Hope you all have enjoyed my trip recap from the first half of my time in Spain. Honestly- writing these recaps out are so much fun. I get to re-experience my time and look through the many pictures that I took.
Next stop- onto Barcelona. I think Barcelona is one of my favourite places I’ve been to. It has a little bit of everything- it has a beautiful beach, a great nightlife, amazing sites to see, and so much more.
So the first thing my friend and I did when we arrived in Barcelona, was we went and saw the Segrada Familia. This church was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi, and his imprint is all over the city. But nowhere is as apparent as on this church. The church first started being built in 1882, and they are still building it. Estimated completion date is 2040.
When Gaudi died, in 1926, the project was only about 25% complete. However, his designs have continued to be followed for this church. His intention around the church was to mimic that what you say in nature. There are pillars which look like trees, and the roof is meant to look like the canopy of leaves. There is an entire section in the church where you can read more about Gaudi’s inspirations. The canopy of leaves for the roof symbolises how, just like trees cover you from rain, God’s house covers you from the troubles of the world.
The church is truly a masterpiece. We had to wait for about an hour, maybe a bit more, to buy our tickets, but it was worth the wait.
Definite must see of Barcelona!
After the trip to the Segrada Familia, we continued on a Gaudi experience, and saw another building which he had also designed. We decided to wait until the next day to see Park Guell, a park which has his designs all over. Now, one thing I wish I had known beforehand- was, that when you buy your ticket to go into the Segrada Familia, you can buy your ticket for other things as well. We purchased tickets to see the Gaudi museum, for the next day. This ticket is time stamped, so you have a timeframe for your entrance. We didn’t time out how long it would take us to go from the hotel to the museum, and ended up having to run through most of Park Guell to get to the museum on time. And there was no one there! The museum is not actually in the ticketed part of the Park Guell, and therefore is much less popular. So- buy your ticket to get into the park beforehand (not the museum!) at the Segrada Familia and save yourself a second line-up!
We rounded out our first day by checking out the Barcelona fruit market. Which is pretty much my favourite place ever. It sells everything food related- fruits, juices, vegetables, meats, candy, drinks- everything! It was cheap to buy stuff, and everything we bought was delicious. I went back three separate times and just wanted to wander about the shop.
It was such a great day.
The next day, we went to the Park Guell and saw the Gaudi museum. From this, I have no pictures as the “museum” is actually just his house. And Gaudi was a very austere man. Personally, I think that if you’re not a huge Gaudi fanatic, this is probably a stop better missed.
But to go inside the Park Guell, is a must-do. I loved the Park. It’s very touristy, and you do have to buy a time-stamped entry ticket. My tip? If you’re entry is 1:30-2 (as ours was). Wait until about 1:50 to go in. Everyone else from that time has already entered and you can skip a line (and enjoy a glass of sangria while you wait).
Park Guell actually has kind of a fun story. The park was originally built with the intention of urbanisation. There was a plan to build about 60 houses in the area. However, only two houses were ever built. The first was built, to be a “show house”, and a second was built and put up for sale. No one ever came forward to buy it. Finally, Gaudi bought it (and is now where the museum is held). Now the park is one of the most touristy things to do in Barcelona, and all because the housing development failed!
We ended this night on a tapas tour that we had signed up for. Some of my friends had gone on it when they were in Barcelona, and loved it, so we signed up for it. I wish someone would’ve told me to eat beforehand though! It was an absolutely great night, though I would’ve like more to eat! The tapas tour had us go to three different bars, where we had between 1-4 tapas at each place. As each tapa was mostly a piece of bread, with a bit of food on top, it was not nearly enough food. Especially as we were having equivalent drinks at each place.
Including, at the second stop, where we learnt how to drink from a porron. This is a traditional Spanish glass wine pitcher. Our guide told us how, at a dinner party, or similar gatherings, this is passed around and everyone has some. No glasses are used as your lips never touch the pitcher, therefore allowing everyone to drink directly from it. Which then had us passing it around, trying out our skill at it.
At the tapas tour, my friend and I ended up meeting 4 other Canadians, 2 Americans, and an Australian. After the official tour was over, the 9 of us bought some drinks to enjoy down at the beach, and then headed to a club for some late night dancing. The night was an absolute blast….though did mean that both Erin and I slept until 2 in the afternoon the next day.
While both of us wanted to do nothing but lay in bed and re-hydrate, it was our last day in Spain, and we knew we had to rally and finish up the trip with the one thing we had missed.
Did I mention that Barcelona is amazing and has a stunning beach right in the city? Because it does!
We spent a few hours laying on the sand before having a final Spanish meal in Barcelona. The next day we were up, and Erin was back to Canada, and I went back to the UK.
As I started my recap to Spain, I absolutely loved this trip. Spain is a beautiful country, and there is still so much that I want to see. A trip back is hopefully in the cards for me at some point, because it was fantastic!
I’d love to hear more from others about any of your trips to Spain! Anywhere I missed that I should go to next time? My next travel recap is my trip to Greece!