What can I say about Barcelona. Besides the fact that my daughter had been wanting to go there for years, I’ve also been fascinated by architect Antoni Gaudi’s work since I saw this documentary that showcased his designs years ago. I knew that Gaudi built his best works in Barcelona but I didn’t realize that his designs literally embellished the whole city. His two famous designs, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera are very unique and impressive although I find it quite intriguing as well. It’s hard to imagine what’s in his mind when he came up with these designs. He’s like a rebel that went against tradition. When I look at his buildings, it’s almost like looking at a piece of artwork in a museum or something. They obviously are works of art but they sort of demand the same attention you’d give a masterpiece painting hung on a wall. When you visit Barcelona, Gaudi mania is so big that at the end of the day it’s either you get Gaudi-ed out or you crave for more. In our case, I think we got Gaudi-ed out but it was all good.
Barcelona is a 45 minute flight from Paris. Some flights take longer but for some reason ours was really short which was a good thing. We flew EasyJet which is a no-frills airline just like JetBlue or Southwest Airlines. We stayed at (of course no surprise here) the Gaudi Hotel which is located in the heart of Barcelona and it’s right across Palau Guell, one of Gaudi’s early works. So, as soon as we got there Gaudi’s influence was already visible.
Our hotel was just half a block walk to Las Ramblas which is probably the most crowded street in Barcelona. The whole strip was bustling with tourists and locals alike so if you’re agoraphobic, this is the last place you want to be unless of course if you want to drown on tapas and paellas then you should overcome your fear and grab a seat in one of the tapas bars that are lined up on the strip. There are cafes, street artists, souvenir kiosks, flower stalls, etc. everywhere and the menus are colorfully displayed on the street for you to drool on. We had a lot of fun on the strip and we did feast on paellas and tapas. But a word of caution..beware of pickpockets. This one time, our server had to keep telling us to hold on to our cameras and purses. So you get my drift.
We did the hop on hop off tour bus for 2 days and it was worth it. It’s probably the best way to see Barcelona. As a matter of fact, I think those hop on hop off buses is the way to go when you visit any city. It’s convenient and you get to see the best of what the city has to offer and when you get tired you just ride it around and enjoy the views. La Sagrada Familia is one Gaudi’s best and a big tourist draw and if you expect to capture a nice photo of the building, you can forget about it. The church is still under construction since it was built and there are giant cranes everywhere and the only way to get it out of your shot is to photoshop it. I have to say I’ve never seen anything so intricate but there was so much going on. With the crowd and the construction, it’s kind of hard to see its beauty. It’s kind of a big mess really. I’m sure inside is different story but the line was so long we decided to skip it.
Barcelona was a lot of fun and it was a great experience. We loved it and wanted to stay longer but unfortunately we couldn’t but I would love to go back specially Lizzie. She already claimed it as her city.
Btw, if you’re wondering why the girls are wearing cheetah outfits, that’s because they’re big fans of the Cheetah Girls. So they came up with the idea of wearing identical outfits the way the Cheetah Girls did while roaming around the city. Teenagers! I have to give them credit for wearing those heels though. I never would’ve pulled it off myself.:-)