Arriving into Barcelona we did a quick driving tour past a few main sights on the way to our hostel.
After arriving we checked in and had a couple of hours before leaving for dinner. A lovely friend and I went to see the Basilica Sagrada Familia in that time. If you go, definitely book your tickets online or else you will stand in line for hours. We booked our tickets and headed over which was only a short walk from the hostel. We did get lost, by walking too many streets east, but the pillars of the church are some of the highest in the town so was easy to find our way back to once we were in a semi clearing.
There are four facades to the Basilica that were constructed at different times with different themes. For me, the front (nativity side), back, and inside of the main hall stood out for me. The other sides were modern and not nearly as spectacular as the other sides in my opinion. The nativity side was hand carved and is insanely detailed, and the largest. If you zoom in on my photos of it, you will see some of the detail. I simply could not get any photos that could fit the whole front side in one picture so the photos aren’t the best. Inside was not a typical church. It was rainbow thanks to the stained windows and the roof was so tall and also decorated. It was beautiful inside and probably the most beautiful inside of a church I have seen to date.
After that, we all went out for our last (late) dinner together on tour, and had Paella
After dinner we went to a bar for a drink. We had a dance and a drink and it was soon after midnight. Our tour guide introduced us to “Jimmy” who could get a group into the club without lining up or paying. A bunch went with Jimmy over town to the club, a few stayed and a few of us (including me), went home. Myself and another helped get a third who was much more intoxicated home safely. Flagging down a taxi was near impossible. We stood at the taxi rank for a good 20 minutes but not one taxi came to the rank. They all drove past, full of people who they were taking out. Think of how hard it is to get a taxi from darling harbour on New Years – it was that hard, just with less people in the street. We walked for a good half an hour after that, trying to flag down taxis along the way. Most times we were on the opp side of the road to the available taxi, or sometimes just across the intersection, and so by the time we made it to where the taxi was, there was someone else who jumped in first and snatched it up. We finally got one to take us back home and made it to bed around 1.30am. Not long after, a roommate made it home and we ended up chatting for another hour or so.
After a few hours of sleep, we got back up to check out of the hostel and say our goodbyes to our tour group. A few of us were staying an extra night so we stored our luggage but they were going to the church I had already seen so we went our separate ways for the day, with dinner plans together.
I made my way down to the pier by the water. It was lovely around the marina and I browsed the shops and markets. There were so many street sellers with their items on their rugs on the ground, that they lined the path for a full 10 minute walk. If you want fake sunnies, Nike shoes or handbags, that’s your go to place! I wandered and ate an ice cream, enjoying the sunshine by the sea! Then I took the funicular from the port to the park at the top of the hill and got some great views, but it hadn’t been the one I was hoping to get! This was an old rickety red one, with only two cable cars (one on each line) and you had to line up for ages and then stand squished in the car. Once I got to the top, I saw the cable car that I did want, the lovely new white one with seats and plenty of cars to jump in, that did zig zag loop at the top of the mountain, purely for the views.
From here you could see the top of the Sagrada Familia church sticking out above all other buildings in town.
Once I’d done that, I started to become very tired. I made my way back into town and grabbed some food for lunch. I did a little more shopping and was in search of a new pair of nikes as my last pair were wearing badly and beginning to get a hole. I went to 6 or 7 different stores that sold nikes but all were either super expensive or not what I wanted. I decided to give it a rest after the sports warehouse still wasn’t any cheaper, and decided to wait till I was back in the UK (who would have thought the UK would have been cheaper for anything)!
I checked into the hostel again and had a short nap between doing my laundry.
I wish I had have been more awake with more energy in Barcelona. There was more I would have liked to have seen, like the old bunker that the locals hang out around, or the recreated Iberian village that we had driven past the day before. Or to go to the shopping centre that used to be a bull fighting ring. Barcelona has banned bull fighting so both of the old arenas are no longer used for it, with one now being a big shopping centre! High 5 to Barca on that one✋🏼! Unfortunately I was too exhausted after a great 10 days of travelling Portugal and Spain.
After my nap, I met the guys for dinner (embarrassingly it was Mexican but it was delicious) and then one drink at a bar up the road. An awful restless night ensued thanks to my other roommates (makes me miss everyone on tour even more). As I was getting into bed girl #1 asked to borrow my conditioner. Sure, no worries. So I waited for her to shower. Just as I got it back and was aiming for bed a second time, another girl walked in. She was lovely and chipper, and very bouncy. She was called Grace and was swapping her thongs for boots so she could go out clubbing (it’s now around 1.30am). I chatted with conditioner girl and bubbly Grace briefly and then Grace left and I went to bed. Grace came in some time around 4am, and was not so bubbly any more. In fact, she was crying and rather upset. She and conditioner girl were talking so I left them to it, but from what I can gather she was either pickpocketed or assaulted/mugged. She showered and calmed down and went to bed.
Then at 5am another girl in our room bursts in with the security guy and flicked the main lights on. Security used his bolt cutters to snap her lock open to her locker since she had lost her key while out. Security left, but she left the light on while she stood at the door with it wide open and talked loudly and drunkenly to a guy in the hall. She grabbed her things from her locker and they went to the common room together. Then around 6am she and him both came back and jumped into bed together in the bunk below me (and to get a picture for those not used to staying in hostels its single bunk beds in a female dorm). Needless to say I didnt get much sleep. My alarm went off at 7am and I dragged my sleepy self out of bed and into the shower. I got my shit ready, had breakky, and met a couple of the guys in the lobby to say goodbye to some and share a cab to the airport with others.
It goes without saying really, I napped on the plane to Edinburgh.
Barcelona was surely eventful but I do wish I had longer there (or wasn’t as sleepy). It’s a beautiful city with a lot to do and see, or just places to chill if you want to do that instead. Maybe I will make it back again one day, but if not, it’s been a great adventure.