Category Archives: Spain

Weekend Trip 3: Barcelona, Spain (Part 2)

On Sunday, February 21st, Alex and Rosa took me to see even more places in Barcelona. But first, Alex showed me how to use his espresso machine, as I needed a morning kickstart.

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The elevator in Alex’s apartment building has a Peanut Butter button:

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Alex and Rosa first took me to Parc Guell, a busy tourist attraction full of Gaudi’s imaginative works:

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There was a busker making massive bubbles there too:

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After Parc Guell, Alex drove us to a little restaurant to which he insists on taking anyone who visits him. The food there was delicious! Alex is confident that the patatas bravas (brave potatoes) there are the best, and most genuine, you can find. The ailoli (garlic sauce) was also reeeally tasty.

After stuffing ourselves, we drove up to the castle that overlooks the sea and offers a panoramic view of Barcelona.

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It began to rain after a while, so we headed home to relax.

The next day Alex and Rosa both had to work, so I adventured around town solo. I walked and walked and walked, and somewhere in all that walking I had a look around la Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s most famous building which is still under construction nearly a century after it began, and is scheduled for completion in about three decades:

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After writing a few postcards in a park, I met up with Alex for lunch. He ordered a bunch of different local foods for me, all of which were delicious. One of the neat dishes was a bunch of little grilled red peppers. Some are hot, most are not. I didn’t believe him when he said that, until about the 10th pepper which had a solid kick to it.

After lunch, I wandered a little more around town then caught the train to the airport, flew back to London, arrived home in Leyton nice and late at night, and went to sleep.

Weekend Trip 3: Barcelona, Spain (Part 1)

On February 19th, I began my third weekend trip out of London in a row. This time I caught a flight to Barcelona, my first visit to Spain, to see my friend Alex who I had not seen since 2005 when we lived in the same residence at Otago University in New Zealand.

On the train from the airport into town, a picturesque home that could easily have been in the middle of nowhere in the countryside:

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Alex met me at the metro station and we headed to his apartment, where I met his girlfriend Rosa and got to see some photos from our days in New Zealand, back when Alex had long hair:

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That night we went to a going away party for one of Alex’s friends, which was really nice, then a had a good night’s sleep. On Saturday morning we got up and headed out to look around town.

Before we headed out, however, we had to have a drink. No, it’s not vodka – Alex keeps filtered water in a Swedish vodka bottle. Luckily there was no vodka beside the water, so I never accidentally poured myself a glass of vodka in the morning.

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A few random photos taken around Barcelona:

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The graffiti says “Don’t believe anything”

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We walked a whole lot in and around the old town, admiring fancy old buildings and taking photos. Alex and Rosa explained a lot about Barcelona to me, so it was a very educational experience.

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Neat gargoyle:

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Flags of Catalunya, Spain, and Barcelona:

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Inside an old church:

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More old town:

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Inside the cathedral:

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I was really impressed by the underground parkades in Barcelona, which have little infrared sensors that activate lights above the parking spots so you can see from a distance whether there’s an empty space (red light = occupied, green = vacant).

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Of course, as a tourist in Barcelona it’s impossible to completely ignore Gaudi’s legacy. He designed some pretty nifty buildings in downtown Barcelona:

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Before we headed home for supper, the three of us checked out a department store for a couple things, and of course Alex decided to play with the puppets:

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That night we went out to celebrate the birthday of one of Alex’s friends, and then another good night’s sleep at his rooftop apartment in preparation for an active Sunday.