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Plaza de Cataluna, Barcelona

Dates: October 29 to November 1, 2010

Flight: Vueling, another smaller airline in Europe that offers reasonably priced flights.  I can’t say I remember much of the flight because I was so exhausted from the Amsterdam experience.

Stayed at: Cataluna Hostel, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.  Unfortunately it is not longer listed on hostelworld.com or google maps, so maybe it was shut down or something.

You would think that after getting lost on our way to the hostel in both Paris and Amsterdam, we would have triple checked the address and directions.  This was not the case…..  Jacob and I split up from the girls who decided to take a cab, took a bus and a train to the stop right by the hotel.  Unfortunately from that point, we had neither the name nor the address of the hostel.  After walking up and down the street for a long time, and realizing that not even getting into a cab would get out out of our predicament (because we didn’t have the address), I will admit that I began to get very frustrated with Jacob and the situation and started to freak out.  Eventually we went into another hostel on the street and paid the manager 5 euro to let us use the internet, only to discover that the hostel was less than two blocks away on the second floor of an unmarked building.

When we did arrive, I had to take several moments away from the group to calm myself down, throw my clothes into the wash machine, and use the internet. Eventually when I got myself back into a neutral state, I was able to rejoin everyone else and we decided to go for dinner.  We walked only a couple blocks away to a restaurant called Citrus for dinner.  Thankfully the wait staff spoke enough English and we knew enough Spanish to seat us and to order (I discovered that in Spain, or at least Barcelona, most people do not speak English.  In Amsterdam, however, literally almost everyone does.) The food was delicious, especially the tapas (small dishes/appetizers) and the service was pretty impressive for Europe.  I would definitely suggest it for people visiting Barcelona.

Citrus

PASSEIG GRÀCIA, 44.  08007 Barcelona, Spain

Group at Citrus

That night we went out to try to find dancing, however like Rome, this was nearly impossible.  The night was almost a failure except for the “Harry Potter” shot that we got at Chiputos, C/ Aribau, 77, 08032 Barcelona, Spain.

Harry Potter shot


The next day we ate at the restaurant next door, Tapa Tapa.  Tapa Tapa was a perfect choice for lunch. I went with Jacob, Kelli, and one other girl from our group.  We ended up ordering and sharing several small dishes (the risotto was especially good) as well as sangria bianca (made with white wine instead of red).  The sangria was excellent and the food was all extremely delicious and affordable.
PASSEIG GRÀCIA, 44, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Jacob & I at Tapa Tapa

Sangria Bianca

We decided to go out that night to celebrate Halloween, although technically Halloween was the next day.  Kelli called the number listed on the website for the Sutton Music Club, C/ TUSET, 13, 08006 Barcelona, Spain. She had us put on the guest list and we began our search for Halloween Costumes.  Considering how many people were packing into the costume shop we were at, it was surprising how few people we saw actually in costume later that night.
We spent what felt like five hours walking up the aisles of the costume shop, picking through the limited selection and fighting frustration and claustrophobia until we had all chosen costumes and spent a small fortune on them.  We then headed over to H&M to find more articles of clothing and back to the hostel to try them on.
Dinner that night was uneventful, and afterward we hurried to get dressed and leave so we could all go dancing……

Halloween

The next day, no one really felt like getting out of bed, and when we finally did, we went to a restaurant called Obama, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 603, 08007 Barcelona, Spain.  The food was very good, especially the Vegetable soup and the Turkey Avocado Wrap (which I had).  The decorations alone were totally worth seeing.  The owners must have spent at least 200,000 euro decorating the place!

Waiting for our food, at Obama's...

That afternoon we shopped more, did some sightseeing, in particular Sagrada Familia.  Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882, designed by Antoni Gaudi.  Constructed hopefully will be completed by 2026, but at this point, it is still hard to determine an exact date.

Sagrada Familia

Later that night we had Paella for dinner.  I’m unsure of the exact restaurant we had it at, however since paella is a Spanish specialty, it will be good almost anywhere you might order at it (although pricey!).  The next morning we left the hostel at the crack of dawn to catch our 6:15 Ryanair flight back to Rome.
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