I spent last weekend on my final journey of my trip to Europe. It was my furthest trip from Eindhoven and it turned out to be my favorite place I have been in Europe. Though I know there is still plenty of Europe I would like to see, I have now been to a few places and can say that Barcelona is my favorite of them. It is the mix of beautiful architecture, nice climate, museums and sights, beaches, food and night life. Barcelona has everything I could want in a city.
I traveled to Barcelona with a colleague at Philips Gaby. We both wanted to go on a trip somewhere with a beach, and Barcelona was high on our list of places we wanted to go to. So it worked out for both of us. This was a place I have expressed an interest in going to since getting to the Netherlands, so I am pleased it was my last stop.
Unfortunately we only were there for 3 days but I enjoyed it a lot and hope to go back in the near future with Bridget. As I am certain she will like it there as well.
We got there on Friday and the weather wasn't great, though we had seen some weather reports calling for rain all weekend so the fact it was just cloudy was welcome. We walked around and did a double-decker bus tour of the city. Stopping at a few places to walk around and see different neighborhoods.
We also went to a museum on Montjuic which had amazing views of the city and plaza Espanya. Unfortunately the fountains that all around were not turned on, which I could see would have made it even more impressive.
After the tour we walked around the harbor area a bit and Las Ramblas. We then went into a market that had some great things like meats, fish, delicious fresh fruits and pretty much anything someone could want. I wish I had more time so I could have bought some things but we weren't cooking on this trip. But we did have some good fruit smoothies there.
That evening it began to rain and we went to dinner and sat outside under an umbrella and had some tapas and sangria.
Luckily Saturday morning when we got up the clouds were gone and it was a beautiful day. We went to the beach that day and walked around the city a bit to get to the beach, but when we arrived it was all worth it. What beautiful beaches they have and how warm the sea was. It was my first time in the Mediterranean Sea, and hopefully not my last as it was just great.
The day was great, although it was somewhat annoying as people constantly were trying to sell things on the beach and would stand over you until you said no. But on the other hand it was also nice to have a mojito made for us without having to get up. It was good and cheap too. As well we both got massages that lasted between 15-20 minutes for 5 euros. So I guess I can't complain too much. It was truly a great day at the beach.
That afternoon we went to meet with a couple of people Gaby knew. We left the touristy parts of town and went to meet her friends to walk through some neighborhoods that were about to have a festival. The festival didn't actually start until the next day but a lot of the decorations were up already so we could walk through without all the crowds. It appears the theme of the decorations had to do with recycling and reusing things.
Then we went to dinner at a more traditional Spanish restaurant. It was delicious. We shared a bunch of plates of different things. I tried everything though had I known the rabbit was rabbit and not chicken, I may not have tried it, but it really just tasted like chicken. We had great Sangria there.
The rabbit is the one on the bottom left of the plate, it wasn't bad at all, just didn't realize it was rabbit. I even tried the sausage which I don't usually eat. I didn't love this either but thought it tasted better than sausage I have tried before.
We also had a plate of grilled vegetables, bread with something baked into it, a cheese plate and an amazing salad with goat cheese I can't stop thinking about. We then went to a nearby bar that was not touristy at all either and listened to some live music and had more great sangria.
Sunday was not really beach weather either plus we wouldn't have an opportunity to shower as we had to check out of the hotel. So we decided to go to park Guell. It is a park on a mountain overlooking the city that has a mosaic tiled iguana as well as a lot of Gaudi architecture.
We only stayed there for about 2 hours, but you could easily spend an entire day walking around the paths and looking out onto the city. It was somewhere I wasn't actually that interested in seeing but I am really glad I did, as I loved it.
There were musicians performing and other people there selling their wares. It was a very nice place to visit.
I am very eager to have an opportunity to go back to Barcelona, because there is so much more I want to explore. Hopefully Bridget and I will have an opportunity to go there and spend some more time.
Now I am back in Eindhoven. For my last week of work. I can't believe it will have been 3 months and it is all over. This has been a truly inspiring summer.