Me encanta Barcelona!
by Laura Ellis on Tuesday, October 19, 2010
When someone suggests a 10 hour bus journey (each way!) to you, most people would look terrified at the idea.. However when it gets added on that it's for a weekend in Barcelona, well then the thought starts to get really quite appealing! Having been desperate to visit this beautiful city ever since my arrival in Spain, I had pretty much deemed it impossible because of the fact that it was quite literally on the other side of the country, however a chance encounter at the bus station made this dream just a little more impossible!
Having researched all the possible means, including flying and trains, a direct night bus from Salamanca to Barcelona's Estació de Nord seemed like the most sensible option, and so at 8pm on friday evening, skipping with excitement, an english friend and I borded a bus, ready for a weekend of touristing and the excitement of somewhere different.
However, at 3am, with the bus due in at 6 and no sleep having yet been experienced the trip seemed less like it was going to be action packed, and more like two zombies would soon be gracing the streets of this infamous city. So we did what every tired tourist must on arrival, stopped for a strong black coffee!
By this point, the sun had actually started to rise, and thus our weekend break began! With photos galore at the Arc de Triomf for the two girls who are heading to Paris after Christmas, and then a wander to find our youth hostel in order to deposit bags and clean teeth in preparation for a hectic weekend. We had managed to find an incredibly cheap hostel located near to Plaça Catalunya and so the centrality meant that the world was very literally our oyster, but as every is the same for every tourist (or so it seemed!) the Sagrada Familia was our first port of call. And arriving at ten past ten, despite an opening time of 10am, the queue was already stretching around the corner... After negating several queue jumpers (including one man from Arizona who insisted that positioning himself at the front of the line was "how we do things in my country") we made it inside, and WOW! Although having prepared myself for a beautiful view, that word doesn't even do it just justice, the mix of modern and traditional, as well as the frankly just unsual, this sight was just what we needed to fire us up for the day (and to continue the collection of photos totalling around 300 in the end..) and so we set off on our path...
The rest of the day we spent meandering round.. With a wander past La Pedera, and a quick look at the temporary exhibition inside, as well as Casa Batlló and a stroll down Las Ramblas, you couldn't ask for much more from your saturday. Lunch stop at the Mercat de Sant Josep with traditional tapas was a perfect way to end the morning, and at this point a siesta was deemed necessary to recharge for the afternoon!
A shower and an hours sleep later and we were raring to go, and continued on down Las Ramblas, a particular high point was reaching the end and seeing the sea, something which I've definitely been lacking in Salamanca, and then on for a traditional (and fantastic!) Paella. Due to definite exhaustion, the night wasn't a late one, and these two exhausted english girls had a cocktail or two and some chocolate cake before heading for an early night back at our hostel!
Sunday was a much more relaxed day however, with a walk through the Gothic Barrió followed by a picnic and snooze in Park Güell. and we finished off the day with a trip to the Museu Picasso to see an exhibit on Degas, before embarking on tapas and a final stroll around the coastal area in order to kill time before waiting for the night view of Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Familia (amazing by the way ..)
I'm not going to lie, it was very much a whistle stop tour, and it would have been amazing to have had a little more time.. However for an introductory weekend, it was truly fantastic.. and I can't wait to go back!!
Keywords: travel in Spain,Barcelona,sagrada familia