Dec 07, 2011

From Rome, it was a quick hour and a half flight over to Barcelona, and a 45 minute bus ride into town. Barcelona was strikingly different after being in the craziness of Rome. The city was much more modern and refined, with smoothly paved streets with central biking lanes. Everyone as a whole looked much more fit and the city seemed to be well taken care of. 

Public transportation was great once again, so we were able to get to everything relatively easily. Our first stop was La Sagrada Familia, which is pretty much indescribable. Rising out of the ground like a kid’s mud castle at the beach, it takes on organic forms and almost looks like it is alive. Inside, the support pillars look like trees branching off into space to hold the ceiling up, and the stained glass bathes everything in warm orange, red and lime green light. 

Here is a video I took immediately after walking inside:

Make sure to watch the video in HD!


We ate lots of tapas, and even sampled a slight bit of Barcelona’s famous nightlife. Going out with a group from the hostel one night, going to a club called Shoko, which was directly on the beach. After fist pumping for hours, we called it an early night…and got home around 4 in the morning. Here’s a terrible video sample from inside the club (might want to turn down your speakers first):



Clockwise from left: 
1. The entrance to Sant Jordi Diagonal Hostel in Barcelona.  
2. Our tiny room in the hostel, complete with bunk beds. 3. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, not so magic for our visit, with the Torres Venecianes towers in the background.



Clockwise from left: 

1. Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, which began construction in 1882 and is slated for completion in 2026. 2. Ashleigh posing at the gates of La Sagrada Familia. 3. The Parroquia de Sant Francesc de Sales on Passeig Sant Joan.



Clockwise from left: 

1. Entrance to La Sagrada Familia.  

2. Sunlight spills in the windows at La Sagrada Familia. 



Clockwise from left: 

1. Beautiful colored light through the stained glass windows at La Sagrada Familia.  

2. Looking up inside La Sagrada Familia. 3. Patterns of light through stained glass windows at La Sagrada Familia.



Clockwise from left: 

1. A wide view of the interior of La Sagrada Familia, lit only by natural light.  

2. Shafts of light appear through the particles kicked up by the ongoing construction.



Organic figures compose the ceiling of La Sagrada Familia.


Clockwise from left: 

1. Sharp contrast of light at La Sagrada Familia.  

2. The spiral staircase down from the tower, mimicking nature. 3. Repeating patterns and levels.



Clockwise from left: 

1. Spires rise into the sun at La Sagrada Familia.  

2. A strangely Gothic looking spire at La Sagrada Familia.

Wide view of Park Güell with Barcelona sprawling below.




Clockwise from left: 

1. Colorful spire at Park Güell with Barcelona behind.  2. Torre Agbar, a 38 story building designed by Jean Nouvel and first opened in 2005. 4,500 LED’s built into the building’s surface allow for the amoebic color display at night.



The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, or La Boqueria for short, off the bustling La Rambla. The first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. The market, as it sits today, was completed in 1914.


Clockwise from left: 

1 & 2. All different colors, shapes and sizes of candy at La Boqueria. 3. Pistachios and macadamia nuts at La Boqueria. 



Clockwise from left: 

1. Peppercorns of many different colors at La Boqueria 2. La Boqueria is home to many exotic cuts of meat, including Lengua (cow tongue) and Riñones (kidneys). 3. Silvery anchovies for sale at La Boqueria.



Clockwise from left: 

1 Aguas Frescas at La Boqueria – Ashleigh had raspberry and coconut and I had strawberry and coconut! 2. Ashleigh selects chocolates to eat while walking in La Boqueria. 3. A storefront owner rings up Ashleigh’s chocolates at La Boqueria.



Clockwise from left: 

1. Colorful markers at Park Güell.  

2. Lone house perched on the hillside at Park Güell. 3. Entrance to Park Güell.


Clockwise from top: 

1. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. 2. Ashleigh posing at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, which wasn’t so magical when we visited, with the Torres Venecianes in the background.



After our few days in Barcelona, it was back “home” to Paris, where we would spend a day and a half with family before getting on the plane for the long flight home. 

Here are a few videos on the TGV high-speed train, which tops out over 200mph!

Make sure to watch the videos in HD!