Anyone who follows me on social media knows that Barcelona did not exactly go as planned. I also do not have many photos and won’t until later so I might come back to add more. I am glad that I got the chance to visit Spain before I left, but it was not the easiest trip I’ve taken. Lets just say there were many ups and downs and I am just glad Lila and I had each other to get through it.
While in school, I did learn a bit of Spanish (probably not as much as I should have). I found that I could understand most of what people were telling me, but I could not respond but with a few words. For the most part, this wasn’t a huge problem, but it made some things more difficult than if it were to happen in London.
But lets start on the first full day. We woke up and headed to the Sagrada Familia. If you don’t know, it is the famous cathedral that Barcelona is known for. Construction started in 1882 and is set to finish in 2026. It is also said tone twice as tall as it currently is, which seems crazy to me.
In order to go in, we needed to buy a ticket for a specific time slot, so we headed to the Arc de Triomf. That was right next to a park with a beautiful fountain designed by Gaudi. We walked through the gothic quarters, stopping for gelato, and then walked back for our time slot at Sagrada Familia.
I have been to a lot of churches during my time in Europe, but none like the one in Barcelona. It was modern, which is rare, and the design was based around nature. The poles looked like trees and the stain glass windows were colored like the different seasons. It was beautiful and so unique compared to other churches that are common around Europe.
We then headed to the other side of the city to Park Guell. Anyone who grew up around the same time I did might know the park from a little known movie called The Cheetah Girls 2. I like to call it the Cheetah Girls steps because it was where they ‘strut’ during the movie. It’s just a little bit of my childhood coming full circle.
The park itself is really quite beautiful, yet again designed by Gaudi. It had colorful ties all over it and we got there right at the perfect time of day before sunset when the lighting is just right. Everything was going good until I saw a man who looked really familiar. As he walked closer, I realized who he was. It was the actor James Marsdon! For those of you who don’t know, he is in the movies 27 dresses, Enchanted, The Notebook, and Hairspray. I immediately gasped and had a mini freak out, trying to get Lila to look at him. As he walked by, both him and his girlfriend both watched all this happen. Lila didn’t see him before he passed us, but I saw the girl with him say “When people see you, they always go ‘Oh my god, it’s that guy!'” We saw him again right before he walked out, and Lila actually saw him this time. It was just so unexpected and I was not prepared.
The next morning we woke up and headed to the beach. It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining bright. The water was nice, and we just laid out and tried to get a tan. It was all great until someone stole Lila’s bag. It had everything in there, including her wallet, camera, jewelry, and clothes. We searched for a police station near us but they were all closed. After taking a 45 minute metro ride to the big police station and waiting a few hours to make a report, my phone overheated and turned off. This has happened before, but it would not turn back on.
I got nervous and headed to the Apple Store, where they ran some tests and told me that my phone would not turn back on. There was no water damage, sand, or anything inside to indicate why it overheated and died. Thank god I have insurance and it only is costing 112 dollars to replace. My mom is bringing it on Monday when she comes to London. I just won’t have a phone until then. I am not saying that I wish I had my phone because of social media and things like that, but more practical things. I miss my map, my music, my alarm clock, and most of all my camera. I brought a book to Spain with me, so at least I had that. I just won’t be able to take any pictures until Monday, but at least I can use Abby’s and Lila’s for Spain. We just have very few pictures from that great day because the photos were stolen or lost in my phone.
Madrid felt completely different from Barcelona. It just had a different vibe entirely. The first day we met up with Abby and went out to dinner. She told us about this drink that she read about called Tinto de Verano. Let me tell you, it is my new favorite thing. Basically it is just house red wine, lemon soda and if you prefer, bourbon. It is great. I cannot tell you how many of those we drank, but no regrets.
We just kind of walked around and enjoyed ourselves in Madrid. The palace, roman temple, and parks are where we spent our time on the first full day. We tried to got to a crystal palace the first day, but it was closed for construction. We headed to the famous rose garden, which does not disappoint. It was an amazing site. I really wish I had pictures right now but I will post some on facebook when I get them! Just believe me, there were many different colors of roses with canopies and fountains in the middle. It looked and smelled wonderful.
I tried sushi for the first time, but it was fake cooked fish. I can’t get myself to eat raw fish willingly. It is a step though! We just spent the rest of the night in the bar in our hostel. It was a pretty relaxing day.
The next day we did a free walking tour from the hostel, which was interesting and I learned a lot. It took about half the day, so we just got some food and relaxed the rest of the day.
I enjoyed Spain but I feel like it was a place that I only need to see once. There is also less to do in Madrid and by the last day we ran out of things we were interested in doing. Looking back, we could have done one day less in each city and been fine. It was great to travel with Lila and Abby before they got home back to the states. Although things didn’t particularly go our way, at least we had each other. We also gained a great tan and some funny videos and memories.
Currently I am in Scotland staying with my wonderful family for the weekend, and then I am off to Ireland and Germany with my mom and brother on Monday! It is crazy that this whole wild ride is coming to a close, and I am ready and also not ready to be done.
If anyone wants to get a hold of me, the best way is to message me on facebook! I also will be posting pictures as soon as I can.