Monday, September 16, 2013

Barcelona Day 1 Part 1...or where we ate potatoes

The plane
The plane without the moon

Disclaimer: I took approximately 5 million pictures in Europe and am feeling really stressed out about narrowing them down to a suitable number for this blog. I feel really attached to my pictures. As I was going through Europe, I narrowed them down so I would have room on my memory cards, but even that was difficult. I would delete one of two pictures that look exactly the same, thinking "But what if the one I'm deleting is better than the other and I can't tell because it's so small?!" Or "What if it looks really cool when it's big!!??" Hopefully that didn't happen. I did end up with a few blurry pictures that looked perfect on tiny camera screen.

So, here is my attempt to narrow them down...For now I will write a blog per every half day. Since I was in Europe for 28 days, that means 56 blogs...mildly overwhelming. I'm hoping I'll get tired of writing blogs and just get better at deleting pictures. But for now, Barcelona Part 1!

The Clouds left a day before us, then Adrienne and I headed out bright and early on the 7AM flight to NYC, then flew to Barcelona. Mom and Dad drove us to the airport. Mom pouted. Minerva, who had been extremely clingy the night before, reacted for the next several days by wandering around the house meowing and searching for us.

The flight to NYC was uneventful. The plane was old so the seats were extremely uncomfortable, but we managed to survive. I slept briefly, but woke up after I drooled in my hair. I did not sleep after that.

We then had what was supposed to be a short layover at JFK. However, a storm rolled in and they delayed the flight for 2 hours. And by a storm, I mean the skies were blue and completely clear. No storm in sight. Strike 1 JFK. Strike 2 was the missed take off slot, which meant that we taxied on the ground for over an hour. At one point I fell asleep and woke up and thought, "I wonder where we are now. I've been asleep for a long time!" I looked out the window.

The Neighborhood
We were still on the ground. How annoying. Strike 3 was before the flight back to Seattle, but that will be in blog 500. We finally took off and made it to Barcelona just a couple hours late. At one point, Adrienne woke me up because I was sleeping with my head completely laid down on my shoulder, so she realized I'd wake up and be unhappy and my neck would hurt. I did not sleep much on the plane again, but at least I didn't drool in my hair.

The Neighborhood
As a worrier, we landed and I was concerned that we'd never find Allison and Anna in Barcelona. We called our hostel after wandering around trying to find a payphone, let them know we were coming, the headed on the train into the city, worrying away that Allison and Anna would be wandering the streets worried about us. The WIFI in the airport didn't work, so I was stressing because I couldn't contact them. Adrienne was fine.

Anddddd the neighborhood
We arrived at the hostel and Allison and Anna were there! No need to worry. I transferred my nerves over to pickpockets, which was also an unnecessary worry. Well, an unnecessary worry for me, Allison and Anna, the experienced travelers. And Adrienne who has the glare of death and no one will approach her.

Jose, our extremely nice and helpful and handsome owner helped us orient ourselves in the city and gave us maps and various other links to things that were quite helpful!

The neighborhood our hostel was located in was amazingly cute and so Spanish looking. It wasn't touristy at all, which was awesome. Even our hostel was small, so there weren't many tourists there, which was so nice.

Barcelona Graffiti- Much cooler than normal graffiti

More of the neighborhood
The church in the neighborhood.

We decided to get lunch, since Adrienne and I hadn't eaten much in the last 24 hours.

We decided to stop at a restaurant, which had all Spanish food (obviously) but no English translation.

We each picked a couple dishes andddd....

Ended up with an entire meal of only potatoes. There was no meat or other vegetable in sight.

It was hilarious. And rather ridiculous. But hilarious.

After our potatoes, we headed to the Sagrada Familia, which was amazing. It was designed by Gaudi and, as you can see in the picture, is still being built. Construction started in 1883 and it will be finished in 2026, which means I must go back to Barcelona in 13 years. Darn.

It was primarily designed by Gaudi, but other architects and artists continued to build and design in his honor, since he died before completely finishing the design.

Everything we'd heard about the Sagrada Familia was always about how long the line was to get into the church. An hour or even two hours to get inside,

The line took 20 minutes. Luckily we didn't spend extra on a ticket to skip the line!

The outside of the church looks like a cactus and has interesting things hidden throughout the outside of the church.

There was a crown.
Some snakes on the outside of the building.

And dragons.

There was a square Jesus.

If you look to the left of the centerpiece, there are what appear to be the knights from the chessboard of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Also, to the left is mini-Jesus carrying the cross next to said knights.

And another Jesus holding something, with the text of the Gospels of Matthew and John on the doors and wall behind him.
The numbers on that tiny square add up to 33, the age of Jesus when he died.
There was an interesting floor with a cartoon Jerusalem.
The inside of the church had lots of multicolored columns and an interesting ceiling.

I love the ceiling. Really I do.
As you can see, the stained glass isn't finished in a lot of the windows. They're still working on large parts of the church.

It was really interesting to see a cathedral, that's huge, yet is still under construction. You can kind of witness the construction of a cathedral, which is practically as famous as the others.

It is a bit stranger than the other cathedrals though.
This has a verse from the Bible in a huge number of languages.

There was a cartoon lion on one of the pillars.

Some angels next to stained glass.
A cool looking organ.

A woman took our picture, but failed to get the background into the picture...
Oh, there's the background!
Here's the facade on the opposite side from the entran
Here's a turtle.
Someone playing the violin.
And a flute.
There's the facade with the cacti in the background.
Adrienne and Anna with the turtle.
Allison and I with the turtle.

Here's a freaky gladiator head, supposedly meant to be the head of Gaudi.
This is the room where they build the various parts of the cathedral.

Reminds me of the Sistine Chapel.
 There's a tiny person, for an unknown reason.

And a nose.

Actually, one nose and some lips and then another half nose and half lips.
This is the school on the grounds of the church, with the Sagrada Familia reflected in the window.

Various types of fruit on the outside of the church.

The school again
And that concludes Barcelona Day 1: Traveling, Lunch and Our First Location. Next Up: Gaudi's Casa Mila, the Picasso Museum and a walk through a main shopping area. Don't worry, that will be in one blog!


  1. I honestly don't remember pouting. Is that because you were going, or because I wasn't?

  2. Because we were leaving you. So probably both

  3. love your blog and your comments...forgot about all the items on the bujilding. i want to share this with my family. thanks for doing this. miss u

  4. love it it said that it is Chillardo but in fact it is Dhillardo