The GoGlobal Blog

Bar-TH-elona!

Bar-TH-elona!

My dear followers! I am SO sorry for my lack of posts this month! With midterms and traveling and the general excitement of Rome I completely slacked on keeping you up to date. Mi dispiace (I’m sorry)! I’m going to go wayyyyyyyy back, to the last weekend of September, for this blog, as I tell you about my travels to BARCELONA!

The last weekend of September I went to Barcelona with Fernando and Theresa, after booking this trip way back in June (so needless to say I was looking forward to it!) As soon as we got there we hit the town, and it felt like we didn’t sleep until the plane back to Rome!
(Sidenote: I found out the hard way that when traveling between EU countries they don’t stamp your passport! How disappointing! Who doesn’t want more stamps??)

We started our day on Friday by seeing La Ramblas (how fitting for traveling Loyola RAMBLERS), a famous street in Barcelona with shops, vendors, and a direct path through the city. As we walked down we quite literally stumbled upon this HUGE open air market (I believe the St. Joseph market). We went in and tried all kinds of fruit, candy, meat, fish, everything we could get our hands on. For a foodie like me it was paradise!

We then continued our way through the city, seeing the sea side, random huge Picasso sculptures, and various churches along the way (Like Santa Maria by the Sea!) We then found ourselves at the Cathedral, which was absolutely breathtaking. Huge in both height and width with a dark gothic interior and high vaulting arches it was any Catholic’s dream.

After the Cathedral we went to the Picasso Museum. If you ever find yourself in Barcelona this must be on your to-do list. The museum walks you through his life, showing you how his works evolved as he grew and learned, until finally developing into the style we all know him for. Standing in the city where he worked seeing all these paintings I’ve only ever seen in art books was indescribably. Also, the area around the Picasso museum has all these fabulous shops with bowls and whatnot that reflect the Picasso style. I ended buying the cutest little bowl there, which has now become my Rome cereal bowl!

On the topic of food, we then began the best part of our journey: eating our way through the city. We had a fabulous lunch of tapas and sangria at some tiny place by the Picasso museum. After going back to the hostel and napping till about 9:00pm (they eat so late there!) we ventured out again, this time eating a fabulous place in a piazza (which I believe they call a placa? We debated over this for quite some time) right off of La Ramblas. We ordered the “classic” tapas plate, and found ourselves with FRESH seafood, veggies, Catalonian bread (which they’re famous for) and fantastic fried foods. Taking in the atmosphere and enjoying tapas in Spain…does it get any better than that?

And Sangria makes it even better!

After a night of Spanish nightlife and a good night’s sleep we found ourselves traveling to La at Sagrada Família. La Sagrada Familia is this HUGE church that’s designed by Gaudi and has been under construction since the late 19th century (the interior was just finished in 2010!) The church is adorned with a variety of architectural types, and is absolutely overwhelming when you look at it. It’s incredibly tall, and yet the top two tiers aren’t even constructed yet! The inside is mesmerizing, with vaults, and stained glass, and crazy designs that I’ve never seen anywhere else. We found ourselves wandering around in it for over an hour, just trying to take it all in. Under the church they also have a museum type galleria, explaining how the construction was started and the history of La Sagrada Familia thus far. We could have spent a full day there, it was that overwhelming.

From there we made our way to the National Museum of Catalonian Art. Before going to Barcelona one must know that they consider themselves Catalonian, not Spanish, and that their culture and even dialect is completely different than the rest of the country (hence the name of this post, as that’s how they pronounce Barcelona!) To this day there is still a movement to break Barcelona away from Spain and claim their Catalonian independence. So, knowing how much pride they take in their culture, the museum just highlighted their achievements through the ages. The museum also sits at the top of the city, and when you walk out the front you are greeted with a sweeping view over all of Barcelona. It may have been rainy but it was still an amazing view!

After another night of tapas and Spanish life we left for the airport (at around 3am to catch our 5am flight!) Overall the weekend was a crazy whirlwind, but absolutely one of the most fun trips I’ve taken since being here!

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