23 June 2010

Barcelona Recap, Part Uno!

Hi! I've been back from Barcelona for a week but it's been a whirlwind of visitors so I haven't had much time to do this old bloggin' job and update all you adoring fans with pictures of adventures.  So, here is installment one of Barcelona!  And then I need to go celebrate my friend Jessica's birthday here in Paris!  Happy Birthday, Jess!!!!!

So... without further ado, may I present you with BARCELONA!!!!!
So ugly, right? 
I love the whimsy of the Gaudi architecture with the beach culture here. This photo is taken from the top of Parc Guell, overlooking Barcelona to the sea.

Ok, so I arrived in BCN and jumped onto the train to my friend Michelle's house.  I had to mentally switch from French to Spanish and somehow found my way. She welcomed me into her lovely home and we hit the town! A two-day fiesta of food, wine, cava, sangria, tapas, boquerias and Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi ensued. I think I walked half of Barcelona! Blisters to prove it. Also, I ate continuously the entire time. Tight pants to prove it.

This crazy, insane, AWESOME church-in-construction is Gaudi's magnum opus and has been in-process of being built for over 100 years already.  It is essentially a giant construction site you pay to enter but it is mind-blowing.  The interior of the temple is like walking into someone's dreams and imagination, part Dr. Seuss, part Alice in Wonderland, part Fantasia.  There are speculations that this might be completed by 2030 but lots doubt that. 

I hope that someday in my lifetime, I will be able to return to Barcelona and see the finished masterpiece.

Casa Batllo and Casa Amatller: Block of Discord
Raddest houses, side-by-side. Yep, these are seriously houses.

This park is so cool and interesting. Winding pathways, intricate tilework, fantasy Gaudi buildings, and views of all of Barcelona. I laid on a bench in this park for a couple of hours, reading a book and listening to a guy do a marionette concert of all Beatles and Kinks cover songs. Fun!

And then... Grams rolled into town!  
Barcelona didn't know what hit them.

Grams and Ruth, a couple of firecracker old ladies, hit the streets with me as their tour guide.  We walked the markets, rode the double-decker bus to every corner of the city, caught a flamenco show, ate and drank lots and lots (do you detect a theme?), and Grams, of course, fell in love several times.

Some highlights!

Tablao Cordobes Flamenco!
Lovely Ladies

Grams fell in love with the gyrating male star of the show and yelled out, "Here I am, Pepe!" much to the delight of everyone onstage and in the audience.

Grams cheers on her man.

Maybe we both fell in love a little that night.

Daytime fun!
Grams makes new friends wherever she goes

Ruth shows us how it's done when you're 81 years old and in Barcelona.

Port Vell views

Impromptu afternoon parades

Grams' Night Out
On their last night in town, Grams and I decided to blow off some steam and hit the bars. And, of course, Grams was a very popular lady. Here are some photo additions for her "Wall of Shame."
Grams told this guy she wanted to have her photo taken with "the best looking guy in the bar" and all of his friends died laughing. She really just wanted a pic with a guy wearing a ridiculous silver sparkle outfit.

She tried to marry me off to this guy, a Dutchman who lives in Nigeria and travels everywhere with an armed bodyguard and two armed cars. I'm pretty sure she changed her mind and wanted him for herself in the end. That's just how she rolls, folks.

Grams and the bartender really bonded.  He bought her a drink. She posed with him.  This photo is supposedly up on the bar's facebook page but I can't find their page.  
Anyone know how to find O'hara's Irish Pub Barcelona on fb?

Time to call it a night!

All in all, we had a great time.  Despite one little incident (where Ruth and Grams got lost and had to get the Barcelona police to help them find their hotel!), we had lots of fun, saw just about every inch of the city, and Grams stole the hearts of countless men. 
Viva Barcelona!


  1. Some tips to travel to Barcelona:

    Hire a car only if you are going to spend several days there, so you can visit also the surroundings and places like Montserrat, Port Aventura, Costa Brava, etc.

    Be careful with pickpockets in metro and city center.

    If you are going to travel with your family rent a centric apartment (here they have holiday apartments in barcelona city center and they give out a free pocket guide, which is always useful).
    If you are going with friends it's a good idea too, but then you may want to look for something cheaper (here they have cheap accommodation in barcelona, from 19 \u20ac per night or so).

    And enjoy!

  2. I'm dying over this. Love Grams, Love you - so much fun!!!