MEGAN’S BARCELONA

Spain DestinationsTravel
 Here’s the flip side to Deke’s “Barcelona Experience” in our Barcelona Back to Back feature.
 By Megan Menzel

Sitting on a stuffy bus for what seems like forever can be dull until you reach your destination. In our case the destination was Barcelona, and was a breath of fresh air stepping off that bus. Overall the environment in Barcelona differs from Madrid in countless ways, not just language. We were here, and ready to take in Barcelona for two days.

Güell Park and the breathtaking view of the city it affords.

Güell Park and the breathtaking view of the city it affords.

We arrived earlier than check in for our hostel, so our first destination was off to Park Güell, a beautifully crafted garden style walking park by Gaudi. Park Güell gives a breathtaking view over the rest of the city, as well as it hides it own treasures in the carefully crafted stain glass architecture. Park Güell is so incredible it is even part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

From Park Güell we strolled through the streets exploring every inch until we arrived up the Sagrada Familia Temple. It is still under construction and the work that must be put into finishing building that temple is incredible. The original work by Gaudi himself remains on one side and is so intricate in detail. It is quite a sight for the eyes, regardless of day or night.

Our final stops of day one left us walking and exploring once again. We visited some architectural wonders: Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. We didn’t stop inside these buildings but we stood outside and were able to ponder on their construction. Following this we finished off our evening at the beach, watching the waves roll.

Unlike landlocked Madrid, coastal Barcelona has great sandy beaches.

Unlike landlocked Madrid, coastal Barcelona has great sandy beaches.

Our second day was a much more spontaneous day, and one more of just exploration. Intending to find a museum we ended up walking in the wrong direction, which brought us to the Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia). We took a moment to pay the small admission fee and walk around the interior garden, as well as lighting a candle for Easter. (It was Easter then when we visited Barcelona.) From the Cathedral we ran into a small flea market where we had fun just looking at the trinkets and antiques people had collected for years.

Eventually we stumbled upon La Rambla and Plaza Catalunya where shops line the streets and flower vendors take to the middle walking path. It was full of people so we followed the foot traffic and ended up at Mercat de la Boqueria. It is an amazing market, similar to the ones found in Madrid. There was so much selection, everything from fresh meats and fish to dried fruits and different oils.

La Boquería Market

La Boquería Market

Again we finished our evening and trip off at the beach, it was warmer this day and we were able to catch some sun before heading off to catch a bus back to Madrid. Barcelona is a warm, welcoming place that fits the needs of all the different kinds of tourists. From nightlife to sightseeing, Barcelona is a destination must!