Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Europe Trip Travel Blog #8: Barcelona, Spain

Our first full day in Barcelona was my 24th birthday! So we tried to make it extra special.

We spent the afternoon at the beach. We went to Barceloneta Beach. It was super crowded and really dirty (garbage in the water) but there were lockers for us to lock up all our stuff so we could both swim at once. It was really hot out so the water was refreshing.
I let the ocean waves give me "the birthday bumps."

After the beach we went back to our hostel to relax and shower.
Our hostel was right near this apartment building designed by the famous Spanish architect Gaudi.

Later, we walked on La Rambla, a pedestrian walkway with lots of shops and street vendors and street artists. We went to Piazza Reial. We knew we wanted to go see a Flamenco show on my birthday, and when we researched it (while we were there) we found a cheap one with good reviews in this square.
The show was at Tarantos club. They had three nightly performances - at 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30. We bought tickets to the 9:30 show and then went to eat supper at a restaurant in the square.

This was definitely the best meal we had on our trip.
I had delicious sangria, and a kebab of freshly caught salmon, zucchini, and red pepper, with a salad of greens, oranges, and strawberries, with raspberry dressing.
Stephen had freshly caught cod with asparagus, zucchini, onion, tomato, balsamic vinegar, pesto, and lettuce.

It was awesome. We had to take pictures.

After supper, we went back over to Tarantos to go to the show. The venue was really small and probably sold out but we got seats right in the front. The show was amazing.
It was 1 guitarist, 2 singers/clappers/stompers, 1 cajole player (a cajole is a Spanish instrument - it is a drum shaped like a box and you sit on it and hit its front), a male dancer, and a female dancer and everyone was extremely talented.

It seemed like the male dancer was almost their conductor. They were responding to his dance moves with their music, and he was responding to their music with dance. Everybody watched him intently. It was amazing to see.

The show lasted about 40 minutes, but I don't think the performers could have gone longer than that. Especially since they perform three times in one night!

It was a great day and a great birthday!

The next day, we went to see the famous cathedral Sagrada Familia, also designed by Gaudi, and we were super disappointed because it was entirely covered top to bottom under construction. It was very expensive to go inside so we didn't go in.

Next, we went to Camp Nou Football stadium. Stephen loves premier league football and supports Barca. Since we couldn't see any games (they are in the off season) we went to the stadium for a self-guided tour.

a Champions' League trophy.

The stadium had a museum with trophies and jerseys and videos etc. Then we got to go into the stands and see the field.

Then we got to go down to the changing room (there is a hot tub!), and walk through the hallway the players walk through to enter the field. There was a soundtrack playing fans cheering and singing the chant. Then we got to walk onto the field (just on the edge), and go up into the media seats.
I am not a big sports fan but it was pretty cool.

Later, we went back to La Rambla and found another place for supper and walked around until dark, and hung out on the pier.

The Columbus Monument on La Rambla.

Barcelona was great. We got to do everything on our list and a bit more but I know there is so much more to do. Berlin and Barcelona are the two places from our trip I would really love to go back to, because I know there is so much I haven't experienced there. I would love to see more of Spain some day, too. It was very beautiful.

Check out my other Europe trip travel blogs: 

and my packing tutorial


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