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Barcelona, España

I have been looking forward to Spain my entire trip! It is the only place where I can kind of figure out what is going on by reading signs and can kind of understand what people say! Of course in Barcelona they mostly speak Catalan but a lot of stuff is in Spanish anyways. I got in on Friday night after a very long day of taking trains from Switzerland to Barcelona. As soon as I got to my hostel there was a ton of free sangria in the common room! Every day the hostel has something to eat, drink or do for free and I arrived just in time to catch the sangria. They sure do know how to make some delicious sangria!

I did my first ever bike tour on Saturday morning. I figured since Barcelona is pretty big it would be easier to see more of the city with a bike tour instead of a walking tour. The only other people on the tour were a father and son from LA and the son was actually living in Serbia for the Peace Corp. It was nice to tour the city by bike, I got to see a lot! I spent the rest of the day wandering around the neighborhoods, eating delicious food (like churros!), checking out shops and walking down the touristy Las Ramblas. The Irish girl I roomed with in Croatia actually lived in Barcelona for 4 years and had a lot of suggestions for me! I checked quite a few things off of her list of suggestios. Back at the hostel it was free tapas night and it was wonderful!

On Sunday I went out for brunch at a place called Brunch & Cake, which is everything I like in life! The food was crazy and delicious. I ordered a quinoa burger, it had guacamole, sweet potato chunks, some kind of yellow hummus like dip on top of the bun with seeds on top of that, a cracker cone on top of that, it was sitting on top of a bed of lettuce and strawberries (?!?!). I'm telling you, this place was crazy but oh so good! I also had the most delicious multi fruit juice ever with slices of watermelon in it. Needless to say I was stuffed after eating but I could not leave without cake so I got it to go. I continued walking up to the Gracía neighborhood, stopping several times to sketch nice areas and to eat my cake. I went to a few squares that were suggested then made my way to the Olympic park. Now when one is in the Gracía neighborhood one cannot casually walk over to the Olympic Park, one must walk until one's legs feel they might fall off. The museum in front of the park was totally awesome! I stopped to rest on a bench in front of it and a man sat down and started talking to me. He wanted to know if I knew when the fountain light show was going to start, I told him I didn't even know there was one. As I walked to the park I forgot about the show because I didn't think it would be much to see. The Olympic Park was great and I saw the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Torch! I LOVE THE OLYMPICS! Then I started walking back to my hostel but when I got to the museum and fountain area there were a lot of people standing by the fountain. I decided to wait and see what the light show would be like since there were so many people waiting around for it. I am so glad I did that! The show was awesome! The fountain was huge, the water and lights kept changing along with music! I kept moving around for different views and the best view was right up close to the fountain. I was already in love when all of a sudden giant spotlights were turned on and fanned out behind the museum. I went from the is awesome to THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER! I also got some of the greatest pictures of the fountain with the museum in the background with spotlights behind the museum! I felt like a child but it made me so excited.

Monday was my last full day in Barcelona so I decided to buy tickets to the Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia, both all about Gaudí's architecture. Another extremely long walk to get to the park but it was cool. I love Gaudí's style and would love it if we still made buildings like his today. I would totally live in a Gaudí style house! I was tired when I got there so once in the park I hung out in this little cave alcove thing that Gaudí designed. It was made of stone and looked so cool so I decided to draw it. I will have to post a picture because I think that little alcove was my favorite part. Next up was the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's unfinished church. The outside was amazing but the inside was breath taking! He was very inspired by nature and wanted communication between the people and architecture, which resulted in some amazing buildings! The ceiling looked like tons of flowers with the columns being the stems. Rainbow colored stained glass was everywhere and changed the color of the walls and columns with the afternoon sun shining through. I had to sit and stare for awhile. I decided that I will definitely be coming back when it is finished because I saw some giant windows where they will be putting more stained glass and they still have several more towers to build. My tour guide the other day said once it is finished it will be the tallest building in Europe. I seriously wish everything was designed like this! Next I headed to the hostel because it was free paella night! SO GOOD!

Now it is Tuesday and I am heading to Madrid and Amy will meet me here tomorrow!!! I am beyond excited! Barcelona was the last city I will be on my own for! Through this summer I have discovered that I am more of a people person than I thought. I love some alone time but I also love love hanging out with my friends. That's why I was so grateful to have a longer time in Croatia and Greece where I made some awesome new friends! Now it is time for some old friends! Here I come Madrid!

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