Barcelona and Bike Tours
Today was our first day in Barcelona. We landed at 8:30 in the morning from Paris. We stopped at a small café to get some breakfast after taking the bus to the city center. Our hostel was in a really nice part of town, just off the street Las Ramblas, best known for the shopping, eating, and street performers. When we arrived to our hostel, they wouldn't let us check in until noon, so we went up to their laundry room and washed some of our clothes. It's very hard living out of a suitcase, especially only having 4 days worth of clothes. We hung out in our lobby waiting for our laundry, charging our electronics and cought up on our journal. After the laundry was done, we went to walk around a little. We stopped and had lunch at a local place the bartender told us about that was good and cheap. We had a soup, tuna steak, and small dessert for only 6 euro. We walked to the port that was at the end of our street and did some shopping at the mall that was there. We found some shops that were really cheap so I purchased a lot of much needed new clothes.
After our shopping, we went back go the hostel to get to the happy hour. We then showered and dressed for the night before meeting up with Ashley and her friends. We ate at a place called Bodabee, which is a mix between Subway and Chipotle. I put chicken on the bread with vegetables and all of their homemade sauces. My favorite was the hot sauce because I have not had hot sauce at all while being in Greece! We went back over to Kate's with Ashley and went out with them that night. We went out to an irish bar called Ryan’s, and then went to a club. Lauren and I left shortly after to go back to our hostel to rest up before the long weekend.
The next day, Lauren and I woke up early again, had breakfast, and went on a bike tour. It was 3.5 hours and we stopped to get a drink in between on the beach. We first started in the gothic district and made our way throughout the whole city. We would have to swerve through the crowds on our bike and our tour guide would stop at certain points and tell us about the town. My favorite site was the Olympic District. It's not much anymore, but I still enjoyed seeing where it was held and where the athletes stayed. The tour guide told us that the games in 1992 brought in a lot of money and tourism and helped the city become nicer. The Olympic village now is just small apartments that tourist rent out. We also went to the artsy district in Gracia and the La Sagrada Familia church. I really enjoyed seeing this church as it is very big and more artsy than most churches. The construction of the church began in 1882 by an architect named Antonio Gaudi. With his plans, he though the construction would take 300 years to fully complete the church, but with technological advancements it is planned to be completed in 2026. That is also the 100 year anniversary of the death of the architect. I really enjoyed taking the bike tour because it was a fun way to get around, see a lot, and learn more about the city. It also beats walking everywhere!
After we were done with the bike tour, Lauren and I ate a burrito at another local restaurant and shopped down the pier. We the took the metro to a park the Ashley's friend Kate wanted to show us. When we got there, we took escalators up to area, which was on top of a hill and overlooked the whole city of Barcelona. From there, we could see everywhere we had toured on our bike and we realized how much we actually saw. It was very pretty, especially because we were there at sundown. We sat there enjoying the sites for a little bit and taking pictures before heading back down.
When we were done there, we went back to the hostel to freshen up and charge our electronics. That night we went out to eat at a restaurant called Tapa Tapa. The food was in very small portions and it did not fill us up! We still enjoyed eating the authentic Barcelonian food. Because the portions were so small, we stopped in at McDonald's afterwards to have another little snack. That night we went back to Ryan's Irish pub, meeting back up with Hayley and Chrissy. Their flight had just gotten in that night and this was the first time seeing them since before leaving for spring break. We had missed them and were excited to be reunited in Barcelona! The rest of the night we stayed at that bar, took a taxi to another loud club, and then went home early in the morning.