Spain, September 2015
After I checked in at my hotel, I went straight for a shower to freshen up from a long day of traveling. That was when I noticed the Body Milk sitting next to the body wash, shampoo and conditioner. I think body milk has been on the market for a while now, it was just my first time seeing it and first time that I will be using it. After a nice shower, I walked a bit in the neighborhood and grabbed a light dinner before heading to bed and be done for the day.
Unfortunately my breakfast was not included during my hotel stay, no wonder it was cheap when I booked it. Nevertheless, I tried their buffet style breakfast the following morning and was satisfied. I think I paid about 12 USD for it, I can definitely try other breakfast place around the neighborhood. While eating, I opened up my Barcelona guide book and started re-reading about the places I am planning to visit and to plan my agenda before my friend stop by to pick me up and start my first day of adventure.
I booked a hotel that was near an underground train station so that I can easily navigate the town. I visited the old town of Barcelona, the Barri Gotic.
This was where you will see four original posts that were still preserved within a residential building. Imagine living where your backyard was part of history. In this area you will also find different churches, both for the poor and rich people during the 1st century BC. There was so much history in this part of old town that you can easily spend more than half a day just walking around.
Catalonia was trying to be an independent country from Spain. On September 11, they had a massive demonstration regarding their need for independence. I was lucky enough to get invited and a chance to meet new friends. The morning of the demonstration, I went to a café just across the street of my hotel and had my breakfast. I was excited for today’s event, and I was able to purchase a special t-shirt for the event. I want to make a disclaimer that I am joining the demonstration for the experience and meeting people and not for political reasons.
I met up with my friend a little after lunch and we walked to his friend’s apartment to meet the whole gang. We had few drinks before we head down to our designated area. That was when I saw how many people were already on their respective section to celebrate the demonstration.
The demonstration was more like a big party, people were smiling and happy and just enjoying the afternoon. I had a blast and enjoyed my time. At night, people were still in big numbers enjoying some live music. I stayed a little longer out to have some drinks with some new friends I met.
One of the most visited cities of Europe by the tourists, Barcelona, is a must to travel when you are in Spain. Something that makes people more fascinated to visit Barcelona is that it is a home to two of the most important and famous football teams. Other than that, what makes Barcelona more popular is its delicious food, architecture, nightlife and shopping. Let’s see the most famous attractions that you must visit on your tour to Barcelona.
If you are into sightseeing then this should be it. Go visit the Sagrada Familia, the church of the Roman Catholics. It is one of the most magnificent churches in the world with an outstanding architecture. The construction of the church started in 1882 and is still in progress. Even though it is still unfinished, lots of tourists still pay a visit to this church because of its immense beauty. Sagrada Familia is the most visited church in entire Spain. It is said that once it is completed, it will be one of the most tallest churches of all.
Another tourist attraction of Barcelona is Casa Batllo, one of the renowned museums built with modern designs. It is not only a building but it offers you a journey to the past of 20th century. The best part about this place is that it is open every day throughout the year so you can visit any day from 9 am to 9 pm. If you want to avoid the rush here, it is better to visit the museum during early morning or late afternoon hours or you can buy an online ticket and just show the email at the entrance to get in. The whole tour of the place will take up to 50 minutes but you can take your own time too. There is a wonderful shop too that you can visit after your tour to check out the unique gifts and souvenirs here. You will be amazed to see the astonishing masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi on your visit.
La Rambla is a famous street where one can find tourists and locals. It can be crowded during the peak seasons when tourists come here. It is a window to the theatres, centers and Catalan culture. The street is 1.2 km long and almost everyone who visits Barcelona walks on this street. The famous places that you can see here are Palau de la Virreina, Boqueria Market and Gran Teatre del Liceu. La Rambla is also called as a human river as you will see people around all the time. The bigger selling points of La Rambla are the flower district, Font de Canalets and Joan Miro Mosaic. La Rambla is also one of the famous meeting points of Barcelona.
The market was closed when I was there, so I did not get to chance to experience inside. More reason to come back and visit this city.
Those who are into architecture and understand every detail of it, then you should really check the Casa Amatller building. The architect, Gaudi, designed this building on typical Catalan mansion and fused German elements. Casa Amatller is offering guided tour focusing on the history of art in the Barcelona city. So take your time and go through the details of the building so see what makes it so special.
Plaza Reial is one of the busiest and vibrant spots especially at night. It is Barcelona’s best loved square because of the elegant ambiance, fountains, lamps and street lamps. The open air plaza is a hot spot for tourists and locals. Around this plaza, you can find clubs if you are a jazz fan, outdoor musical performances and Catalane cuisine restaurants.
The Cathedral is one of the most exquisite gothic buildings of Barcelona. As you walk around this building you will see the roman wall and gothic architecture. Near the cathedral are some small shops, cafes and also interesting street performances. The beauty of the cathedral makes anyone want to visit here. The church looks even more beautiful at night. The church has 29 side chapels and is about 25 meters high and 83 meters long.
Santa Maria del Mar is also known as the Cathedral of Le Ribera. This church is one of the examples of gothic styles architecture and is one of the famous landmarks of Barcelona. What most strike the people about the interior of the building are the spaciousness and the windows. It is also known as the cathedral of the sea. What makes this church different from the others is that when this church was built, during this time all the other churches were built by the authorities but Santa Maria del Mar was built by the people who contributed the money during its construction. Going inside Santa Maria del Mar is worth a visit. Santa Maria del Mar has also inspired many stories such as the La Catedral del Mar which is one of the best-selling novels describing about the construction of Santa Maria del Mar.
Another place that you don’t want to miss to visit is the Montjuic. I visited the place at night because they have a fountain show and the whole place was illuminated.
Park Guell was another place I visited, it was a nice park. You can have a great view of the city as well as enjoyed some great architectural designs and buildings.
view from the park
I decided to do a day trip to another beautiful town, Sitges. It’s definitely a beach town, it was a little cold that day when I went so only few people were actually swimming. I walked around the small town and enjoyed the architecture and bit of history. I can imagine how busy this town can be during summer time. If you have a spare full day or two on your itinerary, I would suggest to stay here and enjoy more what the place can offer.