EUROTRIP SERIES: BARCELONA (Oct. 18-22, 2011)

It is imperative to kick off an epic series with a blast and where better to start than in BARCELONA!

I’m not a very big fan of architecture. In fact, art has become a waterloo for me. This city gave me a change of heart. I’m not saying I’m heading for a career-change but I sure learned how to appreciate art in a completely different way and I owe it all to Barcelona! And yeah, blame it all on Antoni Gaudi.

If you don’t know who Antoni Gaudi is, he practically built all of Barcelona. A visit to this beautiful city will probably cause your ears to bleed after hearing the name “Gaudi” over and over again. But then again, you can also feast your eyes on his magnificent creations in every corner of the city.

 

From the Sagrada Familia Basilica

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

…to Park Guell

Park Guell

Park Guell

…to La Pedrera (Casa Mila)

La Pedrera (Casa Mila)

La Pedrera (Casa Mila)

…and even the wide open space of Plaza Catalunya

Plaza Catalunya

Plaza Catalunya

 

When in Barcelona, you’ll most likely find yourself strolling up and down La Rambla every single day. This is probably the most popular street in Barcelona for tourists. This is also where the Catalan People’s creativity is most evident. It doesn’t just stop in Gaudi’s creations. Barcelona is simply drenched with creativity. Even the deceptive “Shell Game” is an art in itself. Don’t get fooled though, unless you wanna give away your Euros, then by all means wager in this “unbeatable” game.

Be awed by the street performers or marvel at the mime’s weird but hilarious costumes…

The Mimes of La Rambla

The Mimes of La Rambla

For beach bums like me, La Barceloneta is just a short walk from La Rambla. Known for its long, sandy shoreline you can always relax by the beach. And after the sun sets, nightclubs open and you can party the night away Catalan Style. This is also the site of the Olympic Village during the 1992 Summer Olympics.

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Away fom Las Ramblas and Barceloneta, you can also get a good feel of the Catalan City by watching the waters of the Montjuic Fountain dance as you’re serenaded by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe’s song entitled, yes you guessed it right, BARCELONA.

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Aside from all these sights, I’d have to say the highlight of this trip was being able to watch The FLAMENCO live. I wish I could post some photos. Or better yet, a video of the show but sad to say, camera’s aren’t allowed inside the theatre. It took me awhile to find a way to explain the experience but I guess the only way to describe the Flamenco is through the people of Barcelona. “THE DANCER’S PASSION is CONTAGIOUS“.

Opera y FLAMENCO

Opera y FLAMENCO

 But maybe that’s just how the Catalans are – PASSIONATE. Whether you’re strolling across the Ramblas or just sitting on the sidewalk while sipping on a huge glass of Sangria. You’ll feel the passion all around Barcelona’s atmosphere.

Quick Tips:

Refrain from having a bite in the Restaurants right in the La Rambla strip. They don’t include prices on the menu. If you do, prepare to get shocked as soon as you receive your bill. Instead, you can have your Paella and tapas on the side streets. They’re equally good but a lot cheaper.

Book tickets for Sagrada Familia online a day ahead. There’s no price difference and you don’t need to fall in line all the way around the block to get tickets.

WATCH the FLAMENCO! It might be a little pricey but trust me, it’s well worth it.

NEVER waste your money on the “Shell Game”. It’s a SCAM! Luckily I have a friend who knew how this works so I didn’t have to find out the hard way.

Take note of the Meal Schedules in Barcelona (and in all of Spain). Breakfast is at 10 or 11am, Lunch is at 1 or 2pm and Dinner is at 10pm. So don’t expect restaurants to be open at 8am for your convenience. Unless you plan to have one in McDonald’s.

Siesta is strictly observed here. You might wanna take one too. You’ll need all the energy for long walks.

 

Curious as to where I’m going next? You can find our full Itinerary by checking out the Euro Trip post.

 

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