A Travellerspoint blog

Last Day In Barcelona

On Friday Grace and I got up and took the metro to Sagrada Familia. Let me just say, the Barcelona subway system is much much cleaner and easier to use than the New York subways. We got to see the inside of Sagrada Familia, which is even more incredible than the outside. It's beautiful and all of the details are so intricate. We also went to the top of one of the towers and got to see an amazing view of Barcelona. We took the elevator up about 20 floors but going down we took a really awesome narrow, stone, spiral staircase.
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We asked a person of Asian decent who was carrying a large camera to take our picture, thinking she would know what she was doing. She practically had her head on the ground trying to "capture the light" from the stained glass windows...while we greatly appreciate her effort, this was the result...
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In the afternoon we ate lunch at Bo De B, a delicious sandwich shop (thank you Blake and Gary) and did some more exploring around Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. We didn't mention it but we went to the Mercat St. Josep La Boquerie on Tuesday. It's a huge outdoor market off of Las Ramblas where they have fresh fruit and cheese as well as fish and different meats (mostly raw, some of which we didn't want to see, like the goat heads). The fruit and candy displays were so colorful and pretty though.
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After being sick we were still craving something slightly American so we went to George Payne's Irish Pub for burgers. Not only did we get burgers, but we ordered the "American Burger," which came with ranch and guacamole. It was just what we needed and we felt right at home. We also tried Irish apple cider, which we both loved!

It was originally supposed to rain all day and I was bummed because I thought we spent our last nice day in Barcelona sick, but it ended up being a beautiful sunny last day!

Some friends of ours that were also in Barcelona met us at George Payne's and convinced us to go out since it was our last night and we hadn't gotten to do much. I also really wanted to go to Razzmatazz since Blake and Gary have been raving about it for almost a year. We had a great time and got home about 3 am. Our train was supposed to be at 7am. It didn't happen. We caught the 8:45 train instead, which meant we would only have 9 minutes to transfer trains in Cerbére (our first of three transfers to get to Nice). When we got to Cerbére we actually only had 4 minutes to transfer and had to run up the stairs to the other platform, which is not easy with a 40 pound backpack, and barely made it on the train. But once again, we made it so it was definitely worth the extra hour of sleep. We did have a mini crisis when Grace realized she left her rain jacket at the hotel, but they are hopefully mailing it to us in Cinque Terre.

We've realized that with a little bit of faith we can overcome almost anything...from food poisoning to forgotten rail passes and forgotten jackets to almost missing our train. We are still on our way to Nice but I have no doubt we will make it there.
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Posted by cgeurope2013 02:09 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona Comments (0)

Bike Tour in Barcelona

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We started our second day in Barcelona off with the fat tire bike tour. We met at Placa de St. Jaume, the city center of old town Barcelona. The next stop was Placa del Rei, the courtyard of the royal palace where Ferdinand and Isabella received Columbus on his return from the new world. We then went to Barcelona's Cathedral, which holds the tomb of Saint Eulália, a 13 year old girl who was tortured and died for her faith. We also saw the Arc de Triomf, it was originally proposed that the Eiffel Tower be built where the arch is but the people of Barcelona hated the design so they decided to build the arch instead. We also saw Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, which we plan to go back to so that we can see the inside.

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Afterwards we went to lunch at a place that will from here on be known as the place that should not be named. Then we took a siesta and went shopping. We found a ton of really cute stores, Oliver being our favorite. Then we started not feeling so hot. I will spare you the details but Casey and I ended up getting food poisoning. So we haven't done much since the bike tour.

We did manage to go see the magic fountains tonight though! It was about a 30 min show with the fountains coordinated with the music. It was very nice to get out of our hotel room.

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Hopefully we can make up for lost time tomorrow. Until then!

Posted by cgeurope2013 15:32 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona Comments (3)

Lessons Learned

Some Things You Have to Learn the Hard Way

Lesson number 1.
Bring your rail pass. The end.

I thought I was fully prepared for this adventure. I was wrong. I have everything from walking friendly shoes to a neon link neck pillow to a mini spray bottle of Lysol. If only the little emergency kit I got from Francesca's had my rail pass in it then I would have been golden. But no. Not only did I forget my $600 rail pass, but I forgot it in college station. It is literally the most important thing I should have brought second only to my passport (which I also have a backup hard and digital copy of).

On top of it all I realize it not 15 min into our flight on the way to Philadelphia (if I would have told my mother this before I got to Europe she would probably have flown me back home). I had to buy 30 min of wifi on the plane, which is such a rip off, to be able to desperately convince someone to break into my home, find my pass, and then overnight it. Thank goodness for understanding and patient friends.

Hopefully crisis number one is averted. I should have actually checked the checklist Casey made me. Lesson learned.

Lesson Number Two.
Don't trust the arrival and departure boards. They lie.

We arrived in Philadelphia and checked the boards to find that our flight to Barcelona was 45 minutes late. Naturally we decided to go to our gate and find a wine bar. As we are sauntering to terminal A we see a group of people sprinting by us and Grace comments that its better our flight be late than we be running like those people. Little did we know that would be us an hour later.

We get to terminal A and our flight is still showing to be delayed so we sit down to have a glass of Cabernet and call our families (and try to work out how to overnight Grace's rail pass). At this point I am calmly enjoying my glass of wine and trying to convince myself that it is perfectly safe to be suspended hundreds of thousands of miles over the ocean (Blake and Carly ha) for 8 hours, not worried at all that the boards might be lying. Grace decides to go to the gate and make sure our flight is actually late. Next thing I know she is running up saying that our flight has already boarded and is about to leave us.

Yep, you guessed it...we were those people running through the airport trying not to miss our supposed to be delayed flight. iPad, kindle, and pink zebra neck pillow in hand.

Bad things happen in threes. First, Grace forgot her rail pass. Second, on our flight to Philadelphia we got stuck sitting next to a borderline terrorist (although I'm not sure this counts since he wasn't actually a terrorist). Third, we nearly missed our flight to Barcelona. Hopefully that is the end of our crises.

But don't worry, we made it. Barely. Thank goodness because we did not want to be stuck in Philadelphia for 6 weeks. I guess we've taken the European sense of time to heart a little too quickly, 8 hours too early to be exact. Lesson learned.

Posted by cgeurope2013 08:54 Archived in USA Tagged philadelphia Comments (1)

Barcelona Here We Come!

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Posted by cgeurope2013 09:22 Archived in USA Tagged dallas Comments (0)

The Adventure Begins

Step 1

What is every college student's dream after graduating and before starting the dreaded working world? Two words, backpacking Europe. Personally, I think it's a quarter life crisis decision stemming from wanting to leave college but not being ready to fully accept working full time mixed with the exhilarating idea of complete and utter freedom to follow wherever the wind may blow us. Whatever the reason, Casey and I somehow convinced our parents (who will henceforth be known as dream-makers) to let us backpack through Europe for six full weeks.

Tomorrow we begin our adventure and take our first step towards discovering what the world has to offer. We depart from Dallas tomorrow afternoon, and you can probably guess it will feel like the longest flight of our lives. With all the anticipation and excitement pulsing through our veins there is no way we will get a wink of sleep before we arrive Tuesday morning at 8AM in Barcelona. Hopefully our adrenaline will pull us through those first 36 hours, because if you know Casey or me, you know we've never pulled an all-nighter in school. This may be our first!

Thank you for following and we hope you check in with us again! We will do our best to post information that is not only entertaining, but useful if you are thinking about your own European adventure. We will share the best finds and the biggest fails. And most importantly we will update to keep the dream-makers (remember our parents?!?) from worrying too much.

And so it begins.

Posted by cgeurope2013 21:38 Archived in USA Tagged dallas Comments (3)

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