Bar-the-lona: Days 2 – 3

Barcelona Day 1 was so much to take in and now prepare for more.

Tip: When traveling to many places and on a budget, or low on money, invest in some granola bars. Sophia and I brought some with us on this trip and later on bought some more. They’re a great replacement for breakfast or missed meals. We just began our European trip and wanted to have enough money to last the rest of the trip so we decided to save money on breakfast and some lunch meals. Plus, don’t worry about it not being entirely healthy, you’ll be walking around all day.

First stop: Casa Batlló.

“It’s like I’m under the sea!” -Sophia

We didn’t want to spend too much money and from our research, exploring the exterior of many Gaudi and Picasso works was good enough to bask in the art of Barcelona.

Tip: Transportation abroad. Many countries have their own different methods of transportation. Thankfully, we went to places where subways and metros weren’t too complicated to understand. The first thing we did when we met with Paola is buy a three-day metro pass in Barcelona. If you’re familiar with the metro card in NYC it’s similar to that. Except, you only pay once and you’re good for three days. SUCH A DEAL! I could get used to this.

Building that I fell in love with next to Casa Batlló.

As soon as we got out of the station Passeig de Gràcia, we were in awe. You can’t miss Casa Batlló in the Block of Discord (Illa de la Discòrdia). The Block of Discord contains buildings with architecture done by Domènech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí. The architecture had a facade unlike any other you could imagine. As Sophia would put it, “It’s like I’m under the sea.” It also felt like you were in a mystical dream outside a royal palace. In trying to understand Gaudí’s work, my conclusion is that he tried to find the extraordinary out of the ordinary. You see, he worked in his art in the late 1800s. This was a time when inventions were still being created and people were still exploring the world. Barcelona back then was still under the impression that everyone in the world had to catch up with America. Gaudí took this opportunity to give the residents of Barcelona something they have never seen, right in their home. Here was a chance for someone to let residents of Catalunya escape reality and travel to a magical place. But this was only a taste.

Second Stop: La Sagrada Família

There was artwork outside of the church as well. Check out the details!

The first thing you should know is that this church started construction in 1882, and they’re still not done. It’s 2017 and this church is still not finished. Living during the time of a church being built to this magnitude is incredible. We are used to visiting churches that took just as many years to build or rebuild but that were constructed centuries ago. We’re living in history people! One of the most moving facts about this church is that it was designed by Antoni Gaudí, of course, and his work is being continued. He’s not alive to continue working on it, but the people of Barcelona respect and honor him so much that they are continuing his dreams for this place. He wasn’t a king or rich, but there comes a point when you realize how talented one is that the least you could do is honor his work. He didn’t pay anyone to continue his work. This is a humbling fact of the Barcelona people. Much respect.

Inside view.

As soon as I entered La Sagrada Família, my mouth dropped. Here I was expecting a similar layout as the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC, but I was wrong. This wasn’t just any church. It was a modern church. I shouldn’t go too much into details because I want my readers to visit this beautiful place and witness it yourself. Gaudí was truly a revolutionary artist of his time, and I think even of our time. There was so much space, color and intricacy. It felt as if you were entering yet another magical place but in this place, you feel like you’re in the presence of God, or heaven. Sophia and I only got tickets to enter the basilica, but we plan to come back and get tickets to go up the winding stairs inside. I hear it’s even more beautiful.

Third Stop: Parque Güell

Amigas Cheetahs friends for life!

Here we go, the Amigas Cheetahs moment is coming. Of course with the luck Sophia and I had, it started to rain about half an hour before our time to go in the park. Thankfully, it was a few sprinkles and we managed to get nice pictures with the Barcelona city in the background. See pics below:

Rain can’t stop us!


Yup, ’tis me in Barcelona ❤

We discovered the lower level of the Park. Of course my boy Gaudí can’t stop with art. He continues with a beautiful mosaic staircase and walls. Again, it was like you were in a magical place. Antoni, hats off to you!

Antoni continues to amaze us, and keep us dry from the rain.


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Not a huge fan of body pics but look at those mosaics!

Later, we enjoyed some delicious signature dish of Paella with Alessandro and Paola. Since we didn’t have many more days in Barcelona, they took us on a tour of Gothic Barcelona streets at night. We visited Barcelona’s cathedral and encountered a woman who spoke Italian. This was something to mention because it was our first time witnessing an Italian conversation. She needed help with directions and Alessandro helped her. At this moment I thought, “Okay, so Italian doesn’t seem too bad. I can get a gist of it.” Wait till I write about our adventures in Italy!

Cathedral de Barcelona.


First Stop: Las Ramblas

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“Hi, how much for the key chains and magnets?” “Hello, how much for the postcards?” – Tourists

This is a very long street filled with shops and small carts that sell souvenirs and other trinkets. A major tourist destination for gift shopping. But we enjoyed getting the experience of being with other people and the hustle and bustle of this place. We took a little detour into a marketplace nearby called, “Mercado de la Boqueria.” Now, this is a place to venture into. Yes, it’s just a marketplace, but another way to learn about a place’s culture and cuisine is where they sell food! Here, I had freshly squeezed OJ and saw some really good fish and meats being sold. Sophia was in love with the sweets section. I mean how can you not stop and look in awe of tables and tables of chocolates! Very good food and very cool people.

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Love me some OJ!

Second Stop: Arc de Triomf

It was warmer than expected that day.

Barcelona held its World Fair in 1888 and Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas built this beauty for this special occasion. We were already planning on going to see the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, we thought we might as well see the Spanish version. I gotta say, the architecture here is purely Spanish. A better way to explain this is probably by thinking about history class. Remember learning about the conquistadors that took over the Mayans, Aztecs and Incans? Well if you recall some of the pictures in our textbooks, they always wore these arched helmets with pointed ends, they had some type of feather with them and the designs were royal like. This is how it felt standing by the Arc de Triomf. I guess another similarity would be the arch in Washington Square Park but bigger!

Third Stop: Platja de la Nova Icària

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New ocean views.

I didn’t pack my bathing suit for nothing! Unfortunately, with this being our last day and us trying to visit as many places as we could, we didn’t have time to change into bathing suits. We still made it our goal to go to a beach in Barcelona. We heard that Barceloneta beach is usually infested with tourists, so we researched others nearby. We definitely didn’t want to go to Marbella, the nudist beach. Unless that’s your type of scene or you want to venture into the unknown, best stay away. We decided to visit Platja de la Nova Icària because it seemed clean and still had beautiful views. I gotta say, when I come back I am so going in the water. We only dipped our feet in. We later ventured into the beach bar and had some patatas bravas and drinks.

Fourth Stop: Flamenco!

After watching her tap her feet, we no longer had pain in our feet.

I don’t have the exact location of where we went, but it was affordable! For ten euros to see a 2-hour flamenco show, what a deal! We got there a little bit late so there were no seats, Alessandro helped us get to the left side of the stage, right where the acts went on stage. What a rush! Flamenco is a traditional Spanish dance from the south of Spain. It contains a guitarist, vocals, drums/box and a dancer. On this night the dancer was a woman. As she danced on stage to the music and lyrics of the songs, everyone was mesmerized. You could feel the passion from her feet and in the voice of the singer. I’m a romantic so to hear this music and watch her move was very emotional for me. My heart felt the passion portrayed on stage. I definitely recommend seeing this while in Spain.

Fifth and Last Stop: Lando and Drinks!

Sophia is getting the hang of smiling when I point my camera at her.

We ate tapas at Lando and I had a very well done mojito. Afterward, we tried to find a place that was happenin. We found a neat Argentinian bar where we certainly had a good time. Sophia and I took a risk and apparently ordered some dangerous drinks. Don’t worry, we survived and we had an incredible time chatting it up with Paola and Alessandro. We got home, knocked out and got up in time to catch our flight to… ROME!

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