Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beaches, Boys, and Barcelona

I've wanted to visit Barcelona for as long as I can remember. Once upon a time I read about Antoni Gaudi, and ever since I've dreamed of relaxing in Park Guell and visiting the Sagrada Familia. I'm a bit of a nerd for art, history, and architecture, and Barcelona embodies those three things perfectly. It's absolutely gorgeous, and it has a crazy energy and it's truly unlike anywhere else I've ever seen.

Angelina and I were lucky enough to get free accommodation thanks to a distant Persian cousin of mine, Al.  I had never met Al before going to Barcelona, but he very graciously offered to let us stay at the hostel that he owns right in the center of the city. That's the best part about being Persian, if you are going somewhere and need a place to stay, your cousin's cousin's grandma's brother's dog walker's best friend's third cousin twice removed will be there to help you out (Al is my step-fathers cousin's cousin, so nothing too crazy, but you get my point!)

We spent our first couple days being lazy. We did a free walking tour, indulged in the best paella and sangria I've EVER had and enjoyed the gorgeous weather by lying on the beach all day. It wasn't until our last day there that we actually went sightseeing, which wasn't the best idea because there is tons to see in Barcelona and it's all very spread out.

(Sangria and paella for two. Yes, we finished all of it. And we may or may not have gone back for round 2 the next day.) 

(Most famous square in Barcelona/a very popular hangout spot) 

(Stereotypical "I'm a tourist on the beach in Spain!" photo) 

We ended up running around like headless chickens all day trying to take in as much as possible. And after two days of great weather, it decided to start POURING rain, so that was just dandy. But we managed to see all the Gaudi buildings, which are even more impressive in real life then they are in photos.  By the time we made it to Park Guell it looked like we had just stepped out of the shower. We felt very rock n' roll. In the evening we had dinner with Al and bonded over travel experiences and hostel horror stories, and then the next morning we left for Madrid.

(Park Guell) 

(Sagrada Familia) 

(Angelina and I saying goodbye to Al before we left for Madrid) 

At this point, I've decided that my three favorite places are Dublin for it's insanely nice people, Prague for its beauty, and Barcelona for is buzzing energy. I'm already planning to go back in 2025 when the Sagrada Familia is finished!

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