My first stop in Europe was Barcelona, Spain.
I don’t remember Barcelona very much because I was so tired. I also did not get a lot of sightseeing in this city as I planned on spending the majority of my time in France, Italy, and Croatia. Here are a few things that stand out to me now.
The mullet is alive and well in Barcelona. So many guys still wear a mullet. And here is a woman mullet with two kid mullets. I took this picture because of the interesting pets for sale in that cage but I honestly don’t remember what they were now. I’m thinking now they were not that interesting after all.
A really impressive thing I could not get over is the dogs are not on leashes but follow perfectly behind their owner. Even when the owner rides his motor scooter all around the city the dog would just follow calmly behind.
I did not see one insect. No flies, bugs etc.
The streets were very, very clean. I have not seen US city streets kept this clean.
Graffiti. I don’t like it in any country and it is all over Europe. People call it a form of art but I’m never going along with that.
I liked the coffee here better than any other country I went to. The food was spectacular.
Outside of Barcelona the landscaping is very lush. Almost jungle like. It was beautiful.
Here is the view from my room looking down. I loved the location. And I could keep my window open and not worry about bugs because I guess there aren’t any. OH! Small detail to note. When in a hotel in the US and someone says go up to the 4th floor we mean enter the elevator and hit button 4. The door will open and there you are. When in Europe and someone says go up to the 4th floor they actually mean WALK up 5 levels that somehow manage to hold at least 30 flights of stairs. They count the ground level as 0 not 1.
I stayed in the area Barri Gotic which is the old town quarter along La Rambla. Basically, the best part of the city where you can walk to everything. This area is full of awesome shopping, restaurants and unbelievable architecture. The very narrow, winding cobblestone streets were designed like a maze to get tourists lost. Ok, maybe not tourists since this area dates back to Roman times. I think I recall it was to keep the enemy lost while the locals could escape.
You just walk down any winding narrow street and then suddenly you will be in a new square or plaza. I loved the plazas. Music, restaurants, dancing, street shows. Each one is better than the next. So charming.
I would say the biggest surprise I learned about Barcelona, SPAIN was they do not speak Spanish. They speak Catalan. Catalan was not a language I had planned on. Here was my plan. I cannot sleep while flying so I had the brilliant foresight to use my time wisely on the airplane and attempt to learn 3 languages. Well, that is a slight exaggeration. I thought I would learn Spanish on the first plane to New York because I did take some Spanish in high school and still retain an impressive ability to count to 30 and say, “Me llamo Debi”. I figured a quick review in a travel book would cover the basic needed Spanish in about an hour. So this should leave me plenty of hours left over to start on French before I even landed in New York and I’d be ahead. Then I’d finish the complete French language from New York To Spain. Two languages down before I touched the ground of Europe! I could then learn Italian if I studied while on the trains touring around Spain and France. By the time I would get to Italy I would know 4 languages including English. Five if you include Pig Latin. And my emergency back up plan was to use sign language because I do know a tiny bit of that. But sometimes even well thought out plans are not successful. According to my travel journal (which I foolishly fantasized would be extremely interesting by the time my trip was over) this is what really happened on the plane…
Journal Update #1
Probably flying over Oklahoma. Hot guy in front of me.
Language progress going better than expected- Italian numbers mastered…
Looks like I jumped right past my plan and thought the most important part of my communication would be counting in Italian. I’m going to blame the hot guy in front of me.
By the time I landed in Spain I had another journal entry I won’t bore you with but it ends with… I can now count to 20, I think!
Arrived in Barcelona, only to find out their voices did not sound Spanish. And that was because they were not speaking Spanish. But the good news was I could count to 20 in Italian.
One famous place I did tour was Sagrada Familia. Construction started on this in 1882 and it still is a work in progress.There is so much history to this place, the construction and why it looks the way it does. Something about combining styles and religions. And nature. Inside there are giant tree like columns. The plan began with Architect Francisco de Paula del Villar and then one year later Antoni Gaudi took it over and spent 40 years on it. And I think he may have had A. D . D. He changed his mind and plan over and over. All I can say is when I looked at it I was overwhelmed. Sometimes it looked like a stalagmite, and sometimes it was glorious.
Overall I found it to be one hot mess. I hope I don’t get hate mail for that statement. But it was way too much for me to look at with no sleep.
This building next door was my favorite.
And this is where I will stop on Barcelona because I lost my camera.