An Intro to Spain, Barcelona Day One

Soooo, I recently spent a week in Spain. NBD.

Actually, it was a HUGE deal. This was my first time in Europe and I had no idea what to expect. All I had to go off of were the beautiful movie scenes and pictures in history books so I probably had a very romanticized version of what Spain was going to look like. Well, Spain did not disappoint.

I took more than 1500 photos over the course of 6/7 days because there was so much to capture. The architecture, the food, the amazing museums, culture, EVERYWHERE. I’ve been spending the last week editing and sorting all of the pictures so I can’t possibly fit it all into one blog post. I think I’m going to do 6 separate posts–one per full day that I spent in Spain. I might change my mind along the way, I might not. Who knows. It’s my blog, I can do what I want.

Without further ado, DAY ONE.

We left the house on Thursday 4/23 to head over to LAX at 6 am for our 9:30 am flight to Miami. We ended up getting through the security lines much faster than expected, which is always a good thing, but that meant we had about an hour before our flight even began boarding.at the airport
Naturally, selfies ensued.
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Landed in Miami, the airport is filled with seashells and an ocean motif. It’s kind of awesome. We landed in Barcelona local time around 10 am, waited for my mom’s friend Susan to arrive from her layover in Amsterdam, and then took a car service to our apartment-hotel called Sensation Apartments. It was just a little too early to check in so we dropped off our baggage and ended up at this adorable coffee shop called Antarados Cafe.

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We got two macchiatos and two americanos for just 5,60 euros. This was the first shocker and realization that holy crap coffee here is so cheap! If I got a gourmet macchiato in LA or NY, it would be $4-$5 easy. I. Love. Spain.

We waited there for about 30 minutes when Susan’s daughter, Jackie, who was studying abroad in Barcelona for 4 months came to join us. We finally headed over to the apartment-hotel to check in. I was pleasantly surprised how adorable it was! It was fully furnished with a living room, dining room, small kitchen, two bedrooms, and an awesome bathroom. After nearly 20 hours of travel time, we were exhausted so we took a small breather in the apartment. Then off we went to start our first day. Obviously, I changed. I wasn’t about to walk around this super hip city in my travel clothes (I basically looked homeless). For those interested, here’s my outfit:

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First stop, food at Los Bellota. And of course, Sangria. This was awakening number 2. NOTHING beats the Sangria in Spain.

Los BellotaAfter lunch we went to the Sagrada Familia which is a gorgeous, unfinished church mostly designed by one of Spain’s most famous architects, Antoni Gaudi. He passed away before it finished and since then, many debates have ensued regarding the completion of this place. We had to pre-buy our tickets to go see the church at 5 p.m., so after we grabbed the tickets, we headed over to Parc de la Ciutadella. Right before entering the park, we see the Arc de Triomf which was built by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. It is beautiful.

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Walking a little further on, we see this:

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And just past it, are the gates to the Parc de la Ciutadella:
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As soon as you go in, to your left you’re met by this:

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Isn’t it gorgeous? It is the main structure behind a BEAUTIFUL fountain:

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The park is a great place to just relax, sit, and enjoy the beautiful view. After exploring the whole park and taking a ton of pictures, we started making our way back toward the Sagrada Familia. But first, mojitos. How could we resist day-drinking while we’re on the vacation of a lifetime. We stopped at Barroc Cafe for the BEST mojitos I’ve ever had. And just outside, this beautiful alley way!

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After our little break, we headed over to La Sagrada Familia. I took SO MANY pictures it was impossible to decide which ones to put up, but here they are! There is rainbow colored stain glass EVERYWHERE, gorgeous natural lighting, massive pillars, and arches.

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WHOA, right??!!
We were trying to get a great shot of the Sagrada Familia, but it’s such a huge structure that getting a shot up close is pretty impossible. Luckily, Jackie knew the PERFECT spot to get a great photo of the entire structure. Because they’ve been taking so long constructing the church, those cranes have become part of that church. Any photo you see of this online, will probably have the cranes photoshopped out. Lucky for you, I’m giving you the authentic Spanish experience… haha..

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We were exhausted after all that walking and sight seeing, so we headed back to our apartment for the night. Or so we thought. After all this, you would think that we’re done, but nope. Spain doesn’t sleep. We’re supposed to eat dinner at like 10 pm and stay out until 3 am. My best friend Matt recommended that I get an AWESOME dish of paella while in Spain, and Jackie pointed us to 7 Portes. The wait for a table was about 40 minutes, so we sat on one of the little patio tables outside where they served us Catalan wine. We weren’t mad, the architecture and views were gorgeous.

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Once inside, we ordered a bunch of awesome dishes, but the biggest thing was their seafood paella. It was absolutely delicious. I will say though, rude awakening #3, because tipping is not as big in Spain, table service SUCKED. Honestly though we were so tired, it didn’t even matter. We loved our wine, loved our paella, and had such a fantastic day. We headed back to the apartment to SERIOUSLY knock out for the night.

Hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Barcelona, and stay tuned for Day TWO!!

tracie

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1 Comment

  1. Tracie~~~
    What a great way to recap the Day 1.
    I’m definitely taking you with me on my next trip.
    I look forward to Day 2.

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