Europe, Overseas Travel

Barcelona, Spain, 2011

Muskies in Spain

We capped off our Spain trip with Barcelona, which included a reunion with two of my fellow Muskingum University Alumnus/XAN Sorority Sisters, Mandy and Kiersten. Mandy joined us from Ohio and Kiersten from London, where she was living at the time. It was their first time meeting Alex, and he humored our catching up on many years since we had been together and reminiscing about college.
I don’t remember the name of our hotel. I do remember it was near a beach.
On our first (or second?) day we took a cable car to the top of Montjuic Castle for views of the expansive city. On our second night we ate way too much paella, drank way too much Sangria, and stayed out way too late.

Aside from Sangria, our three days revolved around the Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí, with visits to Casa Battlo, Park Güell, and The Basílica de la Sagrada Família. I will let the photos mostly speak for themselves without additional commentary. Sadly, the photos won’t speak as well as they could. Barcelona was the third stop on our trip through Spain, and the battery charger to our good camera was back in Virginia (being useless). We were left with the best pictures the latest iPhone could provide.

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Casa Batlló

Park Güell

Day 3 in Barcelona

Our final day started slow due to the staying out until 2am the night before. Alex and I went to the Zoo (we like European Zoos) and then took our headaches out of the noisy city and to the Labyrinth Park of Horta. We reunited with Mandy and Kiersten for a brief walk down Las Ramblas.
We planned for a last quiet evening with a walk on the beach and waterfront dinner. During our meal, we noticed the emptiness of the restaurant, and many cheers from the kitchen. It was on that night that Barcelona won the 2011 FIFA World Cup. Sadly we were flying home early the next day and didn’t join the celebration. We celebrated in spirit by listening to musical car horns that played though the night from our hotel room.

3 Steps to Get Ready to Visit Barcelona, Spain


Travel Prep

I don’t remember how we prepared, outside of watching films and episodes of Rick Steves’ show. Barcelona is part of Catalonia, and there have been movements to fight for independence from Spain. At tourist destinations, you will hear announcements in Catalan, Spanish, and English.


Consider the Barcelona Card

We are a big fan of all-in-one discount cards in European cities. The Barcelona Card includes a public transportation pass, which will save you the logistics of trying to figure out fares. Using the website to see a list of most popular attractions and their admission prices can help guide your plans (and determine if the card will be of value to you).


Movies to Watch

I’m no Woody Allen fan, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a great introduction to the city (and to Javier Bardem & Penelope Cruz together onscreen).

Speaking of Señor Bardem, Biutiful is a dark, but still excellent, watch.

If you haven’t ventured into the strangely beautiful world of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, All About Your Mother is your chance, partially set in Barcelona.

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