Friday, September 27, 2013

Barcelona, the break we needed

After the stressful mess that was getting there, we needed Barcelona to be relaxing. And it was. But not right at first.

Once we'd caught a shuttle into the city, we promptly hopped on a train going out the other way since our hostel was in the hills outside the city. When we finally got there, we were distressed to find a hot, loud room that offered almost no hope of sleeping. To our utterly exhausted, and in Vicky's case sick, bodies, this was a nightmare.

Here we opted to do one of the smarter things we've done on this trip. We checked out the next morning despite only getting 4 hours of sleep and moved to a hostel in town with a private room. It was more expensive but worth it 100 times over. And since mom and dad very generously helped with the cost, the price difference wasn't a problem.

We actually arrived before our room was ready and we were so tired we just waited in the lobby until they let us in around 1:30. Vicky then slept for 4 hours and I slept for 2. And we still were in bed that night before midnight. That's how bone tired we were.

Thankfully, after this, things improved greatly. The sleep helped Vicky feel better and by the time we left Barcelona, she was almost back to normal. That evening we walked up and down the famous pedestrian street La Ramblas and definitely enjoyed ourselves.

That night we slept well and long. The next day we dived into sightseeing. We visited the Guell Park which was designed by Antoni Gaudi as a perfect, gated community. It failed at this but it succeeded as a park/modern architecture exhibit.

From Gaudi's name is where we get the English word gaudy. His style of architecture is over the top and crazy, with plenty of nature images mixed in. The best example of this is the place we visited next. Sagrada Familia, the church of the sacred family is his unfinished masterpiece. The building began in 1882 and has yet to be completed. It is an enormous, interesting and downright bizarre church. Since the admission price was about $25 per person, we chose to enjoy it from outside.

Our last stop of the day was at the magic fountain. Sadly no magic was seen since the fountain didn't start til 9pm, 2 hours later than we arrived, and we couldn't stay since we had a 7am flight (with a 4am wakeup alarm) the next morning.

On the one hand, you could see our time in Barcelona as a failure. We didn't see many attractions and really only had one full day there. On the other hand, we got some desperately needed sleep. We got to relax and enjoy the city. And having decided we like it, we now want to go back again some day. We succeeded in discovering a future vacation spot.

The only downside evident as we left was that I seemed to have picked up Vicky's minor cold. Oops. Good thing Lisbon was nice and warm. 

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