Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 7: Barcelona

Well, it's 11:30pm, we just got back to the room, and I haven't written one thing today. I don't even know where to start now! Short version for now: (will update details later)

I woke up and had to go to the bathroom. Decided to just check my phone to see what time it was. Our room was pitch black still and I thought it was the middle of the night. Nope. 10:20am, haha! Our curtain worked really well at blocking out every once of light, and we both had our white noise apps running on our phones to block out any sound. Worked like a charm apparently. 

We both could of went back to sleep, but there was this free walking tour thing that started at 11am that we wanted to do. 2.5 hours of free history on and walking around with a local in Barcelona? I'm in. 

So we jumped up - literally - and were out the door by 10:40. Matt showered and all I heard was, "God bless it!" and some banging around. I was dying laughing. That shower is literally so small you can't turn around and it's near impossible to wash anything. The Europeans really need help with their bathrooms!

Anyways, we grabbed some snacks and set off, race walking for the square to meet the tour. We hadn't been to that square before and we weren't exactly sure where it was. We got there with about two minutes to spare. And we were sweating. 

The red umbrella was our tour!

All we had to do was grab a free ticket and give them our email addresses. Since we still had time, we ran to the closet bakery and got water and a croissant to hold us over. 

Bakeries on every corner on this city

I don't even remember where we started on the tour, but we went all over the place. There is so much cool history in this city - and I don't even like history! One of our first stops was a set of stairs that Christopher Columbus walked up and declared he had found the estados unidos (United States)! Just wild to think about how many people had walked over those same spots over the past hundreds of years... The Romans were brutal and tortured and killed so many Catalonians. I could go on for awhile about what I learned, but its probably not that interesting unless you can see everything with it (ancient cathedrals and roman pillars, etc). 

We snuck off the tour a couple of times and ran in to a cathedral that wasn't on the tour... Or in to a grocery store to get some water. We always caught up and didn't miss much. 

One exciting thing that we did see was a Catalonian protest! They want their independence from Spain. The first time we saw them matching and chanting and waiving their Catalonian flags, it was pretty peaceful. The video of it should be on my youTube page. About an hour later though, we heard a very loud boom, and we weren't quite sure what it was. We were very near the government building square, so our guide went to look first to me us know if it was safe. That was the next stop on our tour. He said it looked okay, so we went to one corner, he talked for about 30 seconds, and there were more super loud books. They were throwing firecrackers (big loud ones) at the government building and the police were there! So exciting! But we had to leave right away. 

Inside the cathedral we snuck in to without paying...

After the tour - which was 2.5 hours of non-stop walking, we walked the rest of the day. No joke. We didn't stop until we got back to the room until after 8pm. Needless to say, we were tired and I'm counting that as my workout. 

Wait, backing up, our tour guide told us that this was the best weekend to go to Ibiza (opening weekend) and the big party we booked a ticket to is the best club (according to him). He's a big parties and told us some things to do, etc. so excited to go tomorrow!

Okay, after the tour, we walked along the water back to Las Ramblas, snuck in the museum bathroom again, walked through El Rival to a funicular that took us up to a mountain. From there, we were going to take a gondola up to the castle, but it was 14 euros for a 5 minute ride. So we walked. All the way up. Not only did we walk, I made my own shortcuts off the road - through some trees. It was interesting, haha. The castle was pretty cool with great views. Walked from there down (shortcuts were harder going down than up) to the Olympic stadium and the big art museum (more great views), took outside escalators down, took the subway over to the Olympic village on the beach, grabbed a snack because I was hungry and grumpy, but it was awful.  Walked back by the zoo and through the Gothic area, got some coconut gelato, shopped some. I got new straps for my sandals, found some granola bars at an athletic store, got more snacks and water at a grocery store, then found Matt some new shoes to go with his new jacket from yesterday!

Making my own way

From the castle

From the art museum 

New straps for my sandals 

Matt's new shoes / jacket

Got back to the room around 8:30 (feet were FILTHY) and started doing some research for dinner that night. Finally settled on one from lonely planet and called for reservations. Neither one of us brought many nice outfits, so we wore the same things we did last night. 

Got lost on the walk there. The streets / allies are so ridiculous here. Had to call for directions after we had walked right past it. Almost left once we sat down because no one looked at us for 10 minutes and we didn't know what the heck was on the menu. Food ended up being really good though (traditional Catalonian food)

The restaurant we walked past

After dinner we really wanted some sangria so we set out to find Barcelona's first restaurant. About the time we found it - after numerous map attempts and walking in circles - it closed in two minutes. 

Walked to Las Ramblas and had more coconut gelato and sat on a bench. The Indian guys walk around here non-stop asking if you want to buy beer from them. Had to snap a picture of one.  (It's legal to walk around with alcohol here.)

"NO, dude!  I do NOT want any beer!"

Back to the room to pack up for IBIZA tomorrow! 

Sorry this is such a crappy update - just haven't had any time to write today! Too much to do and see in Barcelona! 

No comments:

Post a Comment