Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Barcelona, Spain

Thursday April 22- Saturday April 23, 2011

The Thursday after my American Embassy presentation, Calan and I set off to explore Barcelona.  Luckily our Fulbright friends, Jack and Sharon, had let us stay at their flat in Prague so we could catch our morning flight.  At 10:40 we were off on our plane to our new adventure.
We arrived around 1pm and dropped our baggage off at at our hostel, BCN:  Hello.  The hotel was a little outside the city center, but the hostel itself was very nice.  We walked into town and got lunch on the famous street, La Rambla.  It was bustling with people and the sun was out.  Perfect day.  After lunch we took the metro to see Sagrada Famila, which was designed by the artist Gaudi.  The church was absolutely breathtaking with its unique artist style.

Sagrada Famila is a little outside city center so since we didn't know exactly which direction to go, we spur of the moment decided to join the Hop on Hop off bus tour.  I have never done one of these double decker bus tours before so it was something new.  We immediately went to the open air top and had a perfect view of the city.   We rode the bus for about 1.5 hours until we were COMPLETELY frozen from the wind.  We "hopped" off and found the nearest Starbucks to warm up.

From there we walked around the tourist shops area and ended up shopping in the renowned shopping stores.  Barcelona is definitely a city famous for its fashion.

Gaudi Design
Friday is Good Friday, and luckily we shopped on Thursday because everything was closed for the holiday.  Since we had paid for a two day bus tour, we "hopped" back on the bus and toured the complete city.  Unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating and sitting on top of the bus wasn't as much of fun.  The plastic roof was closed but there were no windows so it didn't stop the wind or sideways rain from coming in.  At one point, I had my umbrella open, even under the cover.
    After 2 hours on the bus, we walked to the mall at the marina, which is open every day, no matter the holiday.  A little shopping always brings the spirits up, even on a cold rainy day.  After lunch, we got back on the tour bus and finished our sight seeing tour of Barcelona...this time, we viewed it from INSIDE the bus.

The metal sculpture is designed to look like waves

Gothic Church in the middle of the Gothic Quarter

Sculpture in the middle of the main square

Designed by Gaudi

Later that afternoon/early evening, we witnessed a Good Friday parade.  People where throwing roses from flats and crowds were surrounding the parade route.


  Friday night was my last night in Barcelona.  On Saturday I was flying back to Prague because at 4:30 Sunday morning, I was leaving with 60 students, and 4 teachers on a 15 hour bus ride to Brussels.  Calan and I found a quaint rooftop restaurant and enjoyed a great meal.  Loosing weight was not on the agenda in Barcelona.
    Barcelona is a great city, with a lot of culture.  The only thing I wish was that the weather was better.  I am sure I would have enjoyed it if the sun had been out a little more.  It is a city I recommend people to visit and someday I hope I can go back and enjoy more of the beaches along the Mediterranean Sea.

La Rambla...packed with people

Calan and I at the Marina

me at Marina
Calan and I self portrait on the tour bus


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