Barcelona; a city where history is alive, where the sweat can be seen on the large brick walls and the music heard from the fiestas in Las Ramblas. It’s breathtaking. European architecture has always blown my mind, but I have yet to see something as beautiful as the Gaudi works of art or the tall towers of the Sangrada Familia, where decades of hard work is displayed as a masterpiece.
The weekend trip to Spain was one of, if not the best, last-minute decision upon which I have agreed. After an exhilarating 10-hour drive through the mountains on Thursday, hot Tapas (Tapas?) and cold beer made for a welcoming meal at a local restaurant, close to our hostel.
Friday was spent at Park Guell, obsessing over the view of Barcelona and eyeing trinkets at the market at Las Ramblas. After a long day of exploration, it was nice to get back to the hostel. Much to our dismay, we were told there was no more space. It turned out that the guy at the front desk did not reserve our spot, thinking that it wouldn’t be that busy and we could do it ourselves once back from our day out…..I guess it was busy! They felt bad and even drove us to another hostel, which is actually their biggest competitor. Oops! Being nice and understandable really pays off; I’m sure if we had reacted negatively to the mistake we would have ended up in the metro for an hour trying to find hostel number two.
My philosophy of everything happens for a reason proved, yet again, to be true; Hostel number two, St. Jordi Hostel Sangrada Familia (named after it’s location) ended up being a blast. As soon as we walked in we were welcomed with smiles and conversation from the staff and travellers alike. Sangria was on the menu followed by a pubcrawl which ended at a huge dance club on the beach, Shoko, where we stayed until 5am.
Saturday morning plans to go back to Park Guell changed seconds after hearing the word beach come out of a girl’s mouth beside me. Damien and I joined three of the most fun, crazy and hilarious girls I had ever met for a day of fun and adventure on the beach and around the city. Of course I fit the typical Canadian profile and was the only one to actually swim in the ocean. Salty, cool and the best kind of refreshment after an all-night dance party and a short night of sleep.
The girls and I continued our tour of the city with a hunt for night number two’s best outfit. Surprisingly, Barcelona’s shops and styles left me a tad disappointed. I had expected to come across a massive selection of patterned shirts and boho dresses, but the four of us had to go to multiple stores before finding something for the each of us. We filled our empty bellies with some more Tapas before heading back to the hostel to get ready for another night of dancing. Since the girls had an 8am flight the bar owners agreed to allowing them to bring their luggage into the coat check so they could leave directly from the bar that morning. Great idea, right!? We finally got back to Shoko around 2:30, danced until six and went our separate ways. It took a few days for my legs to heal from all the dancing (the flimsy flats were no help) but it was worth every second of it.
Sunday morning seemed to creep up faster than a lion on the hunt. I woke up and rushed to get ready so I could make the most of our last few hours in the city. We had already bought tickets to see the Sangrada Familia so that was my next stop. The entrance way of this beautiful building left me in awe; it was so detailed and exquisite my eyes couldn’t decide where to focus.
After an hour of being lost in history, I rushed back to the hostel, met Damien and as if we only went to Paris for a loaf of bread, was back in the car towards the mountains and heading home to Fontainebleau. Did that whole weekend really just happen? It was fast and exciting. Between the food, architecture, music and the sunny weather, my senses were constantly being tantalized, making the trip a magnificent blurr. It was like a dream.