While entering and leaving this den of thievery was a migraine waiting to happen (save for my €1 McDonald’s ice cream to keep me sane), Barcelona overall was a pleasant experience. From consulting to biking to beach bumming, we had a great three days here.
We decided to change things up a bit and rent an apartment for our stay here. It seemed too good to be true that we’d be on the main street, in a decent dwelling, paying what we’re paying. Turns out that was exactly the case and the cute couple wanted twice what we were expecting to pay. Due to our language barrier of Spanish, Korean and English, Google translate helped us all figure out that they wanted more money and we had no intentions of paying it. Right before I could tell that they were going to show us the door, we stated that we were pretty computer savvy and could help them – for future guests of course. After five hours of editing, uploading and condensing, we were able to make their page better than before and got to stay in a place that really was too good to be true. To top it all off, we woke up to an authentic Korean breakfast featuring kimchi and rice each morning. It was quite an interesting surprise.
Barcelona is large, but the tourist area is condensed to one area near a street called La Rambla. There’s the beach, easy shopping, many ‘discotecs’, and a number of eateries to make one salivate. Most of our trip was spent wandering and waiting to see what would happen.
One day we waited in line for an hour and a half to see the Picasso museum. We happened to go on a Sunday (which happens to be a day that they give free admission), so the wait was very tolerable as we kept busy with ebooks (my current selection is Pride and Prejudice – love! Hoping to bump into a Mr. Darcy of my own soon). While I really appreciate Picasso’s work, the museum itself was uninspiring as I felt the space was poorly used. Compared to the Van Gogh museum, Tate museum or any other museum, this looked like a college sophomore’s art debut rather than a standing monument to the great works of one of the greatest artists.
That evening we went to a light show of The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc outside of the (museum). It was a really impressive show and a definite highlight of the night before we headed to the beach. With a great combination of ‘water acrobatics’, lights and music (ranging from classical to Michael Jackson to rock) and seeing water shooting as high as 54m in the air while feeling the spray of it on your face, this is a water show that one cannot miss!
The next day we rented bikes and just rode around with the wind in our hair. This was a great mode of transportation as I am severely limited on shoes since the hostel in Rome accidentally threw away a pair of my flats, so my threadbare Toms thanked me. Besides seeing uncharted parts of the city, the best part of the day was encountering a Michael Jackson flash mob. Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long!) of his death and a few of his fans wanted to show that, “he is still alive in us (the fans)”.
The best part of our trip, however, was the unwanted extra day received. Since we were denied to go on a high speed morning train and bumped to the free snail paced trains our expensive passes are only good for, we found ourselves with seven extra hours in the city. We realized one of the sites we missed was Park Güell an apparently beautiful park by Gaudi. After also wandering to La Sagrada Familia and having no desire to wait in the longest line I’ve seen in my life, we stumbled upon a mouthwatering bakery with even more mouthwatering prices.
We made it to the park and I can honestly say this site made Barcelona for me. The mosaic, gothic-esque architecture was surreal and now I wish I found enough euros to let me inside that church (little did we know after the fact that it was Gaudi’s birthday 161st birthday and we were missing out on history).
However, my trip to Barcelona would not have been complete without a visit to my favorite kebab shop. It was the only place in the city I could get a meal and drink for less than 6€ – yes even a McDonald’s combo started at 7€ and drinks were not on their euro menu).
All in all Spain was decent and I’m curious to see what Munich has in store.