Well, I’ve officially made it! Spain. Ever since I was little, and laid eyes on a picture of Gaudi’s unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral, I’ve wanted to travel to Spain. I imagined smoky cafes brimming with savvy tourists and robust Spanish locals bantering back and forth about football scores while sipping away at steaming cups of mezcla. So far, even with a few hiccups, the city itself has presented itself in all its splendor, and I’ve been officially seduced. But first, the hiccups.
The journey from the airport was interesting. There was only one working ATM in the entire airport, because we landed without a stitch of local currency, we fell victim to a never-ending parade of tourists whose lack of Spanish made a regular withdrawal transaction take about ten times as long as it needed to. So just as a quick side note, consider having a handful of Euros in your pocket for when you arrive. Unfortunately, we touched down on a Sunday, which mean that the airport bus that shuttles travellers back and forth to the city centre was in fact not in service. Hmmm. So we opted for the €7 train ride, being the budget-conscious travellers that we are, and it was a blistering thirty minute wait. Thirty minutes may seem rather quick, but in contrast with the airport transportation options in Asia, it’s significant.
After being a little lost in translation, trying to figure out the underground routes and such, we finally arrived at our hotel nearly three hours after leaving the airport. Again, this may seem like very little time, but when we’re talking about a journey that should take no longer than an hour and a bit, we realized that taking a taxi would have been the more efficient route. Lesson learned.
We dropped everything at the hotel, freshened up, and headed back out in search of a decent snack. Restaurants don’t really open until 9pm so we thought we’d sneak in a bit of sight seeing while the sun was still up. Fortunately, our hotel is strategically located in the Gothic district of Barcelona, and if I peek out my window, I have a view of the steeple of Barcelona Cathedral, a cathedral that dates back to the 13th century. It was the first Gothic building I laid eyes on here in Spain, and whilst squealing like a young child, I nearly tripped over myself as I craned my neck to see the famed gargoyles perched dutifully on the ledges. You know that feeling when a photograph of a place or thing you’ve been dreaming of finally comes to life? It’s almost indescribable, isn’t it? That’s sort of how Barcelona is feeling for me at the moment. Everywhere I looked, my mouth was agape with awe and wonder. It’s only day one, it’s late, and I have an entire city to explore over the next few days, so Buenos Noches!