super happy to travel out of italy! (:
okay disclaimer, don’t kill me (haha), but i have to say that i was really impressed with barce, WAY MORE THAN ITALY. haiz, unfortunately italy has disappointed me in more ways than one, but then again, maybe it’s the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome. but no more griping! barcelona was an amazing place and i can’t wait to share about it! ^^ (i took a super long time to write this post btw, so hopefully everything is still relatively fresh in my mind)
What to see in Barcelona
#1 thing to do when you’re in barce is to watch a flamenco performance! (: it’s where this passionate dance originated from and it is superb! we were really impressed with what we’d seen, and although it was quite expensive for our (poor student) standards, we felt that it was really worth the money. it’s such a fiery, energy-explosive performance, and we were blown away by how they managed to sustain this level of passion for an hour! :O tickets can be bought at http://www.tablaodecarmen.com/. we got the most no-frills option at 39€ which includes one drink of your choice (try a sangria/cava which are typical spanish drinks!).
the flamenco performance is held within the spanish village, Pablo Espanyol which is another interesting place to visit, if only for the experience of seeing what a traditional spanish setting is like! (: there is normally a fee for the entrance, but this is included in the price if you’ve got a ticket for the flamenco performance and you can enter the village up to one hour before the performance to walk around and explore. you can stay for as long as you want after the show of course, but it’s probably a good idea to come early so that some shops are still open and you can pop in to take a look.
near the spanish village is one of my favourite places in barcelona! :’) doesn’t it look gorgeous??!! we walked past the palace at Monjuic in the daytime initially and it was really pretty already! and on the way back from our show at pablo espanyol, we saw the beautiful place all lit up with the fountains and all! ^^ there was even a fountain show at the Magic Fountain (below), i think it starts around 7/8pm (: it’s amazing!!! you’ve got to catch it :)
ohoh! i forgot!! actually my ultimate fav place in barcelona was the La Boqueria market!!!! :) it’s my favourite market that i’ve seen in Europe so far. and i’ve been to quite a number so far. arghhhh regret that i didn’t buy more of my nuts while i was there!!! :( dangggg. haha wanna teleport myself back there! the market there is super huge, colourful and very very affordable! :) you can get fruit juice for as low as 1€ there (walk all the way in and you’ll find a stall with the widest variety of juices ever at this price!), nuts (at the cheapest price i’ve found so far!!), and all sorts of food! there are places to eat inside the market, kinda like japanese teppanyaki style where you sit at a bartop and the chef will whip up your dish in front of you. i heard that Pinotxo Bar is good although i didn’t get to try it. the market is along the La Rambla street which is a rather tourist-y area, but nice to walk and look around!
Barcelona’s most famous attractions include the works of Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan architect. La Sagrada Familia is the top-rated attraction on tripadvisor, and is a giant temple designed by Gaudi, which has yet to be completed and is not expected to be completed for the next 30 years. one thing i realised about Barcelona’s attractions is that they are really expensive!!! :( to go into La Sagrada Familia costs 13€ if i’m not wrong. in the end we didn’t go in because there was a private service going on that day. and i guess you should make a wise choice on which attractions to pick if you are on a tight budget.
Park Guell is probably one of the few of Gaudi’s attractions that you don’t have to pay to go into, but i didn’t really have a good impression of it because it was so crowded!!! the photos of this place looked beautiful and i was quite excited to see it! but it was spoilt by the HUGE throngs of people and it wasn’t very well maintained, so the colourful photos created really huge expectations which i ended up getting rather disappointed about.
i guess in general, all the colourful buildings weren’t really well maintained haha. Casa Batllo looked way more colourful in photos than in life as well!
okay maybe this doesn’t sound very appreciative (oops :p) but actually the only Gaudi structure that i was really impressed with was La Pedrera. the design of this building was really quite fascinating and we spent quite a long time just standing in front of it and admiring its architecture. i didn’t pay to go into any of the attractions, and i guess if you aren’t a hardcore architect fanatic or something, it isn’t really necessary! (: – i prefer wide open spaces (like above^^)
yay done!!! i just wanna quickly post this up (been procrastinating for too long!). will have more about barce coming up soon! (: