Friday, January 18, 2013

Spain - Day 5

On our second full day in Barcelona, we woke up with the sun shining through the window.  Every single day in Barcelona, we were welcomed by the most beautiful sunny weather.  We had some great plans for the day.  We started things off with breakfast near our first destination of the day, Casa Batllo.  We found this great looking cafe right across the street from Casa Batllo.  We sat in the corner at the window, staring at the commotion outside as we sipped our cafe con leche and fresh squeezed orange juice, and munched on some fresh baguettes.

Once breakfast was done, we headed across the street to Casa Batllo.  This house was also designed by Antoni Gaudi (the Sagrada Familia) and was incredible.  We took a tour of the house, which included guided headsets that we could listen to as we wandered through all of the rooms.  Each room was so unique and detailed and the roof was just awesome.  During our time in Barcelona, I really grew to truly love Gaudi's work and his philosophy behind how he comes up with his designs.  His inspiration comes solely from the outdoors and things he loved in nature.  And I just love that. 

We were so inspired when we left Casa Batllo and decided that we are going to have to do a little redesigning of our home at some point to reflect some of his work.  So cool.  Casa Batllo wasn't the only Gaudi architecture we were going to be seeing that day.  Our afternoon plans had us heading to Parc Guell.  But first, lunch!  We were hungry when we left Casa Batllo, but figured we'd head up to the area of Parc Guell and hopefully find something to eat along the way.  We came across the cutest little cafe (I swear, I use this description for every cafe that we ate at, but they were all so cute!) right outside of Parc Guell.  We ordered a couple baguette sandwiches (I know, so many!) and grabbed a couple oranges from a little shop and were on our way.

We must have entered Parc Guell at a back entrance at the top of the mountain or something because we climbed a pretty steep hill before we went in.  We ate our little lunch sitting on a ledge on the side of a path in the park, looking down at the main entrance where the (gingerbread looking) houses were.  We wandered the paths and ended up staring out at some pretty incredible views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea.  I will never forget that moment when we climbed a little higher on a dirt path and literally felt like we were on top of the world.  It was amazing.  We spent a while on top of that mountain just taking in the beautiful view and that 'omg' moment that 'We're in Spain!'  We eventually winded down the paths to the lower part of the park and marveled at Gaudi's unique architecture of the two houses that lined the entrance.  They looked like they belonged in a make-believe world.  So cool.  We continued through the park, making sure to check out all the awesome sights, from the huge pillars to the diagonal rock formations to the tiled balcony that overlooks everything (and we even saw a few wild parrots!).  Everything was so different compared to the parks we've been to in the States.  It was such an awesome experience.

After spending most of the afternoon roaming around Parc Guell, we were starting to get a bit tired.  But there was another park nearby that we really wanted to check out: Parc de la Creueta del Coll.  We made our way out the back of Parc Guell and through some true Spanish neighborhoods and found ourselves at the park.  This park was much smaller than Parc Guell, but still had some really cool structures.  The view from the top wasn't half bad either!

The sun was starting to set, so we decided to head back towards the area of our hotel.  Instead of going straight back to our hotel, we took the metro to Port Olimpic, a marina located right on the Mediterranean Sea.  This little area was completely recreated when the Olympics came to town in 1992.  There were tons of cool structures and features that remained from the Olympic games.  We just wandered around, looking at everything, and even took a little stroll on the beach, even though it was pretty dark out.

On our way back to our hotel, we wanted to grab a fresh baguette to munch on before we went out to dinner later that night.  But somehow instead of a baguette, we ended up finding a super old-time churro shop and just couldn't pass up that smell.  We got a bag full of churros covered in sugar and ate them as we strolled back to our hotel.  These churros were probably the best treat I've ever eaten in my entire life.  :)

We made it back to our hotel room, rested our feet for a bit, then were ready to head back out for dinner!  We decided to stay in the area of our hotel (Gothic Quarter) for dinner and ended up at Sensi Tapas.  We loved this place!  The atmosphere was so warm and the owner was so sweet.  And to top it off, the food was incredible.  Perfect place for our last night in Barcelona.

After dinner, we walked home a little slower than usual, just taking everything in and chitchatting about our delicious meal.  We made it back to our hotel room and passed right out.  Such a happy exhausted.

We had to rest up well that night because the next day, we'd be traveling on to our next adventure: New Years Eve in Madrid!


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