Me in front of Casa Batllo - about a block from the hostel
Today was my last day in Barcelona, so I got up in time for a Gaudi walking tour. We saw some amazing stuff by Gaudi--his first ever job, designing a lamppost (that has a suspiciously similarity to the Snitch in Harry Potter), Casa Batllo, Casa somethingelse (where 2 floors are still apartments that will run you a paltry 25,000 Euros a month), Palau Guell, etc.
The one with expensive apartments--I would die to get a look inside!
Gaudi's first-ever job: creator of the Snitch for JK Rowling
Turns out this was the biggest group they've ever had (62 people!) so it was a little hard to hear. Combine that with having to take the subway twice and naturally, I lost the group during a bathroom/coffee break at Starbucks. I met up with them again at la sagrada familia though, just in time for the end of the tour. Good thing it was free! A bunch of us decided to grab some food after that, so we set off in search for non-touristy tapas.
The offerings from lunch... We finally found a place with no English or photos on the sign outside, which we took as a positive. Once inside we discovered there were no menus--great! How much more authentic can you get? Turns out not speaking Spanish was a bit of a problem, because our order got lost in translation and we ended up with 5 of the worst steak frites I've ever seen in my life. Mine was actually beef jerky. Luckily, the entire debacle only cost us 7 euros each (including drinks) so we cut our losses and made plans to meet up for better tapas at dinner.
Barcelona from the top of Parc Guell!
In the afternoon, I made the trip up to Parc Guell for more Gaudi and views of the city skyline.
Me in the Parc Guell
Two things worth mentioning: A) it is a HIKE and a half to get up to the top of the hill!
B) I don't understand why 'gaudy' means cheap. If I'm correct in assuming it gets its namesake from the Spanish artist whom I've fallen in love with, there is nothing cheap about his work--today he would be one of the highest paid designers ever! Just a random musing, courtesy of yours truly (and if the two aren't related, well, you're welcome--you've just encountered your blonde moment of the day).
More Gaudi creations in the Parc
I met up with the guys from California (apparently Sacramento is now on my to-do list!) at the hostel for some drinks before dinner. Turns out there was a Tripping event at the rooftop bar that night, so it was a great chance to meet some locals and enjoy some free drinks. The atmosphere was great: sunset over the Barcelona skyline, with Casa Batllo and La Sagrada Familia both clearly visible from the roof.
I invited a fellow blogger on a whim when I noticed he was in Barcelona at the same time as me, and we had some fascinating conversations (he has seen John Mayer in his famous Borat bathing suit, and he's currently traveling the world for 9 months on $418. Impressive. He runs nerdfitness.com so check it out if you have a sec!)
We finally made our way to Tapas 24 (again for me, but it was so good, and the boys needed a lesson in proper Spanish cuisine after the debacle that was lunch!). It was a long wait but totally worth it. We had several of the same things, plus mussels, black paella (that was a new one), and a ham and cheese bikini (spanish for sandwich i guess? It was way better than it sounds).
After that we met up with some girls who are working here in Barcelona as au pairs, and we sat in the Plaza Real, talking and drinking beers that sketchy guys come up to you and sell for one euro each. seems shady but everyone does it, so I guess it's acceptable here.
We decided to go dancing and ended up in this Jazz club that turns into 80s night after a certain time (random?). It was a lot of fun, although I really should not have stayed out til 6:30 am the night before I have a 15 hour travel day--in my defense, I didn't know it would be that long! But I had to do my last night in Barcelona justice. The sleepless night was worth the memories made...cheesy but true! Adios, Barcelona, I'll miss you!