Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cruising the Catalan Capital -or- There's a She-Wolf Heavy Petting In

Barcelona was nothing short of spectacular. From the moment we stepped off the plane, I knew it was going to be a great weekend.
We arrived Friday night and took a taxi to our apartment. We still had to wait on Jess to fly down from Madrid, but after she got there, we did a little walking tour of the neighbourhood. We ended up in a smoky little Irish bar with a band and tons of people. But after long days capped with travelling, we ended up not staying too late.

Sagrada Familia
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Saturday morning, we woke up and set off on our tour of the city. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia, which we could see from our apartment. Gaudi began construction in 1882 and it won't finish until 2026, the 100th anniversary of his death. The size and detail of the entire structure was mesmerising, and we didn't even go inside. I'm definitely willing to make a trip back in 20 years to see the finished composition.

From there, we headed to Park Guell, another of Gaudi's works. It was a nice place to hike around with a wonderful view of the city. All the structures were completely covered in mosaics, and the building almost looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
For lunch, we met up with Casey, who also lives in Aviano, and her cousin, Vanessa, who's visiting for the summer. From there, we walked down La Rambla, a wide street with great shopping, where we found this little shop. It's actually a candy store and they package their confections in little pill bottles with funny prescription-like labels on them.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
After a late afternoon nap back at the apartment, Jess made some Spanish cuisine for everyone. Then it was time to head out on the town. We headed to a few different districts, stopping in random bars, but what we really wanted to do was dance.

Dan & Nate
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We asked around and eventually found a place called Roxy Blue Barcelona. It was packed, the music was great, and we barely got in. We went straight to the bar, then to the floor, and didn't leave until 5 AM. Yeah, I definitely got my dancing fix.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Sunday, we slept pretty late, but then managed to hit up the Picasso museum and get in a little more shopping. For dinner, we ate tapas and drank sangria. Then more shopping. Helpful hint: never shop for sunglasses after you've been drinking, because every pair you try on looks amazing.

Street Pirates
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
That evening, Dan, Nate, and I kinda split up from the girls. We spent the evening in El Born, a district full of neat little bars, drinking mojitos followed by more mojitos. While walking down the street, we came upon these girls who were racing wagons decked out to look like ships. I mean, what DIDN'T we see on this trip?

Barceloneta Beach
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Monday morning, Cheyenne and I woke up early knowing we had to leave that evening. And we didn't want to leave Barcelona without seeing one of its beaches. We trekked down to Barceloneta and strolled the entire length, finally stopping to rest in the sand for a couple hours and soak up the Spanish sun.

Even though the weekend went by so quick and we didn't get to see everything, Barcelona has become one of my favourite cities. It's clean, modern, and easy to navigate; the people are friendly; the nightlife is fun and diverse; and there's art everywhere. Even on the Metro, there were little television screens showing short independent films. It has an almost bohemian quality that I find very relaxing and inviting.
Unfortunately, I somehow lost a few of the pictures I took. The ones I managed to salvage can be found in a photostream here. Hopefully, I'll travel back there one day soon so I can see (and photograph) everything I missed this time.

No comments: