Barcelona: Day 1

Hello everyone!

The last time I talked to you it was Friday at 3:30 in the morning and I was here:

At the airport, yes. Three hours after writing that blog post I was on a plane about to take off to Barcelona. As you know if you read it, I was pretty excited about being on a flight at 6:30 in the morning because that meant I was going to watch the sunrise. I was expecting it to be beautiful, but I was completely blown away by its beauty. I had the window seat so I managed to take a couple of pictures (I admit I took a lot of them). My friend fell asleep pretty soon after the sun started rising but I just spent the whole flight looking out the window, listening to music and taking pictures.

One thing I liked about the beginning of the sunrise was that through the window in the seats in front of us you could clearly see the sun was rising, but in the window behind us it was still dark as night and our window was in between. As we got closer to Barcelona, the sky got more and more cloudy so unfortunately we couldn’t see the whole city before the plane turned and we were faced with the sea. Nonetheless, the flight was really enjoyable for me and even though I didn’t sleep at all (apart from those ten minutes at the airport) I felt completely awake, which was probably because of the excitement of finally being in Barcelona.

After getting out of the plane, my friend and I made our way to the train terminal that would take us to Barcelona. We got there and that’s where the first difficulty appeared. They had two different types of vending machines and we went to one of them and couldn’t understand what we were supposed to do because it was in Catalan and Catalan is totally different from Spanish. So we decided to cancel the operation and give the other vending machines a try. We bought our tickets but we weren’t even sure we were buying the right ones, we just totally went for it since our train was about to come. Fortunately, everything worked out fine and roughly half an hour later we were getting out of the train and then out of the station at Passeig De Gràcia.

We were immediately met with the Casa Batlló, one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. We waited for our friends to meet us there (since one of them is there on the Erasmus project and the other two had already gotten there on Thursday). We then made our way to my friend’s house, dropped our things there (since that’s where we would be staying) and after a while the four of us said goodbye to our friend who had a test in the afternoon and went off to explore Barcelona.

Our first stop of the day was La Sagrada Familia. We had booked our tickets for 1:15p.m. so we were thinking about having a quick lunch before going inside.

As it turns out, we got there earlier than we thought we would so we had plenty of time to have lunch, walk around and catch up since it had been a while since we had been together.

In the pictures you can mostly see the Passion Façade. It was the first part of the Sagrada Familia that we saw when we got out of the subway. We were a bit confused about where the entrance was but after walking around, we saw that it was in fact on the opposite side.

This is the Nativity Façade, where the main entrance was. The two façades are completely different, the Passion one being apparently more simple than the other but I liked them both.

Tip: If you go to Barcelona, make sure you visit the Sagrada Familia.

From the moment we stepped inside, I was in awe! Everything was so beautiful! I was completely mesmerized by all the stained glass windows. You could see all the different colors mixed together and in one of the sides they had mostly cool colors like blues and greens (that you can see in the pictures above) and they gave off this blue/green light through the windows which was beautiful. In the other side, the stained glass had warm colors like yellow, orange and red (see pictures below) which made a really beautiful contrast.

I took a lot of pictures and I even asked my friend to take a picture of me with the blue stained glass behind because I was totally in love with it.

We spent more than two hours there and I liked it a lot. We decided not to have any guide or even an audio guide and just explore it in our terms, taking our time and seeing what we wanted to see.

On the picture on the right, you can see the part of Sagrada Familia that has been built (brown) and what hasn’t (white). The whole thing is already such a majestic building, that I can’t even imagine how it will look once it’s finished.

Our next stop was Starbucks, since one of my friends had never been to one and I was in desperate need for coffee having not slept the night before. We found it pretty quick since it was just around the corner. I ordered a White Mocha and a muffin and we settled down for a while.

After taking the subway, the funicular and the cable car, we found ourselves at our next destination: the Montjuic Castle. We had paid for the tickets in advance so we immediately went inside.

The view from the top of the castle was beautiful: you could see most of Barcelona, including the sea. Also, the weather was really nice so we could just sit down for a while and enjoy everything around us.

After waiting for quite a while, we got on a bus and then walked for a bit. We stopped to take some pictures of the sky because it looked beautiful and we couldn’t resist. Finally, we reached our next stop: the Poble Espanyol, which is a sort of museum with buildings that recreate the different areas of Spain.

We also had gotten the tickets online for this one and one my friends managed to get a video guide for free somehow, so we were able to use that. I really liked walking around the whole thing, just seeing bits of the Spanish culture.

I don’t know if it was a matter of luck but we reached a little park from where you could see the sun just as it was about to set. I was able to take these pictures of the sunset and I’m quite proud of them because I was able to capture how beautiful it looked.

Our last stop of the day was the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. At 9p.m. they start a show with lights and music and it’s amazing. We waited for almost an hour to see it but it was totally worth it!

Tip: Make sure you also go see the Magic Fountain show. You won’t regret it!

If I had to choose, this was definitely my favourite thing we saw the first day, if not in the whole trip.

That was it for the first day. I had a lot of fun!

Joana

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