This past week has been amazing. Last weekend I went to Cordoba with my good friend Jessica, returned to Roquetas for a day and half to pack up and get ready to go back to California and work a few hours before heading to Barcelona. My work holidays start December 22 but my school was understanding (as long as I make up my hours). I feel lucky that I’ve been able to spend my last week with 2 of my favorite people I have met in Spain- Jessica and Angelica. Angelica decided to join me in Barcelona! woo-hoo!
We booked flights a month in advanced to BCN and I was ready to board a bus to Madrid Wednesday afternoon but when I went to print my boarding pass (they charge an absurd amount to print at the airport) I discovered my flight had never been booked. I’m unclear as to why but I did receive an email (which I choose not to read) saying there was a problem with my credit card.
New plan: Thankfully Spain is well equipped with buses and trains so I was able to take a night bus from Almeria to Barcelona. Sitting on a bus for 12 hours isn’t what I call fun but it got me to BCN. My longest bus ride so far. (longest bus ride in Africa; 1o hours in Tanzania). I’ve been able to sleep on 7 hour night bus rides from Madrid to Almeria but couldn’t sleep as well on this ride.
I arrived groggy and sweaty.I hoped on the metro and met Jordi, a couch surfer who was hosting Angelica and I for the night. Meanwhile, Angelica wasn’t able to board her flight and wouldn’t be arriving for another several hours. I had no plans and thought maybe I’ll just sleep because my body could use it. Jordi met me at the metro station and was ready to show me around. I freshened up (after 12 hours on a bus) and then he asked, “Do you want to go for a ride on a motorcycle? La Sagrada Familia is only 10 minutes away. AH HELL YES. What an awesome opportunity and experience. (a big bummer for Angelica missing her flight but I got lucky because he wouldn’t have space for both of us). I want a moto. Motos are everywhere in Barcelona.He showed me Sagrada Familia, which is under construction and will be for the next 10 years, then took a walk on the paseo along the beach, showed me the port, ate kebabs and then I met Angelica at the station.
Highlights in BCN:
- Riding on a motorcycle
- Going to a cool comic/cartoon themed bar called Polaroid (while ordering at the bar, some guys ask if were couchsurfers- turns out there was a Couchsurfing meet up there)! awesome
- Finding another drink I like- claras (.25 fanta naranja y .75 cerveza) because my standard tinto de verano (wine with lemon or with fanta) is only available in the summer unlike in Andalucia where it’s available year round.
- Enjoying the beautiful view at Parque Gaudi and at the spacious beautiful park Montjuric
- Hanging out with my best buddy Angelica (my familiar, because when she’s around, life is more fun, easier and we keep each other honest)
- Seeing all the cool Guadi buildings and influence. I’m curious to learn more about him but his designs are so whimsical.
- Seeing all the x-mas lights throughout the city (Spain may be in an economic crisis but they’re NOT cutting X-mas lights and decorations from the cities budgets)
- Meeting locals and gaining local perspective
- Finding boots that are my size and very comfortable! (spain’s shoe sizing seems to be smaller, which makes it even harder for me to find shoes, grrr).
- Seeing a butterfly stop on my path to remind me: I AM FREE. I’m free as a butterfly and I need to live this way. Everyday. No holding back, pure living.
- Watching Barcelona vs. R.Madrid futbol game (3-1) on TV and going to El Centro after to see the fans cheer and show there pride.
One thing that has been different in Barcelona is having to be overly concerned about watching my purse. I was warned about pick pockets but I didn’t realize how real it is. It’s literally a job for many in BCN becuase there are so many tourists- it’s a prime spot. Jordi says there are 80 million visitors each year to Barcelona. Whoa. I’ve been warned by so many- it’s annoying and uncomfortable because I don’t like to have to think that I have to be on guard 24/7 when I’m roaming about.
Have you been to Barcelona? What are your favorite spots?