Spain

Barcelona: My First Solo Travel

Traveling solo sounds intimidating to a lot of people, me included. But I decided I wasn’t going to let my fear get the best of me during my first trip to Europe in 2010. After several days of traveling with Tess in some parts of the UK and Paris we parted ways. She went back home to Newcastle, where I was to meet her in about four days, and I flew off to Barcelona.

I wasn’t off to a good start when I got a little lost because the cab dropped me off at the wrong street. I was ringing the wrong apartment but thankfully I realized I was not where I was meant to be. My limited Spanish skills helped me get to the right spot though.

From there it was quite smooth sailing. Barcelona is a very tourist-friendly city in my opinion. Signs to popular tourist spots abound so it’s easy to find them. If you want to take the easy route, you can ride the hop-on/hop-off city tour bus.

The view is better from the top…of the bus, that is.

Most of the time I explored the city on foot. The weather was perfect that time and I just had to enjoy the cool 15 C weather. Also, that way I can stop whenever I find something interesting.

Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Mila was walking distance from my B and B so I decided to visit it first. It was my first time to see a creation by the famous Spanish architect and  I would say my expectations were met in a very unique way.

The facade of Casa Mila is unlike anything I have ever seen but as I went inside I discovered that the house had a lot more surprises in store. Every corner feels like a world waiting to be discovered. The top provides an amazing view and is a sight to behold in itself.

Such an interesting veranda

Not your ordinary rooftop

Barcelona is home to several other Gaudi creations. The Casa Batllo is a few steps away from Casa Mila.

 

I also visited Parc Guell.

Not to be missed is Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, which is still in being finished as of this writing. I have read a few months ago that after 133 years of construction, it is now entering the final stages of completion. But we will have to wait about ten years before the church is totally finished. Read more about it here.

The church has two facades that look like they do not belong to the same structure.

 

 

Take a closer look at some of the other details. There are just too many, it’s a feast for the eyes.

The ceilings were made to look like trees branching out into the sky

View from the top

Now let’s move on to the other places I visited. I love parks so I took some time people watching and eating snacks here at Placa Catalunya.

I went to Montjuic but unfortunately the fountain wasn’t in operation on that day.

I decided to stroll along the Olympic complex instead.

 

While in Montjuic I also went to the Miro Foundation for some contemporary art and the Poble Espanol for an overview of Spanish architecture. I also took a trip to the Museu Picasso… and had these churros for breakfast.

Churros con chocolate

If you like catching some rays Barceloneta will be your favorite. I loved the atmosphere along the beach where everyone was just relaxing and enjoying the view.

There are lots of restaurants in the area as well. You’ll never run out of choices.

Some octopus sprinkled with paprika over potatoes
Battered and deep-fried baby squid
When in Spain, one must eat paella.

Walking along Las Ramblas is a sensory overload…you have lots of shops and street performers that will keep you occupied. I didn’t stay here so much though because I went straight to the Mercat La Boqueria. The colors, smells, and tastes are a treat for the senses.

Oh, my ham!
Did I just die and go to chocolate heaven???
Fresh fruits and juices
Had some tapas. These are choricitos.

If given the chance I would love to go back to Barcelona. It’s easy to navigate, my Spanish gets me by, the food is really great and there’s always something interesting to see. Hasta Luego, Barcelona!

 

 

 

 

 

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