Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spain Day Eight: Barcelona

On Day 8, our last day in Barcelona, Adriana and I ditched the tour bus and explored the city on foot. First we checked out the Gothic Cathedral, which was very close to our hostel. Unfortunately, they were doing some construction to the outside of it, but it was still very impressive.

Then we went to the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is filled with trees, pretty buildings, a gorgeous fountain, and the Arc de Triomphe (a bit familiar... ha ha.)

Then we wandered to La Pedrera, another building designed by Gaudi. It used to house luxury apartments, but now is kind of like a museum, with one decorated "apartment" inside, and a bunch of his unique structures on the roof.

Then we wandered back to the area where our hostel was located. We wandered down Las Ramblas, which is a strip filled with street vendors and performers.

We stopped by La Boqueria market, which is a huge open market with all kinds of colorful fruits, vegetables, meats, candy, etc. We each had a fresh squeezed juice, which was very refreshing. :)

We headed back to the hostel and got dressed up, since it was our last night in Barcelona. On our way to dinner, we were followed by a creepy guy begging for money, and we hurried into an Italian restaurant to escape him. Believe it or not, he followed us in! Adriana told him that we were eating dinner and to leave us alone. The restaurant staff escorted him out, and they were very nice to us after that. Luckily, we had a delicious meal and more amazing sangria, and we promptly forgot about our little scare. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spain Day Seven: Barcelona

Slowly but surely I am going to finish this Spain series. I don't really have anything else to blog about, so I may as well get this done.

On my seventh day in Spain, Adriana and I continued our bus tour. We got out at the beach, and walked down the coast a bit before hopping back on the bus.

We then went to La Sagrada Familia ("the holy family"), which is an incredible church which has been a work in progress since 1882. The architect, Antoni Gaudi, died in 1926, and since then many other architects have tried to finish what he started. It was amazing to see how the architecture of the building tells the story of Jesus' birth, life and death, and how much passion and worship went into creating the church. I was definitely impressed.

We continued on to have lunch. (At this point I was very low on blood sugar and a bit grumpy - but nothing an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet couldn't cure!) Then from there we hopped off the bus at Park Guell, which is an architectural park designed by Gaudi (same guy as above), full of neat buildings that reminded me of gingerbread houses, and structures covered in his distinct style of mosaic.

We went back to our hostel - after stopping for an amazing treat - Belgian waffle covered in chocolate and whipped cream, yummy! We ate them on our little balcony. Then we rested for a bit, then went back out, walked around our little neighborhood, and had falafel for dinner - not a traditional Spanish food, but it was tasty. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spain Day Six: Barcelona

I was getting lazy on my Spain pictures, but I am determined to finish blogging the trip. So, here goes. On our sixth and seventh days in Spain, Adriana and I took double decker bus tours to see the sights. The city was split into two separate bus tours, so we did one half of the city one day, and the other half the next day. Here we are on the bus:

This is a huge statue of Christopher Columbus. You can't see him very well, but he's pointing off shore, toward "India." :)

A port we stopped at:

A bull fighting arena, which is as close as I ever need to come to a bull fight:

We have started a tradition of taking pictures together in silly glasses, (remember these?) so we kept it up:

We headed up a very pretty mountain that they call Montjuic, or "hill of the Jews," which has amazing views of the city:

We continued on to the Olympic Stadium, where Barcelona hosted the summer Olympics in 1992. To be perfectly honest with you, the stadium wasn't as grand as I expected. It was still neat to see though.

After returning to the hotel room, changing and freshening up, we went to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.

We were excited about the glasses that we got to take home, and the refreshingly delicious fruity drinks inside them. :)

If you look closely, there is a guitar above my ear:

Adriana with Julio Iglesias' jacket:

Me and Elton:

We headed home and stopped at a cute little bar right by our hostel, where we got blue margaritas that looked fun but tasted gross. Adriana is smiling because she hasn't tasted it yet. Ha ha.

And this is what they did to our tongues:

The end of another fun Spanish day. More to come.