Day 5 – Barcelona

This is city is just amazing. If I spoke Catalan, I would move here in a heartbeat.

James and I have been struggling to wake up in the mornings – something I am attributing to jet lag because 8:30 a.m. in Barcelona is 2:30 a.m. back at home. We somehow manage and then at 11 p.m./12 a.m. we aren’t quite ready for bed, but force ourselves to go to sleep.

We had tickets for Gaudi’s house at the Park Guell for 10 a.m. – which meant pealing ourselves out of bed and fumbling around. We were running late so turned to Google to share with us the fastest route to our destination. Google noted there was a quicker route (2 minutes less!) if we got off a different subway stop. Great! We start heading for the Park and suddenly come to the most massive hill – a San Francisco like hill with stairs built in at places because it is literally too steep to climb without.

I’m not sure if we made it there any faster. The energy we put out to run up this massive hill – was it worth it? Gaudi’s house is cute and situated in the center of the Park, which was built in the early 1900s. He moved there with his sick father and niece to be away from the city and be able to oversee the construction of the park. The park however, was a failure, as only two homes were built on the land, and eventually the project shut down. The place was still fascinating and so we will be going back on Sunday to explore another area we didn’t get to due to crowds.

In case you’re wondering – Gaudi lived surprisingly simply.

Afterwards, James and I headed back to the apartment to cool down and decide what we wanted to do for lunch. Almost everything was closed until 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., and we had to be at la Basilica de Sagrada Familia at 2:30. We opted to head to la Boqueria market – since we only ran through the day before. It did not disappoint – I had a cone filled with cheese and Iberian ham, along with some delicious paella and cut up pineapple. James shared in my cheese and ham, also purchased pizza (because we’re close to Italy right?) and enjoyed a strawberry mango juice. Satisfied, we headed towards la Basilica.

La Basilica de Sagrada Familia is hands down one of the most amazing places I have ever been. The church was designed with Gaudi’s whimsical touch, from the palm tree ceilings, the stained glass, the statues and more. It is an absolutely fantastical experience (even if you aren’t religious!). We were just in complete awe, and spent three hours looking up at the ceiling with mouths agape. We toured the Nativity tower, which provides a fabulous view of the city to the water, and then proceeded to make our way down a never ending spiral staircase.

If you ever find yourself in Barcelona, I highly encourage you to visit.

Afterwards, we headed back to the apartment to rest until dinner, which was at Montjuic. To get there, one must take this crazy subway car that climbs the side of the mountain. I am just thankful I didn’t have to walk. The restaurant was a recommendation from a former coworker. Reviews on Google were OK, but she swore by it, so we decided to give it a go. The place (called Xalet de Montjuic) was amazing. It boasted the most beautiful view of the city and the food was delicious.

James and I shared patatas bravas and grilled octopus. I had salmon with bacon, gorgonzola and tomato jam. James had duck confit with a citrus cake.

From the restaurant, we headed to the Magic Fountain. This lived up to its name. Using colored lights and music, the fountain puts on shows all night long. It was better than fireworks. I sat entranced for nearly 40 minutes, before finally saying goodbye.