Right before I was in America, I was in Barcelona.
When I was buying my plane tickets back to the USA when they were cheap(er), in January, I had to decide where to fly from. Paris was the obvious choice, because I’d be in France still. But then, it occurred to me that I’d actually be closer to a brand new country! And that’s how I ended up making my last stop España.
I saved myself two and a half days to explore the capital of Catalunya: Barcelona. All I’d heard about it before leaving was that the food was great (tapas) and the nightlife was crazy. These both proved to be true, although I made more time for the tapas than for the clubs. I’m gettin’ old.
I was also excited because it was my first real solo travel, which had been a goal of mine all year. All the other times I traveled alone, I’d been meeting people. This time, I was going in planning on having a lot of forced me-time.
That turned out to almost totally not happen. When you travel alone, it’s way easier to make friends, so make friends I did! The first night at the hostel, I started talking to a girl at the dinner table. I asked, “where are you from?” She said, “the Seattle area.” I said, “me too!!” and both of us were shocked for a moment. Neither of us had met many (any?) west coasters/Seattleites in our adventures. It is a loooong way to come. We were instant tapas friends. Our days were spent wandering the city in search of sangria and pretty views. We did a 3 hour walking tour on the first day.
Our tour guide, Colin, and our first stop:
Roman graves, uncovered when the river dried up:
The dulcimer lady in front of the church:
It was HOT! And then I saw a popsicle. You can guess what happened next.
Apparently the most important sight to see in Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous creation. It was indeed jaw-dropping, unlike anything I’ve seen before.
All of the lights!
And then, on my last day, we found tapas and our Colombian friend ordered us a pitcher of sangria. We drank it all.
Barca was a great last stop. It put me back into the travel mentality, for at least three days, and it re-energized my spirit of adventure. However, after three nights of hostel sleeping, the weirdest shower of my life, and having to lug two giant suitcases into and out of Barcelona, I was ready to make my way back to Seattle.
And, obviously, I made it! I solemnly swear that I will continue to adventure. I’ll just be a little closer to home.