Barcelona has been many things... But most of all a great laugh and a great time :o) i'm writing this entry with intentions of definitely coming back!
When first arriving in Barcelona we rocked up at the trainstation and was completely confused with how to buy a ticket here! Thankgod some other bloke saw us struggling and helped us as he'd already just gone through the same thing. The underground was supprisingly very good, which for some reason i wasn't expecting in spain. All carrages had blasting air conditioning, which i was very thankful for in spains hot environment. A few stations later around 11 o'clock at night we got off the underground and arrived at our hostel. As soon as we walked to the second or third story of the building (where our hostel was located) a bunch of people were making alot of noise in the loungeroom area
. We introduced ourselves and met another Adelaidian (another person from adelaide, australia - very rare!)... We introduced ourselves to SImon which was 25 and worked at a Harvey Norman outlet about 15 minutes drive from my home. He probably sold me my minidisk i bought yonks back as he works in the electrical area - small world!! There was a few other Aussies, a couple people from England, a few from Canada and a noisey Yank - typical! He seemed harmless though. The lady that works for this hostel is so nice. She was hanging with us all having a few beers and always in with a laugh. I didn't have any beers that night as i was so buggered and i hit the sack shortly after getting to know a few of them... First night in Spain - looking forward to what it brings...
The next morning we slept in nicely and went sight seeing. The day was hot, the sky only had a few white clouds in it, and a great day for walking! First up there was this Guadi building right around the corner from us on the same block. We went and had a bit of a skiz at it. Gaudi is the architech that lived in the early 1900's and designed all these really wierd, warped, interesting shapped buildings. I cant remember the name of this particular one but it looked like it had been carved from a cave or something with curved rock formations waving on the outside. Pretty cool! We then walked down the street a bit to this other Gaudi building, the Casa Mila that we paid to actually go inside and have a look around. We got inside and collected our audio guide. The inside was hollow and you could see right up the middle - building is designed to provide a light well. So inside the building was not quite as speccy as the outside but had some funk to it. We worked our way up to the attick, where you could walk througout and look at demonstrations and examples of all his work
. Then we got to go up on the roof which was really awesome! It went up and down and the path was in this random pattern like, so you could walk in lots of places. The roof had all these random, twisted, warping effect, shape things sticking up off of the top, some were vents, some were just.... i dont know!!! art i guess? haha you'll have to look at the pictures - worth 1000 words :o) To think he designed this back in the 1920's was absolutely amazing... Very ahead of his time! From here we went and explored the city a bit more. The city is very interesting, Barcelona is completely layed out in a grid pattern! Rocked up at some church, couldn't really tell how good it looked as it was completely covered in scafolding and being renovated. **NOTE**: One reason why i'm glad i didn't come in winter - although there will be alot lest tourists, it is the main time where cities will renovate their beautiful historic buildings. However the inside of the church made up for it - quite beautiful. One good thing about churches though, there are always people praying in this ancient marble art works, and as i'm not religious, it gives me a good chance to sit down with my head down and have a bit of a rest/sleep (looks exactly like the others praying) haha! :o) (sorry if this offends anyone...)
After a bit of shut eye we wondered slowly through the streets to La Rambla. This is the most famous streets in Barcelona
. Its apparently the most pick pocketed place in all of Europe! - Hands on pockets here... There are so many souvineir shops here, every single shop owner here seems to be indian or something and hastles the hell out of ya to buy something as you walk buy. No matter how many times you say "no" to his "good offer just for you", they just wont stop. Then you have to go through 3 more guys exactly the same before you exit the store. haha - back home i always used to have trouble ignoring the odd person trying to sell me something... Somehow i dont think i'll have that problem anymore! La Rambla is such a festive street though, it stretches for so long, and has hundreds of buskers! Every single one of the buskers earning every cent they have! I mean they are REALLY creative and definatly entertaining such as a verticle bed which they were standing in but looked like they were laying down (if ya get me), silver guys with a skelaton on a bike, red devil guy that falls into his box everytime someone puts money in his tin + many others! Its so hard not to give everyone of them some euro. Unlike some of the Gypsies shaking their cup in your face for you to put money in. After a while of experiencing this awesome place and its surrounding gothic / medievil backstreets, we trotted off to see Gaudi's infamous church Sagrada Familia, which was on the other side of town, so we had a long walk ahead... We always preffered to walk than catch the underground, as you get to see and experience more of the city. After finally reaching Sagrada Familia which was Guadi's life work we stood in oar of how spectacular it actually was. He planned it for 40 years and was 60 when he started building it. He died a few years later, so its unfinished and his architectual plans are being finished by the publics charity. Although it has quite a while to go and yeah - at the rate its going i wont hold my breath for it in my life time. But he finished the front and the first 4 huge pillar roofs. These are so detailed and are as gothic as you can get. Very contraversal compared to the typical church. However best looking church i've seen :o) Above and around the entrance there are all these wierd dream like sculptures of people and Jesus being crusified. Kinda square blocky type jaggered surfaces. Actually i really like the different look. Another peice of perfection from Gaudi. Once inside, it was all open as it had not had a proper roof installed on it yet. Huge constructions though on the inside. From here we found some pub type of place and had a few Yuros's and then back to the hostel - we've all orgnaised a bit of a card playing party for tonight :o)