Raíces: Barcelona & El Pilar Festival

Qué tal amigos,

I had a nice time at Barcelona this past weekend! The road trip itself was very long. Due to laws in Spain that prohibit a bus driver from driving for more than four hours, we had to make three stops each way, so the trip took eight hours on the road to get there, when it would normally take six hours without stops. It wasn’t too bad though. The ride back to  Madrid was actually better than the ride to Barcelona because we stopped in Zaragoza, halfway to Madrid, for a few hours. Fiestas del Pilar were going on at the time, so there was a nice scene there with tapas bars, shops and restaurants all around. I befriended the head of the CityLife trips. He gifted me a free trip back to Zaragoza for Wednesday, which is a national holiday in Spain (as well as the main day for Fiestas del Pilar), so there are no classes that day. I am not 100% sure if I’m going to go or not, but it is definitely tempting. Zaragoza has great food, friendly people and a lively scene during the festival.

A little bit about the logistics of the trip. We all stayed at the same hostel. I was a bit anxious beforehand because I didn’t know what to expect. A few weeks ago was my first time ever sleeping at a hotel and this was my first time being at a hostel. It turned out to be fine though. I shared a room with five other guys. We slept in bunkbeds, but it was actually even more comfortable than my bed at my homestay. On Friday night, we all went out to a nightclub right by the beach. We had free drinks and free tapas till 12, so that was really awesome. On Saturday, we had a guided tour of the city and took a quick trip to Montjuic after a free buffet breakfast at the hostel. Everyone went out again on Saturday night, but I was tired, so I decided to not go out. I opted to just get some dinner nearby (huge steak with white rice for €13), which was top-three best dinner I have had yet in Spain. On Sunday, we left early on our way to Madrid and stopped for a few hours in Zaragoza.

Barcelona was such as beautiful city. It is a definite must-see for anyone that has the opportunity to visit. The architecture and the urban landscape were easily the most beautiful that I have ever seen. Antonio Gaudí produces some truly spectacular architecture. La Sagrada Familia, specifically, has to be the single most impressive construction I have ever personally witnessed. You would have to see it up close and personal to believe me. I did not go inside because the line to get in was very long and I wanted to explore the rest of the city. We also stopped by Montjuic, a small town on a hill in the outskirts of Barcelona, to get a better view of the city from above. It was beautiful. I would truly recommend this trip to anyone that can go. Enjoy the pictures!

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Sunset over la Barceloneta

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First time getting on a Ferris wheel in years.

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Nice view of the city

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La Boquería, which is sorta like Barcelona’s Reading Terminal Market

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Dinner at FOC BCN. Probably the highlight of my trip.

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Fascinating architecture by Gaudí

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La Sagrada Familia

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Catedral de Barcelona

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Catedral de Zaragoza in the background

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Delicious tapas everywhere, one of many.

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