Bustle in Barcelona

I will always return to Spain. Studying abroad for three months cemented my love for this captivating country. Barcelona may be one of the most touristy cities in Spain, but that doesn’t take away it’s unique character. The Spanish and Catalan cultures mix together to create the beautiful ambiance of Barcelona.DSC_0298

Bringing my best friend to Barcelona for our graduation trip was a no-brainer. Gaudí, Picasso, and sangria; need I say more! I couldn’t wait to show off my favorite country to one of my favorite people.DSC_0250

Arriving in the late afternoon, after struggling to find our way out of the airport, we dragged our suitcases through Las Ramblas on the way to our Airbnb. The gothic quarter may be the oldest part of Barcelona, but it has the newest fashions. I couldn’t help but map out my {window} shopping spree.

In desperate need for Spanish cuisine, I practically threw my bags down and ran to the nearest restaurant. I couldn’t have asked for a better first meal in Barcelona! We ate in a charming tapería on the square in front of Catedral de Barcelona.DSC_0532.jpg The sun was setting and some music was playing. We ended up spending hours chatting and laughing over pitchers of wine and soaking up the Spanish vibes.

IMG_0474The next morning, we wound our way through the narrow alleys of the gothic quarter in search of cappuccinos. Hidden in an old courtyard, bookcases filled with knick-knacks and old texts created the backdrop to the fist of many caffeine fixes.

The Picasso Museum was one of the places I was most excited to explore. The infamous Spanish painter has always been one of my favorite artists and I couldn’t wait to see the largest collection of his work in person. The architecture of the museum rivals the beauty of Picasso’s work. The galleries wind through five 13th and 14th-century palaces that have been renovated to create a modern, comfortable environment.DSC_0268

There are moments that I become completely absorbed in art. I was in a soft, silent daze as I stared at Picasso’s paintings. One of the greatest achievement of the Picasso Museum is their restoration work, and they were presently working on Picasso’s Science and Charity. Pulled into the middle of the gallery, technicians were working away, restoring Picasso’s earliest work. Inches away from perfection, I held my breath and tried to memorize every detail. It was a once in a lifetime experience seeing Picasso’s work so close.DSC_0279

A cafe right outside the museum supplied us with our second cappuccino fix of the day and we strolled through Ciutadella Park.DSC_0424

Usually, I am not a club kind of girl. But when you are only 22 and Opium is just a few metro stops away, you feel obligated. Opium is known for being one of the best nightclubs in the world.IMG_0488  If I was only going to a club once this summer, it had to be Opium. So Katta and I stuffed as much caffeine into our bloodstreams as possible and waited. Seeing as the club didn’t even open till midnight, we had some time to kill. When the doors swung open we were the youngest people in the bar. Evidently, the cool kids don’t grace us with their presence until 2 am. So, Katta and I cut up the dance floor with the rest of the party grandmas.

Our feet were sore, and lipstick smeared, by the time we decided to head home. As Katta will tell you, the walk home from Opium was one of the most action-packed activities of our graduation trip. I sang some Drunk Disney tunes as we slowly made our way through the city. We were feet away from the front door of the Airbnb when all of a sudden I see Katta launching at some random cyclist. After a couple of shouts and punches, Katta and I rescued her phone and wallet from a would-be robber. The man was peddling as fast as he could away from us as Katta yelled: “DON’T MESS WITH AMERICAN BITCHES!!!”.

The next morning I had planned the perfect hangover activity: a hop-on-hop-off, double-decker tour bus. We loaded up on carbs at breakfast and loaded our groggy heads up to the open deck. Katta and I saw the most beautiful architecture from all over Barcelona by the smallest amount of effort. The constant fresh air and history lectures distracted me remembering the previous night. We only got off to admire Sagrada Familia and all her beauty.DSC_0399

I have visited this world wonder twice now and never dared to go inside. I want to save the interior beauty for as long as possible. Having unfinished business with Gaudi’s masterpiece leaves me an excuse to return to Spain. The towers look like the drip sand castles my brother and I used to make on the beach. The luscious parks to the north and south of the modern cathedral are ideal for sitting and admiring.

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After our days in Spain, I think Katta finally understood why I am so obsessed.

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