Travel Series: Barcelona

Guys, I loved Barcelona. This city was so beautiful, there was so much to do, overall just a great city. However, to start our trek to Barcelona, we had to take an eight-hour ferry ride from Ibiza. There was a pool on the deck of the ferry, but of course we didn’t know this early enough to actually be prepared, so we just chilled below deck and rested up. The ferry ride itself was pretty uneventful, but I actually went above deck on this one, and got a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean.

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We finally arrived in the city around 6pm, leaving us with a little time to explore as a group before heading to dinner. Our tour guide actually lives in Barcelona during the months he’s not leading these tours, so he was able to direct us to all of the best spots. He took us to a little Italian gelato shop that he used to work at, and we loaded up on some of the tastiest gelato I’ve ever had. After gelato, we broke into smaller groups to find some food. Jess and I ended up splitting a seafood stew at our restaurant, and it was to die for. We had to peel almost all of the seafood, so we really worked for it.

 

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We reaaaaaaaally put it away.

After dinner we hit the hay in our tiny hostel to prepare for our full tour day the next day. Not to be dramatic about our tiny hostel, but we had five of us to a room, and almost no room to actually get our suitcases open (which we thought was bad until we got to Nice… stay tuned).

The next day, we hopped in our bus for a guided tour of the city. We started by checking out the Olympic stadium and various other beautiful locations around the city. It was kind of nice to take a break from walking tours, especially considering how much ground we covered during this. Next up, we got off the bus for a quick walk around the outside of Sagrada Familia. This basilica is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and it’s even more interesting when you remember that it’s not actually complete yet. Gaudi knew what he was doing when designing this unique church.

After a bit of time to shop for souvenirs around Sagrada Familia, we hopped back in the bus to head up to Park Güell. This park was featured in The Cheetah Girls 2, if that happens to ring any bells for Disney fans :). We had a little bit of time to explore the park, but definitely not enough to full appreciate all it had to offer. Nevertheless, we got some gorgeous pictures of the views.

After Park Güell, we headed back toward our hostel for a quick lunch. I had to hurry a bit, because I bought tickets to actually go inside the Sagrada Familia. I was trying to go with a group, but it didn’t end up working out for me to go when they were going, so I ended up going by myself. I navigated the metro, the tourist traps around the basilica, and the security entrance of the church itself, all by myself. Not too bad for someone whose only experience with public transportation comes from the New Orleans’ streetcar, if I do say so myself. Going in the church was a surreal experience. The interior doesn’t really match the exterior, and yet it fits perfectly.

I ended up walking the 20-ish minutes back to the hostel, part because I wanted some alone time to clear my head, and part because I couldn’t fully remember how to get to the metro station. It was really nice to spend some time in this foreign city, completely on my own. Don’t worry, I was safe! Once I got back to my hostel, I took a little nap before heading to a shopping center with Jess and Sarah. We got there with about 20 minutes to close, which was probably good, because we could have spent forever in there. After the little bit of shopping (I got a pair of earrings), Jess and I headed across the street and got McDonald’s for dinner. What can I say? It was the fourth of July, so it just felt right.

After our quick dinner, we hopped on the metro again to meet up with the rest of our group at a bar. This bar is famous for their shots. There are over 600 different mixes of shots, and they’re all 2 euros apiece, so we all got a little tipsy off of cheap (delicious) shots.

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Just a couple to choose from…

Our group was all set to head to the club after our time at this little bar, but Jess and I decided to split from the group and head back home. Given my history discussing mental health, I want to be candid and say I was having some issues that night, so I decided that being out on the town wasn’t my best choice. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having the absolute time of my life while on this trip, but that doesn’t change the fact that I struggle with depression. I’ve felt like just a little bit of an outsider of my group, and this night out just seemed to highlight that for me. So, I spent the rest of my night in with the two girls I’ve connected most with. Since this minor breakdown, I’ve changed my mindset a bit, and have decided to focus exclusively on myself on this trip. This is the trip on a lifetime, and I am not about to let anything ruin that for me. So, I’m being a little selfish and doing exactly what I want for the rest of my time in Europe.

But enough with the bummers! Barcelona was absolutely amazing. What a wonderful way to wrap up our time in Spain. Now, time for the French Riviera!

Stay tuned for more updates,

xoxo, second sister suzie

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