Girls Trip to Europe Day 6 - Gaudi, Camp Nou, Churros y Chocolate
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Our first stop of the morning was for cafe con leche, a mocha and apple danish. We stopped at the mall outside our hotel before riding the train into the city. One thing I found interesting was that you order your food and drink and you don't pay until you leave. I know this is not an unusual concept, but we were at a mall food court type location. We popped into a couple clothing stores where we found the prices friendlier to our pocket books then most of our other shopping stops.
For our two full days in Barcelona, Ari and I opted to take the bus tour. We purchased our discounted tickets via our hotel. For two day tickets purchased directly at the bus, it costs 34 Euro. It is a double decker bus complete with head phones for the audio tour, wifi, and you can get on and off as you like. Our first full day we took the blue track, leaving the red track for the second full day.
Most of the stopping points weren't too full of people so we didn't have to wait long for a seat. Our favorite spot was on the top for the best views.
Many of Barcelona's landmarks are buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi's most famous works. This church has been under construction since 1882 and still has about 80 years left till it will be complete.
There was evidence of Gaudi throughout Barcelona.
We particularly loved the palm leaf gate, pictured in the top left of the above collage. He was obviously inspired by elements in nature and some of his buildings reminded me of drippy sand castles I made on the beach when I was little.
Barcelonans' love for their country was evident from the many flags we saw hanging outside apartment balconies. I was intrigued by the popularity of outdoor balcony curtains.
During one of our stops to view another Gaudi, we came across a little pub that served churros y chocolate. I was told by friends that this was an experience of necessity when visiting Spain. Their churros were less sugary than in the States and tasted divine dipped in the thick hot chocolate.
On the same stop, we met a street vendor making beautiful silver jewelry. I bought Ari her birthday bracelet and a ring for myself. We gave the lady one of our Lake Tahoe key chains as a memento and she gave us a beautiful little string and bead friendship bracelet.
There were recycling stations throughout the city.
They even had a compost recycling container with a picture of an apple core.
One of our main meals for the day was at Mussol. Our starter was toasted bread covered with tomato paste spread. This seemed to be very popular as a breakfast item as well. It was quite tasty as we were absolutely starving. Riding the bus was a great way to travel and see the city, but we didn't find ourselves eating as often as we had in Paris. My goat cheese and basil covered meat with artichoke fries hit the spot. Ari's grilled chicken with side of mushrooms was also very tasty, even though it had a big piece of rosemary on top.
The bus's many stops gave us the ability to do a bit of exploring around different parts of Barcelona.
There were all kinds of places to shop ;-)
Notice these guys had ropes tied to the sheets under their purses...This was so they could pull them, forming a bag around the goods...and run.
One of our 'must stops' was Camp Nou. Ari's family are hard core Team Barcelona fans. Her excitement was contagious for the first half hour, but I'm glad she enjoyed herself. Futbal. That's a sport right? JK Ari.
Personalized jerseys were available at Camp Nou, but we found a knockoff place at one of the local shops for about half the price. Still a pretty penny, it was the perfect gift for her son.
Remember those shoes I wanted in Paris? We looked through that multi-story mall but never found the shoe section? Well we found the store in Barcelona...and I ended up buying a different pair. The tie shoes were cute but I love the yellow ones...which I probably could have just bought off zappos from home instead of dragging Ari down a bunch of alleys in search of the shop. But the quest was fun and we found a pastry shop as our reward.
Fleca Els Angels satisfied our sweet tooth for the afternoon. We exchanged e-mail addresses with the owner (and gave her a Lake Tahoe keychain). She is quite crafty and designed the window display of glass bottles with wires around the top that are attached to the window with suction cups.
"Dinner" consisted of our usual sangria y cerveza with a variety of small bites. Anchovies, olives, meatballs, cheeses...
The beauty of Barcelona lights up at night...
After our long day in the city, a twenty-minute train ride to a five minute cab home to our hotel set us up for a good night's sleep.