Reading Week 2012 – Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, and Florence
Part 1. Barcelona
Sophia and I arrived in Barcelona Saturday afternoon and spent a good bit trying to find our hostel that happened to have no signs and be above a fruit store. After settling in, we went to the main area of town, where we immediately met up with Hana, Claire, Molly, and Danny, our traveling companions. We managed to find a restaurant that actual Spanish people were eating at, and Sophia and I got a large paella, two main dishes, two desserts, and a liter of sangria all for 13 euros each – ¡muy bueno!
We then went to the apartment our friends had rented and chilled out, chatted, and got ready for the night. I had to pee like a racehorse on the train, almost to the point where I would have peed in these little passport photo booths they have everywhere. We found the Obama bar (which is quite nice) and got a few drinks there before wandering aimlessly trying to find a club. At the one place we did find, I had to save Hana from a 60 year old man trying to dance up on her.
That pretty much hits the nail on the head for club life in Barcelona – we couldn’t find it. We spent a couple of nights in the same bar with a nice staff and some alright drink specials, but other than that, we were pretty unsuccessful. We did end up seeing a peep show for 2 euros each – one of the weirdest experiences of my trip.
The rest of the time in Barcelona, we spent trying to see a lot of the sights. We saw the Sagrada Familia by Gaudi, this incredible cathedral in the middle of the city. We went on the pier, which is basically a tourist trap with expensive stores and restaurants. We wanted to go to the beach (beach) but never ended up making it there, as the weather was too cold and rainy that day. While Hana and Danny took the train, Sophia and I trekked up Montjuic (not knowing it was a mountain…), where we all admired the amazing Castell and a fine view of the city.
The definite highlight of the trip was Park Guell, which is this park designed by Gaudi that looks a lot like a fairy tale land. We watched the sun set over Barcelona with the best view in the city. Overall, I think Barcelona is a city that is made by its beauty and by Gaudi. Our traveling companions made it what some may call a “swell time”.