Barcelona First Impressions

I was happy to be leaving Italy.  As you might have guessed from my previous posts, it was not my favorite country.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty awesome compared to what I was doing with my life just two months ago.  But Italy and I didn’t have any chemistry.  Every country can’t be my favorite, somebody has to be at the bottom of the list.

With that in mind, I was really looking forward to visiting Spain.  I opted to fly from Rome to Barcelona because it was both cheaper and faster than taking a train.  I got a reasonable price on a low cost airline called Vueling.  I got their flex ticket which gave me a seat in the front row with no one sitting next to me.  It also included 1 checked bag.  I’m surprised how many of these low cost airlines only allow cabin bags or sometimes no bags at all as their base fares.

The guide book I was using made it seem like getting to my hotel from the Barcelona airport was going to be a pain by public transport.  I took a cab that cost me about $35, but was fast and low hassle.  If they weren’t so expensive I’d take them a lot more, but the costs add up.

My hotel was once again in a prime location, a few steps from Passeig de Gràcia, one of the main Boulevard’s in Barcelona.  It’s home to shopping, restaurants, bars, and a few tourist sights.

When I open the door to my hotel room I see a chilled bottle of bubbly is waiting for me, courtesy of the manager.  I’m thinking I must have overpaid for the room.

I get settled in and head out for a little afternoon walk.  It’s warm, the sky is overcast and it looks like it may rain.

It is a short walk down Passeig de Gracia before you encounter Plaça de Catalunya.  This is the main square in the heart of Barcelona, where people seem to gather to look at pigeons.

I cross the street and continue my walk down La Rambla, a lovely tree lined walking street that goes all the way to the ocean.

It is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it, but there is a fountain near the start of the path.  It is said if you drink from the fountain you will return to Barcelona one day.  I didn’t give it a try, but there were a few people queuing up to take a swig.

About halfway down there is a mosaic from a famous Barcelona artist, Joan Miro, who I wrongfully assumed was a woman.  He was not.

You’ve reached the end of the mile long La Rambla when you see a statue of Christoper Columbus and smell the salty ocean air.

I continue my walk around the harbor, which is home to some amazing mega yachts.

I grab some lunch, check out my new car, and explore the Marina a little more.

I end the day by doing a little laundry.  I must say, Spain has the coolest and easiest to use laundry so far.  You don’t even need to add soap, it is all done in the machine for you.  It was so easy to use I thought I was doing something wrong.

You know you’ve been traveling for a while when a nice laundromat gets you excited.

I’m already digging Barcelona, it seems like a really cool city.  Coming up, I explore the Gothic Quarter, get my first look at Gaudi architecture, and brave the National Day of Catalonia.


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