Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Welcome to Barcelona

I recently returned from a trip to the wonderful city of Barcelona. Let me tell you...they have some awesome street art and donuts there. 

Since I moved to Europe eons ago. I've visited Barcelona several times. Most of the visits have been weekend trips to see a particular person or place. I would see who I had to see, or do what I came for, then leave. I never got to see much beyond the Barcelona Fish monument, beach and the La Rambla market. This visit was different because for the first time I got to play tourist

My mother was visiting from the USA. She had never been to Spain and wanted to see Barcelona. We hadn't seen each other in over a year. The last time she visited I took her to Paris. Our Paris visit was fun since I was familiar with navigating the city. I didn't know Barcelona very well so I suggested we do the tourist thing. This entailed buying Hop on - Hop off bus tickets. Best idea ever! 

If you're unfamiliar with Hop on - Hop off bus tours I'll give a simple description. They are a bus service found in most major cities in Europe. You pay a fee (around €20 euro per person) and can ride the bus to different locations around the city hopping on and off at your leisure. The service we used was Touracti. They run the Barcelona Turistic Bus lines. The buses came every  15 - 25 minutes. There were three different bus lines (Red, Blue, and Green). Each color bus line followed a different route which covered most of Barcelona. The tour started at 09:00 and ended at 18:00 (6pm).   

We had a great time...or as my friends in Tokyo would say "Subarashii". The apartment we were staying in (courtesy of was five minutes walk from the blue line. My mom, girlfriend, and I rode around Barcelona taking in some spectacular views. The tour bus had an open roof so we could shoot pictures from an elevated view. Some of the best shots came from the Sagrada Familia, Columbus Monument, and a place that looked like a Palace. While riding the tour bus they provide headphones so we could listen to an audio guide that talked about the different locations and history of the city. 

Our narrator had a British accent and couldn't pronounce some of the monument names properly. He would call the Spanish architect Goudi, which is pronounced (Goo-day) Gow-Dee. During our stop at the Sagrada Familia which was designed by Goudi. The narrator said Gow-Dee so much when explaining the history of the monument that his bad pronunciation became funny. Bad pronunciation aside, the narrator was very informative. The audio comes in thirty-five languages so everyone on the bus could follow along. 

There's way too much to see in Barcelona for one day, so we took a two day pass. This allowed us to tour the city comfortably and stop anywhere that looked interesting. We stopped by a grocery store chain that I thought was native to Holland called Lidl when switching from the red line to the blue line. Inside that Lidl was a bakery that had the best chocolate filled Berliners I've ever eaten. Not just me; my mother, girlfriend, and several other tourists shared the same opinion. Those donuts were f**king delicious! They were so good that the entire stock of around two hundred donuts were sold out before 12 noon. Where I live the Lidl doesn't sell them. If I had known how popular they were I would've stocked up. 

On the first day of our tour we passed some colorful street art by the marina at the end of the day. It was about to hit six o'clock and the sun had already set. We decided to return the next day when it was bright out. It was worth the wait. Spain has some phenomenal street artists. I glimpsed a taste of  their talent while walking around the city. At the marina located at the bottom of La Rambla. There was a long wall covered in murals and lettering of all styles. 

I took photos of the best pieces I could capture with the ever shifting sunlight. Below are pictures of the street art as well as some photos from around the city. If you have never been to Barcelona, buy a ticket and see it for yourself. It's a great city. 

No comments:

Post a Comment