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Barcelona! June 7, 2012

Posted by kavya.mk in Travel Log.
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Hey everyone!

So for four day weekend, we decided to go to Barcelona, Spain (along with the 80 other GTLers who had the same idea!) .  We packed our backpacks with warm weather clothing (finally!) and hopped on the night train that took us all over!  Most of us were in reclining chairs- which made for an interesting night while trying to fall asleep- but in our excitement, I don’t think we cared all that much.

Getting into Barcelona was a frenzy of passport checks (four to be exact) as the customs control marched up and down the length of the train.  I think they eventually got tired of all the US passports floating around, and all the blank stares as they rattled off in Spanish to us (well, for me, as a French speaker!).  We finally got off our train to step into beautiful, breezy, and sunny Barcelona.  Heavenly.

Our hostel was quite a walk from the train station, but we were just seconds away from Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, one of his many works of art around the city.  We checked in, dropped off our stuff, and immediately got ready for the beach!

On our way over, we noticed that the street blocks of Barcelona were very interesting, in that they were literally BLOCKS!  There would be a large, square complex of buildings, shops, and businesses that would repeat at every street.  These blocks were like squares with rounded edges, so instead of having a corner in each street, it would just be a flattened off facade.  It was all very efficient, and even the most mundane grocery store was located in one of these lovely buildings.

After catching a bus, we finally got to the beach, which was absolutely gorgeous.  The weather was just perfect, and so we decided to walk around a few of the shops before settling down on a towel and basking in the warmth of the sun.  Unfortunately, none of us brought cameras or anything of value, with the fear of something getting stolen or overly sandy while we were enjoying.  So, no pictures of that day :(

We did go back later and see some awesome sand sculptures!  This was an orchestra that actually “played” some music.

And of course, the guys had to get a modeling picture on the insanely picturesque area surrounding the beach.

Us girls looked on :)

We went out and had some delicious local paella that night, and enjoyed walking the streets at night to see the street performers play into the wee hours of the morning.

The next day, we trekked over to La Sagrada Familia.  This insane basilica under the creative, and a bit wacky, eye of Gaudi.

Under construction since 1882, La Sagrada Familia is still not set to be complete until 2030.  We were able to visit the crypt, and locate a chart for the future plans of the basilica.

The areas highlighted in red are the ones that are set to be completed from now until 2030.

The next day, we went to La Rambla and walked around the open air market.  I have been to plenty of those in India, but it is always interesting to see the different products that different areas produce!  We saw the strangest fruit, so of course, we decided we had to have one.

It had a strange, subtle, but sweet flavor, and the most gorgeous deep pink color I’ve ever naturally seen.  Silvia was ecstatic to find a whole Columbian section of the market, and I was thrilled with all the fresh fruit.  We bought a giant cup of fresh, plump cherries and walked through all the different vendors.

So, I have an almost irrational fear of caricatures. (Don’t hate! :( It’s real!) Of course, Silvia, Jason, and Eric had to make me get one.  It wasn’t as scary as I thought :D

There is just too much about Barcelona that made me want more time there.  The food was delicious (tapas and paella!) and the weather was divine.  I am loving all the European culture so far, and can’t wait for our other visits :)

 

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