Spain
Estacio del Nord

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    • Day 4

      Barcelona Day 2 pt. 3

      May 16 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Last but not least, maybe the most insane night I’ve ever experienced. Following our tour, we met up with Freeman’s old school friend Max who spent fourth grade in the US and comes back to visit often. He was awesome! We went to a bar and grabbed some local IPAs and grub. Declan insisted we take a nap at 9 o’clock because the clubs here don’t open until 1. Great decision. After our nap, around 10:30, we went and pregamed with Max, getting buckets of 5 beers for 10 euros. We then had a 30 minute walk to the club, which got us there by 1. The club, Opium, was really fun, a mixture of Spanish and American music. Epic fail on my part, I was very bad at taking pictures from here on out. We all ordered rum and cokes. They poured doubles into a tall skinny glass and gave us a small glass Coke bottle on the side and we mixed it ourselves. We danced until about 3:30. As we begin our walk home, there it was, Casino Barcelona. We couldn’t resist. We started with a little sports betting and then hit the tables. 5 euro minimum on blackjack, 2 euro minimum on roulette, so we all bought in for cheap. As my luck goes, everyone but me left up big. I only lost 30 euro, so not to sad. Fun to see the boys win! We got the boot at 6 a.m. as that’s when they closed. Since it was on the beach, we walked out and watched the sunrise. We finally stopped at a coffee shop at 6:45 a.m. and filled our bellies. Lights out at 7, and up by 10 to get checked out of the hostel. We are all struggling this morning, as we deserve. We are hanging in a coffee shop until our train at 1:30. Some sleep is much needed!Read more

    • Day 4

      Barcelona Day 2 pt. 2

      May 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      The Cathedral! What a beautiful place! We payed a little extra to get a couple ammenities. We first took a self-guided tour throughout the place. There were sculptures of different saints and angels surrounding the inside of the place. Under the alter was the Tomb of Saint Eulalia, who was martyred as a 13 year old. She illegally declared her faith in front of a king and was brutally tortured in 13 different ways before passing. Her tomb was gorgeous. They were tuning their giant organ, which was cool to listen to. Next, we took a VR tour of the place, which I was initially questioning Declan’s choice to spend extra on it, but ended up being extremely informative as we couldn’t read much of the descriptions within the Cathedral. Finally, we hiked up a long staircase to get to the roof, which was such a beautiful view. My last picture is of the Sagrada Familia. We hope to tour that during Barcelona round 2!Read more

    • Day 4

      Barcelona Day 2 pt. 1

      May 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Yesterday was incredible. We had such an insane day. I forgot to take a pic, but Cole and I started the morning early with a trip to the gym. The front desk worker was so kind, letting us use the gym for free. Then we went to a breakfast joint called “Gringa” which was an “American Restaurant” that served things like chicken and waffles and breakfast burritos. We met up with the rest of the crew at a coffee shop and planned the day. Our first stop was Casa Batillo Gaudi. Not exactly sure of the significance, but it was beautiful. It was right next to all of shops, so we checked out places like Gucci, Prada, Nike, Lego store, and more. We then headed to a local food market which was packed, but so cool. We all tried different snacks and drinks. It started to rain so we popped into a local bar, grabbed some beer, and waited for our Cathedral tour. More to come on that…Read more

    • Day 3

      Barcelona day2

      August 22, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Started the day with a tuktuk tour for 2 hours all around the sights of Barcelona.
      Lunch then a tour of the Sagrada, which was amazing. We climbed the Passion tower with great views across the city.
      Another walk back through the city.
      Still hot today with it staying around 33 degrees.
      Heading off to Flamenco show and dinner at a Catalan restaurant.
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    • Day 17

      From Gaudi to the Romans

      April 2, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

      This was a busy one starting with a taxi to Sagrada Familia at 7.45 on the internet suggestion that you should go ‘early, around 8am’ if you wanted to attend the International Mass at 9am, but literally hundreds of others had the same idea so we had a half hour line-up outside in a chilly breeze but didn’t worry. We’d grabbed a roll and sausage at the hotel breakfast room so ate that as we waited. Many languages could be heard around us. We had to go through the X-ray machines then on into the church, we were lucky to get front seats on the right-hand aisle so could see and hear everything, target for the incense and holy water as the priests walked through the congregation. They had an internet site to download the order of service – never thought I’d see the day that a fair percentage of any congregation was glued to their phones in the middle of the service! That’s life today isn’t it? I had plenty of time to get a video looking around at the colours and music in the background.

      The service was mostly in Spanish, a bit of English and French, but it was reasonably easy to follow. The choir and music in general was lovely and of course the stunning colours of the stained glass just made it a very special part of our holiday, especially for Pete as he is a regular attender of Mass, and I just like the ritual, maybe the lapsed Anglican coming out in me from my childhood of Sunday school three times a month and Family Service with Mum in Bulls on the fourth Sunday while Dad stayed home and cooked the Sunday roast. Being Palm Sunday there was a blessing of palms/random tree branches some of the congregation had brought, more incense for that. It looked like they had two bishops, one priest, one choir conductor, one congregation music conductor, and a cast of several altar servers and readers.

      Hard to say how many attended though we had seen on line they restricted it to 500, and there were already people in the ‘normal admission’ line for I think a 10am opening so they were keen. We were certainly chucked out in a hurry; I snatched a few photos but was happy I’d managed the video earlier and some of the glass and colours.

      We took the underground to La Rambla just along from our hotel, shot into the Gothic Quarter and had empanadas and pastries at a café, it was our ‘second breakfast’ which we learned about on the food tour: first breakfast when you get up early and maybe have coffee and something small, second two or three hours later which would be a bit more substantial, third is lunch around 1 or 2pm, then it’s siesta time, then fourth a reasonable snack and back to work, and a fairly light dinner around 9pm or later. In our few days here we have managed the five feeds quite easily but not necessarily as light as some of them should have been?

      Back to the hotel for a spell then it was off to the Palau de la Música where we did an audio tour around the beautiful art deco auditorium and public areas, 50 minutes, two short organ recitals. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its intricate stained glass in the side windows and a stunning glass chandelier, lovely red velvet seats, smallish stage where very well-known artists have appeared. Well worth the visit – have a look at the link for much better photos than I could put in. You could go out on a terrace overlooking one of the main plazas too.

      https://www.palaumusica.cat/en/the-art-nouveau-…

      Next stop was the History Museum which to our surprise had free entry and it was fairly busy. It’s in the old castle/cathedral area, is in three parts and the first covers an overview of the city over the last 2000 years – I was more interested in the older stuff, not the fairly extensive 20th century industrial and civil war stuff, but it was well done. Pete and I had split up (he reads everything very slowly) and I went to the older building which has a very plain chapel which, when you look closely, has lovely stained glass and an old painted ceiling. There’s also a large, fairly empty, main hall, high ceiling and windows, and exhibit cases around the edges with all sorts of pottery, jewellery, tools, all kinds of things found around the site.

      Met up with Pete and we had a look at a garden in the next building, open to the sky, tinkling fountain, stone stairs, very Spanish and peaceful. I left him there and was about to head to the hotel when I saw movement behind a big glass door and thought it must be another exhibit – young woman asked ‘do you want to see the Roman ruins?’. Well, did I? We didn’t even know they were there and they are ENORMOUS, an incredible walkway through the remains of a dyers factory with brick tanks where they soaked stuff in urine and other liquids to process it; next along was a garum (fish sauce) factory with fairly intact circular pottery vats/jars more than a meter across where the sauce was stored; then we were into a slightly later time, wine making on a large scale, where the juice was fed in channels around the factory and ended up in similar round storage jars set into the ground. What a find this place was. There was a part where church leaders of a later period were buried, a private walkway the bishop would have used to go from residence to the church which even had a resting bench on the way. I texted Pete to make sure he found it too so we were both well satisfied with our day’s touristing.

      https://www.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/en/heri…

      We had noticed lots of school groups on La Rambla on Thursday and Friday, high school age, and there were still some around on Sunday but more families and some fairly big walking tours. I’d expected to see more hen parties or the famous ‘lager louts’ but no real evidence of either – or perhaps we just weren’t out late enough in the evenings. I think this was a good time to come to Spain weather-wise and before the real tourist season starts. There are smokers everywhere so cigarettes must be cheap, shopkeepers sweep the streets endlessly in front of their cloned tourist shops all selling the same T-shirts, mosaic-patterned everything from fridge magnets to……..you name it, and there’s quite a heavy police presence, all in black, armed and visible in cars and on the street but an awful lot standing round in front of the several cop shops.

      We often heard singing in the squares, lanes and subway, all sorts of music, instruments, voices, it was nice to stand for a couple of minutes to listen. And that was a chance to look around and up at the houses though at street level the shops in early mornings had shutters pulled down (like roller doors), many covered with graffiti, as were the huge wooden doors leading to mysterious courtyards – many of them had ornate doorhandles or knockers, very heavy-looking.

      We’ve been seeing the Catalan flag everywhere – four red stripes, five yellow; the red either signifying the stripes being drawn in blood by King Charles the Bald on Count Wilfred the Hairy of Barcelona’s golden shield in about 900 as an act of gratitude. Or possibly Ramon Berenguer painting the bars in his own blood on a yellow shield, or even Louis the Pious drew the bars on a golden shield during the conquest of Barcelona. Lots of different accounts and a fair bit of blood involved.

      For dinner we decided to look for the other two places we’d been on the food tour but both were closed so we just wandered, ended up very close to the Bridge of Sighs and its skull decoration, sat outside with a drink for ten minutes but a very thin wind sent us inside where we had yet more tapas. I was going to have cava but in the cocktail list I saw …..peach juice, cava…….and skipped over the rest, thought it sounded like my favourite Bellini cocktail. Bellini on steroids, two or three shots of something else, I have to admit I was a bit light on my feet when we left, partly cobbled streets don’t help either. Having the days in Barcelona before the cruise was the best thing we could have done, we saw and did such a lot without it being crazy busy, and the weather was kind to us.
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    • Day 191

      Goodbye Barcelona

      February 4 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      🇩🇪
      Wow die Zeit meines Auslandssemester ist nur so vorbei geflogen... es war schwer Abschied zu nehmen von der tollen Zeit und den ganzen lieben Menschen, die ich kennenlernen durfte! Ich freue mich schon wieder her zu kommen. Aber nun geht's vier Wochen auf Reisen und ich freue mich auch schon wieder nach Hause zu kommen. :)
      🇺🇲
      Wow, the time of my semester abroad just flew by... it was hard to say goodbye to the great time and all the lovely people I was able to get to know! I'm looking forward to coming back here. But now I'm traveling for four weeks and I'm looking forward to coming home again. :)
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    • Day 6

      Barcelona

      February 29, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Zum erstenmal Mal habe ich vergessen, die Türen vor dem Schlafengehen abzuschließen. Morgens war dann Alex Rucksack vom Fahrersitz verschwunden. Nach einem Tag auf der Polizeiwache hatten wir keine große Lust mehr, Fotos zu machen. Unsere Launen hat sich dann aber in einer netten Kneipe nach ein paar kalten Bieren, einer leckeren Pizza und dem Kennenlernen netter Leute wieder gebessert.Read more

    • Day 1

      Barcelona 😍

      April 23, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Hallo Barcelona da bin ich mal wieder und wusste somit zum Anfang der Reise mich gut zu orientieren und mit wenig Spanischkenntnissen zu verständigen. 😛

      Barcelona mal im Frühling zu erleben mal auch was anderes und wesentlich weniger Touristen unterwegs.

      Zudem wohl ein gutes Einstiegstraining bepackt um bergauf - bergab, trepphoch - trepprunter und Rucksack länger auf dem Rücken zu tragen.

      Am Abend hing ich ziemlich lange und übernächtigt bei Regen, Regen, Regen am Busbahnhof rum. Völlig anderes Klientel. 🤔

      B🥚 B🥚 Barcelona fürs erste, im August gibt's ein Wiedersehen
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    • Day 8

      Barcelona

      September 13, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Die nächsten zwei Nächte waren also für Barcelona eingeplant. Da wir gut in der Zeit lagen weil wir auch noch einen Tag früher von Korsika nach Barcelona fuhren konnten wir hier einen entspannten Städtetrip machen!

      Am ersten Tag nach der Ankunft war erstmal Frühstück angesagt. Zumindest dachten wir das ;) leider haben auch hier viele Restaurants oder kleine Straßencafés dauerhaft geschlossen weil Sie vermutlich die Corona Zeit nicht überstanden haben. Also liefen wir und liefen .... und liefen wenn etwas kam wo es Frühstückartiges Essen gab dann machte uns es irgendwie nicht an.

      Wir entdeckten allerdings ein kleines Kaffee mit sehr lecker aussehenden Sandwiches und weiter unten .. haltet euch fest.... Eine Schinkenbar!!
      Sowas von Krass! Ich mir natürlich ein Hammer Iberico Sandwich rausgelassen und Vanessa in dem Kaffee weiter oben ein Sandwich mit Schinken Käse Salat Gurken PAprika usw. Am Supermarkt direkt an unserem Hotel gab es noch eine Osaft Presse wo wir uns noch frischen Orangensaft gönnten.

      Da der Tag bereits am fortschreiten war entschieden wir uns den Tag als Shopping Tag und nicht als Sightseeing Tag zu nutzen.
      Es war auch besonders heiß in den Tagen als wir in Barcelona waren da jeden Tag Gewitter drohte aber nicht kam.

      Vanessa führte uns Zielstrebig in DIE Shoppingstrasse von Barcelona. Dachte Sie zumindest. Nach 2h wandern durch die engen Gassen von Barcelona ohne wirkliche Shopping Gelegenheit weil auch hier vieles verschlossen war gingen wir etwas essen und versuchten danach unser Glück am Ende dieser Straße wo dann auch alle Läden waren die man sich so wünscht von Nike, Adidas, H&M uvm.

      Am Ende wurde es ein Erfolgreicher Shopping Tag. Bis auf das was wir uns eigentlich vorgenommen hatten in diesem Urlaub zu kaufen - einen Hut für Andy und einen neuen Geldbeutel und Tasche für Vanessa. =)
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    • Day 9

      Barcelona Tag 2

      September 14, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      Schon am Abend zuvor hatten wir entschlossen nochmal eine Nacht länger in BArcelona zu bleiben da wir auch noch unsere Klamotten die langsam zu neige gingen waschen wollten und noch nicht eine Sehenwürdigkeit gesehen haben ausser von der Dachterasse unseres Hotels die Sagrada Familia. Ansonsetn wäre heute ja um 12 CheckOut.

      Somit hatten wir heut nochmal einen ganzen Tag gewonnen und nutzen ihn um unsere Wäsche in einem nahe gelegenen Waschsalon zu waschen und eine Tour durch die Stadt zu machen.
      Das Aufhängen der Wäsche war spannend in einem Hotelzimmer aber wir waren ja durch das Camping sehr gut ausgestattet und spannten einfach eine Nylonschnur quer durchs Zimmer ;)

      Gestern hatten wir uns für die Zone in der wir uns befanden (Zone 1) eine MEtro Karte gekauft mit jeweils 10 Fahrten. Das macht das herum kommen in der Stadt wirklich komfortabel bei diesen Temperaturen. Aber ich konnte trotzdem gar nicht soviel trinken wir mein Körper wieder ausgeschwitzt hat.

      Wir schauten uns die Sagrada Familia von nahem an - ein wirklich impulsantes Bauwerk! Den PArk Güell verschoben wir auf den nächsten Tag vor der Abreise da die Wäsche doch länger dauerte wie geplant. Wir liefen noch an der Hafenpromenade entlang, stellten fest das alle guten Tanzclubs jetzt Restaurants sind und ließen den Abend in einer Bar ausklingen.
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    Estacio del Nord

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