Thursday afternoon Nick and I arrived to Barcelona where we met up with Stefano and Dana, two good friends from the study abroad in Delft – I’m happy to report that they are doing well and that some things, such as the camaraderie between good friends, never change.
Our two days in Barcelona were packed with activities, and left Nick and I wishing we had more time to enjoy the city. On Thursday, Stefano took us on an nice introductory tour with a stop at the huge Cathedral followed by a local bar for drinks, a tour of his apartment, an excellent restaurant for tapas, and a very good local flamenco show. Stefano’s reaction to the surprise gift of Speck from the Venice airport deli at the end of the night was exactly what I was hoping for.
Friday brought Dana, Nick, and I through the very touristy area of Las Ramblas to the Palau Güell, an impressive building architected by Antoni Gaudí. After that was a stop at Café Viena for the purported best sandwich in the world, and although good, I have to say that the Venice airport deli sandwiches were better. Also intermixed in the day were stops at the local and colorful markets of Santa Caterina and La Boqueria and the clothes store Zara, where I bought my new favorite shirt.
After all this, we attempted to visit Barcelona’s newest cathedral, Sagrada Família. Construction began in 1882, and it’s still under construction. Although very impressive on the outside, we unfortunately weren’t able to go inside due to a private, invitation only concert.
Stefano then met up with us and took us out for a local and enjoyable evening with sandwiches, tapas, and drinks at a number of his favorite spots. Nick and I ended the night early at our centrally located Airbnb apartment in Barcelona at 1:30am – we still needed to find accommodation for Saturday night in France; Act III was about to begin in a few hours…