Saturday, July 19, 2008

barcelona (first 1/2 of our eurojourney)


Steve and I flew into Madrid on June 16th (Orlando apt. to Newark apt = 3 hours, Newark to Madrid = 6.5 hours, 3+6.5= 9.5 hrs). We check into our hostel, and that night we go on a pub crawl with some Irish kids. Irish kids drink alot, and expect nothing less from whomever they happen to be socializing with. But thats another story. We tried to skate the city the next day, but pretty much just roamed around for about 4 hours and found nothing. Then on the next day we got to the train station to buy tickets for barcelona, only to be confronted by a 2 hour line. But, no worries, we caught one at around 12 ( Madrid to BCN = 4 hrs, 13.5 total).

postin up in the station

When we got to Barcelona, we didnt have a hostel reservation until the next night, so we needed to find something quick. Senta just so happened to still be in town, so we called her up and met her up (not without some difficulty). A friend of hers offered to let us rent out 2 empty bedrooms in his apartment for 1/2 the price of our hostel, so we stayed at his place for 2 and a half weeks. The Pere Pagès Soms Youth Hostel is an awesome apartment right in the center of Barcelona. Just minutes away from the metro and once you're on the train, you can get to anywhere you like. The metro in BCN is relatively cheap compared to everywhere else we went (i think it was 7.40 for 10 passes).

Pere is on the right, lookin like a badass. Jacked this pic from facebook.

Pere and Senta were both awesome tour guides the whole time we were there. The Friday that we got there was the beginning of a 4 day work weekend for the whole city so they can celebrate San Juan. Basically an excuse to throw fireworks, have big bonfires, and go to the beach to have drinks. We were poppin bottles. You can also see the traditionally delicious pastry that everyone eats.

ballon ducks

the view from Pere's bathroom (La Sagrada Familia in the background)

There are skate spots everywhere you look in Barcelona. You wouldn't want to try and skate all of them, but just the fact that they are there is enough. We stuck to the famous spots for the most part, but there's a lot of possibilities. I'm sure the local spots are sick.

this was 4 minutes away from our apartment


Forum is a pretty sweet part of Barcelona. It's basically this big open, empty, cool lookin part of the city right on the beach and a big harbor. It's also got skate spots everywhere. Ledges, the tile quarterpipes, ledges, manny pads, ledges, stairs, and even a few ledges.

There's also a pretty sweet playground at forum.

It has a couple crazy spinning death-trap type things, but the best part is the trampolines that are flush with the ground.

Barcelona also has an awesome Zoo. They have every kind of animal you can think of. There even used to be a white gorilla. It's also really easy to get close and really connect with the animals

they have a seperate section for "special" animals

Steve, Pere, Senta, and I left Barcelona for 2 days with some of Pere's friends and went to a smaller city about an hour away on the coast (1 hour both ways, 15.5 total). It was a very interesting town, with what we later found out is a huge gay community. Lots of sex shops. Not pretty.

The town of Sitges, however, is quite photogenic.

No trip to Barcelona is complete without going to Parc Güell and La Sagrada Família.
The latter is a huge cathedral that has been under construction for the last 150 years. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, who you'll hear alot about if you ever go to barcelona, and was considered to be his life's work. I didn't take too many photos of it because there was construction equipment everywhere. Look it up

Parc Güell was also designed by Gaudí. It lies on the Northern edge of the city up in the mountains, so there are overlooks everywhere and you can see the whole of Barcelona all the way to the beach. Look it up

All in all we spent a little over 2 weeks in Barcelona. I think it's safe to say it was our favorite city of the trip. Good people, good weather, good times.