sometimes I wonder if the world's so small

I thought I'd share a few more photos from Barcelona... that aren't of my outfits!

I'd never been to Spain before, but I always knew if I ever went it would be to Barcelona. the beautiful architecture and the fact that it's right on the beach seemed like the perfect getaway to me; I love sightseeing and european shops, and I'd never had a real relaxing, beach vacation.

when Brandon and I started talking about what to do for his three-week break between semesters, the first thing we thought was to hit up ryanair.com and grab a cheap flight. it was never intended to be our honeymoon, but it seemed a more empathetic reason to ask for time off work when we called it that!

we scoped out flights to Barcelona and Marrakesh, and I was making a pros & cons list of the two places to try and decide where to go... when we realized it was actually cheaper, flight wise, to go to both! this obviously thrilled the pants off me, so we started planning our pseudo-honeymoon on a budget.

ryanair's not exactly a luxury airline, so we arrived in Reus airport, about two hours outside the city, a little after 10pm. of course with our luck the bus going to Barcelona left early and we missed it, so we had to wait for two hours to get the next one... but it was absolutely beautiful outside, so we actually didn't mind. the first thing that hits you is how ridiculously warm it is.

the second things that hits you is the language barrier, at least for a couple strict anglophones like ourselves. our cab driver didn't know a word of english! he was super nice though. and I at least knew "gracias," which we used to such an extent in Spain that in Marrakech we automatically kept using it...

la Palau de Musica Catalana // drinking fountain in the Cathedral cloisters // Casa Amatller // ticket booth at la Palau de Musica 

the architecture is definitely all it's cracked up to be (is there a pun in there? maybe?). it's an almost exquisite city, with mosaics and vibrant colours and modernist buildings on cobblestone streets. Barcelona is known as Antoni Gaudi's city, and I have to say after seeing it I am a huge fan. if the guy was around these days I'd sell some valuable organs on the black market to have him build me a house.

Casa Mila // Casa Batllo

the Casa Batllo is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. it's based on the story of St. George and the dragon; the roof is the dragon's back, the rainbow walls beneath are his treasure hoard, and the balconies are shaped as the skulls of his victims. ooooh, eerie and magical.

(you can pay to go into most of the buildings on the "ruta del modernisme," but it's wiggidy-wack expensive.)

the Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is arguably his most famous work, but that deserves a post all on its own...

the modernist architecture is amazing, but it was almost unbearably hot to be walking around town to look at it! so the city beach was the star in the sweltering afternoons. they're very easy to get to and full of local flair- sun bathers coming after work, people selling mojitos and massages.

beachscape // picnic! // had to get a pic with a palm tree

after the beach we'd usually spend the evening walking up La Rambla and taking in all the street performers and market shops. it's a really fun atmosphere, but unless you're going to actually buy some trinkets, souvenirs, or produce (the fruit market it famous apparently), you don't really have to spend much time there. we just liked strolling around. I did get some cute earrings, though!

Brando and a human statue // me at the end of La Rambla 

another great way to spend the nights when you don't have the cash to doll out for clubbing (which neither of us are into anyway...) is walking along the waterfront. Barcelona has lots of pretty marinas and boardwalks that literally light up at night. and it smells amazing- there are aways carts selling waffles and chocolate crepes! there's also an imax, a shopping centre, and an aquarium on the waterfront that are open late. we only partook of the latter, and it's something nice and low-key to do after dinner. plus it's the second-largest aquarium in Europe and has an underwater tunnel. FUN.

a marina // late-night mcdonald's picnic on the bridge! // sting rays always look like they're smiling // glow-in-the-dark jellies // penguin ♥ ! 

we also popped in to the Picasso museum, which is worth checking out, but you're not allowed to take pictures. sadface

we were only there for three full days, but I'd say Barcelona is a fantastic place to visit. the hostels are more expensive than most places, but you get pretty good bang for your buck. we stayed in a hostel called Residencia Erasmus-Gracia and it was more like a hotel. private ensuite bathroom, tv, balcony, very clean, and close to the metro station. we walked a lot around the city, but some things are farther from the center than others so we got a two-day metro travel card for cheap. it was too hot to walk most of the time anyways, and the trains are air conditioned!

it's also cheaper to fly into Reus or Girona a ways outside of the city, where airlines like ryanair and easyjet go frequently. keep in mind though that you have to get a bus or a train into Barcelona, so if you prefer convenience over bargains you might as well just spend the extra bit and fly right into the city airport. Brandon and I got the buses to and from the airports, and they only cost about $16.

overall Barcelona can be pretty pricey, but since we don't go clubbing when we travel and I didn't do any shopping, it can definitely work on a budget. I would certainly go again, but there are so many other places I've yet to explore... 

arc de triomf- one in every city!

this is sounding a lot like a travel ad now that I'm reading back... whatever. if anyone ever has any questions, I'm no expert, but I'll give what little advice I can!

love love. 

playing: sprawl II- arcade fire

3 comments:

amberly said...

All these photos are amazing and so is your writing! I want to go to Spain so badly, but the language barrier and the complete unfamiliarity daunts me... Maybe thats my silly US mentality :) But your trip sounds so incredible, and those "Casas" are just so magnificent in their detail! I love how you enjoyed the nightlife together, and really got to take in the town!

Can't wait for more coverage of your trip!! And as always, you look so amazing <33

Jo said...

Wow wow wow, the Spanish architecture is truly amazing! <3

x
Lost in the Haze

Meanz (Koi Story) said...

I want to travel! It's been so long since I've flown anywhere. Also I love these photos and your second outfit is just so so cute!