Our adventure to Barcelona began on Wednesday evening. James McLaurin arrived at Aix en Provence to meet up with Andrew, Billy and I, and after dinner and a drink or two at the local pub, it was decided that a road trip to Barcelona was the only logical thing to do.
We woke up on Thursday morning and without too much thought or planning, we hit the road. Andrew and James were quite determined to visit the Pont du Gard on the way, which is an old Roman Aqueduct. You can swim under the bridge, at your own risk, of course, but unfortunately the water was a little too cold (and dirty) for that. After a little picnic, we continued the journey to Spain.
We arrived in Barcelona and parked the car around 9pm, we put on our backpacks and started looking for somewhere to sleep. Billy had tried calling a hostel to book earlier in the morning, but decided it would be fine to just wing it and see what we could get when we got to Spain. We were looking for a specific hostel in the suburb of Barceloneta and after some random wandering and Billy asking for several directions (the man can speak fluent Spanish), we located the hostel we had in mind. Full. The Spaniard who answered the door informed us that it was likely that every hostel in town was booked and wished us luck. With that in mind, Billy, who had been leading the charge, went from being easy going and carefree to a stress-head virtually immediately (he understood the gravity of the situation more than I and didn’t fancy sleeping on the street, as you can imagine). James, being the pessimist of the group, admitted to hoping things would go wrong, as this is allegedly the hall mark of a successful road trip.
We found an internet cafe nearby and set to work googling and calling youth hostels, almost anywhere. Andrew and I were conspiring, if it came down to it, an expensive hotel would’ve sufficed for the two of us, sneaking James and Billy in later to sleep on the floor… With a bit of luck, it didn’t come to that and we caught two metro trains to an outer suburb to a hostel that had room for the four of us, just for that night. The average tapas we ate for dinner that night tasted so sweet. We had beds!
The next morning we had almost the same problem; where to sleep tonight?! With some more google searching, an attempt to book on Air BnB and some stress, we found a cancellation in another part of town and ran down to take advantage of the situation. It was perfect! A four person room, beautiful hostel and right near the Sagrada Familia, the church designed by Gaudi. We could breathe.
After some more talk about poo or something (3 boys and a girl on a road trip, of course they were talking about poo), we headed out to look around the city. The unfinished work of Gaudi’s cathedral is just amazing! They are still working on it today, and the place is just crazy! Mr Gaudi was one strange guy. His architecture (not that I know much about that at all), is insane. It is unlike anything I have seen before. I cannot help but wonder how he became so popular. Particularly back in his day, I imagine his creations would have been rather outrageous; there appeared to be fruit built into the roof!! Fascinating. We explored the old gothic part of the city, saw some more Gaudi architecture in a park he had designed (there is a gift shop inside one of his houses and on the inside, it is really quite lovely! Wonderfully comfortable!) had some cheap beers, met some new people, caught the Telefèric de Montjuïc (cable car) to the top of a Spanish castle, watched the final of the champions league and ate some delicious food (James ordered a cappuccino that came out with liquor in it and hundreds and thousands on top! Haha!).
It has been quite the adventure this weekend, and right now we are sitting in Billy’s car on the side of the motorway. We somehow managed to run out of petrol (HAHAHAHA!!) and Billy has had to hitchhike to a service station to get some more juice to keep us going. A pretty young girl picked him up a little while ago and Andrew is now wondering if they have fallen in love and if he’ll be asked to be best man at their wedding as a consequence of being here when they met.
Viva la España!