Our first night in Barcelona was spent at a hostel located “five minutes from the metro”. After walking in the complete opposite direction for a few minutes, we quickly turned around and found our hostel probably about fifteen minutes away. We’ve since learned not to trust hostels on how close they claim to be to things. Nevertheless, fifteen minutes wasn’t a big deal.
After getting our key, we checked into our room (which we were staying in for one night and sharing with three other people). We headed out to get food which was nothing super special except that Billy discovered something called a “bomb” - which is essentially taking a bit of awesome, deep frying it, and giving you awesome-sauce to dip it in. I’m sure it must have had enough calories to feed a small nation. We spent the rest of the night hanging out in the common room in the hostel which was packed mostly with shrieking little girls. After spilling red wine on my white t-shirt, we headed to bed.
The next morning, we headed to our second hostel which was on the other side of the Sagrada Familia (a massive church 100 years in the making and still nowhere near completion). We trucked by it and observed its bizarre (ugly) architecture and pretty much just wondered what the big deal was - aside from its size. We found the hostel without much trouble, but ran into an issue when we realized that we had shown up about eight hours early with nobody there to let us in. After buzzing other random suites in the apartment block, someone let us in so we would stop bothering them. We encountered the same problem when we actually got to the hostel door, but one of the other guests let us in after seeing our backpacks. We dumped our stuff and went exploring. We saw Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and went shopping - found a dress (Billy) and leather jacket (Geordie) at Zara. We ended up wandering around and stumbled upon the Cathedral and a cool antique flea market. After that, we headed back to our hostel and checked in and made dinner. We made rice, chickpeas, chorizo sausage, and some kind of sauce. We also had some bread with vinegar and olive oil, and we had the white wine we brought from Bordeaux (which was deeeelicious).
The next morning we set out to find our last hostel for Barcelona. This was the apartment we had booked even before leaving Canada. We were supposed to meet “Gonzolo” outside of the building at noon. We found ourselves a bit turned around as we hit our metro stop and basically randomly chose a direction to see if it panned out. It was the wrong way. However, luckily, a very short, very friendly old man (speaking rapid Spanish) asked us where we needed to go, and proceeded to march us quickly and efficiently right to the front door all while yammering on and on about god knows what. He was pretty stoked to be helping out, and so even though we didn’t know what he was saying we smiled, nodded, and laughed in all the right places (we hope). We seemed to stop by the house that he grew up in – or at least that was what we understood by his hand gestures.
After soaking in the awesomeness of our apartment, we decided to head to the beach to check it out. By the time we got there it was almost 3pm, and the beach was absolutely packed. We managed to squeeze in a spot and laid in the sun for a couple hours. On our way home we bought some food supplies and made a delicious curry with more bread, vinegar & oil. We also decided to try the “Duff” beer for kicks. Our apartment was so adorable we wanted to take advantage of it so we just stayed in the rest of the night watching mostly 80’s music videos.
The next morning we were all jazzed to have a full beach day, but the weather decided not to co-operate. We headed down there, disappointed, and thought maybe the weather would change in a couple hours. To kill some time we walked along the harbour to La Rambla, where there were lots of stalls to look at. Found an interesting meat/fruit market and left after seeing a skinned sheep head. Barf. The weather was still crappy, so we went into the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and watched a bit of the FIFA World Cup. That night after a bit more wandering we decided to make the same dinner that we’d have the previous day – because it was just that spectacular. We ended that night with another healthy dosage of eighties music videos.
The next morning we dropped off our bags in the baggage storage in the nearby train station and headed over to meet Sarah’s friend Adam and a few of his friends who were all backpacking through Europe as well. After a moment of brief confusion as to where we were meeting – we found each other and wandered around La Rambla and then over towards the beach. The beach was pretty much deserted because of the weather, but we waded around in the waves for a little while until we got too hungry. We went to a crappy Irish pub and had overpriced sangria and then went back to the train station where we parted ways with Adam and the gang. We got a train fairly easily and headed out towards Madrid.