Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This weekend was awesome, we went to Barcelona as a group and had a fantastic time!  The trip started out at an ungodly hour (4am!) to catch the 6am train from Madrid to Barcelona.  I want to take all my trips by 'renfe' train (Spanish trains) because they are extremely comfortable.  The seats are huge, they recline, there is a food car, and they show a movie.  What more do you need during a 3 hour train ride?  It was great.  So we arrived in Barcelona and made our way to our hotel.  We stayed in a really nice hotel 1 block from the Sagrada Familia.  The city fiesta in Barcelona was going on, of course - another fiesta, so the city was extra crowded.  In Barcelona they do not speak Spanish, they speak Catalan which is like a mixture of French and Spanish and impossible to understand or read.  Once we arrived at the hotel we dropped our luggage, had some breakfast and then it was off to see the city.
Encarna, the art professor, came with us which was really cool.  We first went to the Picasso Museum which houses the largest collection of Picasso paintings.  The museum was extremely crowded, because of the city fiestas it was free, but was still really cool.  I like art museums but they seem to have this power of putting us all to sleep...

After the museum we had some lunch and then it was off to the Sagrada Familia.  It's one of Gaudí's (architect from Barcelona) most famous works and has been under construction since 1882 and is not expected to be finished until 2026!  It was absolutely amazing.
La Sagrada Familia at night

That night Marzia and I went out to dinner at a restaurant on the boardwalk and watched fireworks on the beach.  We didn't stay out too late because we wanted to get an early start the next day to see as much of Barcelona as we could.

The next morning Marzia and I got up and went out to breakfast at a little bakery near our hotel.  We walked around the city on the main street marveling at the great shopping and the  amazing architecture around the city.  We then decided to make our way to the Park Güell, another of Gaudí's works.  It is a beautiful Park with amazing views of the Mediterranean and all of Barcelona.  We spend most of the day at the park enjoying the sun and people watching.  After lunch we made our way to a popular square/street La Rambla.  It is famous for its living statues and to our surprise there was a parade going on.  There were thousands of people and in the parade were drumming groups of all ages, really cool.  We stumbled upon a market and walked around that for a while.  Before we knew it, it was time to get to the train station and head back to Madrid.
Marzia and I at the entrance to Park Güell

Park Güell and the view 

Casa Battló
The market
When we finally arrived back in Madrid we had to take a bus back to Villa, making the last bus in the nick of time!  (otherwise we would have had to wait for 1 hour for the night buses to start running...)  So we got to Villa and the bus driver told everyone to get off...but Marzia and I were confused because this was not the normal stop...  So we stayed on and to our surprise the bus driver turned around and started heading the other way.  Now this is not good for two girls who barely speak Spanish, have luggage with them, and have no idea where the bus is going at 1am!  We were beginning to freak out when we realized that the bus was taking an alternate route because the street was closed for what other reason than there was a fiesta going on.  :)

Overall it was a great trip.  Although I am glad I got to visit Barcelona I was happy to get back to Madrid.  Barcelona is very touristy and they don't speak Spanish, so I would never know what is going on!


1 comment:

G as in Chris said...

That market makes me salivate excessively.