I tried to embrace it. It worked! The campsite was actually great, with very clean public bathrooms, a supermarket, a bar/restaurant, and A BEACH. As it turns out, I’d trade a kitchen for a beach any day! We spent our whole first day on the beach snacking on olives and wine from the supermarket and relaxing.
When we woke up on day two, it was already hot outside. We walked to the bus stop and took the bus into the city center. Barcelona is beautiful- it is full of color, there are mopeds and fountains all over the place, everyone smiles, and you’re never more than a few steps from a gelato stand. We explored the city and ate lunch. We came across the most impressive market I have ever seen, where people were selling fruit, vegetables, spices, fresh bread, seafood, and meat. It was so impressive that I still loved it, despite the vegetarian horror of meat stands. We walked on, down some side streets and commercial strips. We noticed that mannequins in shop windows all had their faces covered in really bizarre ways like Darth Vader masks and gas masks. We wandered around and explored the city until the end of the day.
On day three, we went to Park Guell. This park is the top of a hill and overlooks the whole city of Barcelona.
We also went to the Sagrada Familia, which is a gorgeous, enormous church. It was hard to photograph the Sagrada Familia because there was a lot of construction work being done to it at the time.
We called it a day pretty early because once again, we had an early flight to catch. I don’t know why we keep doing that to ourselves…
More to come,