Barcelona was absolutely awesome. The trip started with the most fun train-ride ever. We had three three-hour trains between Nice and Barcelona; the first two were standard, boring trips, but the third was legendary. We were happy to be out of expensive Nice, so we treated ourselves to a few beers at the train station bar. At first the train seemed pretty normal, but at the first stop, just a few minutes after we got on, a slew of kids with camping backpacks boarded the train. These kids had just finished some sort of summer camping trip, and they were ready to rock. The camp counselor started singing camp songs, the kids followed suit. Having taken two years of Spanish in high school, I was feeling confident in my Spanish singing abilities, so I tried my best to sign along with all of the kids. They were laughing at me, not with me.
After a few Spanish songs, our group decided to try and whip out some English songs that they would know. We sang the “Macarena,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “We Are the Champions.” Only shortly after our on-key (not) harmony, a passenger on our train complained that the noise level was irritating, so we stopped singing. The rest of the train ride was spent speaking broken Spanish to 11-year-old Spanish kids. It was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had.
Barcelona was tons and tons of fun. During the day we swapped between sight-seeing and beach sitting. My favorite visits were those architected by Gaudi: Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. Let’s just say he can make some ridiculously insane cathedrals, buildings, and landscape. Sagrada Familia was easily the most impressive building I’ve ever seen. Las Ramblas, the famous, busy promenade, was also a sight to see. It’s a huge street with lots of walking traffic and the best statue performers I’ve ever seen.
The food in Barcelona was also unbelievable. I ordered tapas as often as possible. Tapas are little finger-food dishes that are shared between the table to make up a complete meal. My favorite tapas were Spanish Omelets, spicy potatoes, salamis, ham, tomato-bread, and olives.
At night we wouldn’t even go to a bar or club, which I somewhat regret now. The bars and clubs are known as some of the best in Europe, but we were too cheap to pay expensive covers. Instead we just hung out in public places such as squares, Las Ramblas, and playgrouns, bought one-euro beers from the beer-men (guys that just walk around selling beer), and had a grand old time with miscellaneous people we would meet. Bargaining with the beer-men was also a lot of fun. The best I did was 10 beers for five euro.
War story: our flight left Barcelona airport, a 45-minute train from downtown Barcelona, at 8:30am. We discovered that we would be unable to get to the airport in the morning, so we were forced to spend the night in the airport in order to catch out flight. We stayed up as late as we could, drinking Port and playing Hearts, settling into “bed” for only a few hours of “rest.” It was miserable and also kinda fun.
Learn more about my Europe trip here.