August 12, 2015

Parc Guell Barcelona Spain

We finally made it to Spain! The coach ride was very long but I slept most of the way. I was excited to see what Barcelona had to offer. When I booked this tour I didn't really know what to expect when going to Barcelona, I was initially more excited to see the other cities on the tour. Surprisingly, I was taken aback on how much I really loved this city. I don't know if it was the energy, the food, or the people, it just reminded me of home. As a latina, being in a country that speaks spanish, has amazing flavorful food, fresh juices, great music that just made me want to dance all night long, just took all the homesick feelings away. I could see myself living there, I just didn't want to leave. I never would of thought I would fall in love with Barcelona the way I did. I wish we stayed in this city longer during this tour because it wasn't enough. I was craving more time in Barcelona and I will for sure be coming back soon!

HOLA Barcelona!

Our first stop was visiting La Sagrada Familia. I've been dying to see this in person ever since I took an art history class. Seeing this masterpiece in person felt unreal. The architecture is so unbelievably gorgeous. It's definitely a must see when you're in Barcelona. We then headed to our hostel to check in. I never heard of a hostel before traveling to Europe. My idea of a hostel was what a motel is back in the United States; dirty, sketchy, and run down. The hostel we stayed in was nothing like how I imagined it to be. It was one of my favorite accommodations that we stayed in during the whole tour. I shared a room with four girls but the room was very spacious, clean, and very modern. The decor int his place was super chic, I loved it! 

Salsa Night.
We had a free night and a group of us went to a salsa night at a club nearby. Before we left, we had some drinks at the hostel's bar. The sangrias there are a MUST! After a few drinks, we headed to a salsa bar that was walking distance that someone had found. Many of the people was excited to learn salsa but I was more excited to learn salsa from Spain. Dancing salsa in different countries is different, they have different footwork. I love learning different methods of salsa, so I really enjoyed the salsa lesson they gave. It was so much and everyone had a great time. *TIP* The drinks in Spain are strong, so pace yourselves if you're out on the town. 

After drinking Eats.
After dancing the night away, a group of us headed to a nearby restaurant to explore new taste buds. On the tour, there were two Miami girls who were also hispanic. One was Cuban and one was half Spanish. We bonded quickly and we all felt at home being surrounded by all this culture. We ordered a bunch of tapas and shared the food. I tried a bunch of new things I've never had before, and let me tell you it did not disappoint! My new favorite dish is patatas bravas! It's a dish with potato wedges with a special sauce that is just out of this world! I would also recommend trying croquetas! Croquetas de Jamon are small fried balls of yummyness. It contains ham, a really good sauce, and spices. Pan de tomate is bread slices with a tomato spread on top which is very popular in Spain. We also ordered some olives which you can never go wrong with eating!

(Patatas bravas)
(Pan de Tomate)
(Croquetas & Olives)
Our first full day started with a city tour on the bus. Our tour manager pointed out the main attractions of the city as we made our way to MontJuic. Everything about Barcelona was beautiful, I wanted to get lost in the city and stay there for much longer. We finally made it to the top, where we saw incredible views of the entire city. It was honestly breathtaking. They also have cable cars that go up to the top if you would like to see the city with panoramic views (awesome for photos). Unfortunately I didn't get to go on a cable car, but I will whenever I go back! We got to take pictures from the top of MontJuic and then headed back to the coach bus to get dropped off at the city center where everyone dispersed into smaller groups to explore the city. We had a free day to do whatever we wanted. A few of the girls that I was with last night had a mini itinerary planned of must see sites to see. I recommend on planning out what you want to see ad do so you have a plan and don't waste any time!

Parc Güell.
Parc Guell is one of the most beautiful attractions in Barcelona that Gaudi created. The mosaics, architecture, and views are breathtaking. This is also a MUST SEE! We took a cab from the city center and split the fare between our group. *TIP* Go as early as possible. This is a huge tourist attraction especially in high season. To enter the mosaic part of the park you have to buy a ticket. Depending if there is many people, you have to wait a while to get inside. So plan accordingly if you're in a time crunch. Also wear comfy shoes, the park is big and you'll be walking a lot. This was one of my favorite places I visited, if we weren't on a time crunch I would've liked to stay longer!

La Boqueria Marcat.
Look no further, La Boqueria Marcat is your one stop shop for food heaven! This market has everything you want to try out that Spain is known for. I could go there everyday if I could, the fresh juices and food are just incredible. Calories don't count while on vacation, so stuff your face with everything in sight (haha). You must try PAELLA! This is Spain's most famous dish which comes in many forms. It's rice platter that you can have either with meat, chicken, seafood, or vegetarian style. You won't regret eating this dish, the flavor in it will make you want more! We had some delicious paella in a restaurant in the market called Paella Bar, highly recommend. 

Flamenco is a Spanish art form that are made up of guitar playing, singing, and dancing. This was an optional that included the flamenco show and tapas. I really enjoyed this optional, it was so beautiful and fun. I never attended a flamenco show before but I recommend it for anyone who wants to experience the Spanish culture.

Soccer Lovers.
Attention all soccer fanatics. If you're a big Barcelona FC fan, this will be your heaven. You will find jersey's sold everywhere from each store, to the streets. Beware of buying fake jerseys if you in the market to buy one. Soccer is huge in Spain, so don't be surprised if you see soccer paraphernalia 
everywhere. Camp Nou is the home of Barcelona FC, you can get a tour of the stadium

or see a live game, if they are playing while you're there.

Even though I love the city Barcelona, my heart fully supports REAL MADRID BABY! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Barcelona Fc and Real Madrid Fc are two of the biggest soccer teams in Spain. They have long history of rivalry and have the biggest/powerful soccer players playing for each teams. One day I will visit the Real Madrid stadium and see a game which is on my bucket list! I have been fortunate to meet one of my favorite soccer player, James Rodriguez from the team!

Shopping in Las Ramblas.
Shop till you drop in las ramblas! I did majority of my shopping here. Las Ramblas is a central boulevard that has tons of shops, restaurants, and packed with people. *TIP* Beware of pickpocketing occurring in this area, it tends to get congested with many tourists and locals.

Experience the Night Life. 
The night life in Barcelona is amazing! Something about the energy and vibe makes the the nightlife what it is. After the Flamenco show, we went to Port Olympic, where we go to walk around and went to a few bars. Later that night we went to one of the popular clubs nearby and had the best time! I wish I took more photos but I was just being in the moment and enjoying every minute of it. As I said before, I wish we stayed longer in this wonderful city but I know I will be back someday hopefully get to explore other parts of Spain.

                                                            Comment below,
                       What do you like about Barcelona, Spain?

Until the next post!
-WanderlustBeautyDreams ♡ 

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