Barcelona was the final stop in Europe this summer. Phil and I gathered all our strength we had to get on that early morning flight from Madrid. Behind my tired and lets be honest hungover face I really did have a lot of excitement. Most of the people I had ever talked to about Spain had said Barcelona was their favorite place ,Phil included, so I was excited to see what the hype was about. Our Barcelona trip started out funny. I can say it was funny because of how it ended…let me explain. Phil is one of the best travelers I know; smart, likes to eat, packs well, easy going, the list goes on and on. But what Phil did on the flight to Barcelona was a rookie mistake. We took our seats; me at the window, Phil in the middle and and Dutch girl sat in the isle seat. I saw this hour and 20 minute flight as the only time I had to sleep. I needed to get a nap in, no a good nap, if I was going to make it through the day. We only have a day and a half in Barcelona so we have to hit the ground running. I put my sunglasses on immediately and closed my eyes. Phil instead decides to make friends with the girl next to him who talks so loud the pilot could hear. When we got off the place we went to the bathroom and when I came out he was rummaging through his backpack and then looks up in a pure panic and says, “I don’t have my passport.” Our worst fear. Earlier that morning I was asking Phil what would make him cry, you know typical travel conversation, and he said only if he lost his passport. Awesome.
He goes running back to the gate we think is ours and starts talking the gate agent. They aren’t helpful but do call down to the plane. She says its not in the seat pocket and Phil begins to sweat. He searches his bag again and mine and then walks away. I decide to just let him have his moment and I will just sit here. What else could I do? He then comes running back and tells me to grab our things because we are at the wrong gate. We had flown Vueling and there were about 10 gates with flights all leaving within the next hour so each were busy and easy to mistake for the one we had walked off of. Phil once again attempts to tell them about the lost passport and explain the situation. This gate agent is ever less helpful than the last. She says she can’t get on the plane and that they already called down and its not there. Phil is seriously panicking and pacing. He is even offering to buy a ticket at this point to Germany, where the plane is headed, just to get on the plane. The gate agent is not having it and suggest customer service. I decide I should go talk to the lady and maybe Phil’s aggressiveness, completely warranted, was putting her off and I could work my customer service magic. I simply ask if she herself can go down to the plane and take a look. She says no, like before, but then goes on to explain that since you have to take a bus to the plane she for sure can’t and directs me to customer service. This immediately raise a red flag. I told her “We didn’t take a bus we used the jet bridge is this the plane from Madrid?” We had been showing our boarding pass the entire time but now was when she tells us, “Oh its the next one.” Patience was starting to be lost. Phil jumps into action again. But once again the gate agent tells us its not there and that she can’t get on the plane. I decide again to take a step back and let Phil do his thing. He comes back over with a complete look of loss on his face. He is positive it is in his back seat pocket 12E. I decide maybe he should ask one of the people boarding because it sounds like the gate agents aren’t even trying. He goes up to a 40 something looking Spaniard and she is petrefied. At this point Phil basically looks like a terrorist. He is sweating through his shirt and shaking. I can’t believe he didn’t get arrested when he started talking to passengers. The lady was too scared to help but a German couple behind us was not. They had been sitting there waiting to get on the plane and over heard the situation. They said, “That is silly a passport is important, don’t worry if it is in 12E we will bring it up!” We watched them go down the jet bridge with our final straw of hope. Two minutes later the gate agent was walking up the ramp with the passport.
All of the above happened in about 30 minutes; I’m hoping that makes you feel a little more of the intensity that we were feeling. Phil also said later that he was more scared that his passport was gone than when he was robbed at gunpoint in college. Like I said it was intense.
There are three morals of this store: 1) there are still good people out there that will help 2) don’t fly Veuling 3) Don’t put your passport in the seat back pocket.
Our Barcelona day began an hour and half later than planned but with a pretty darn good story.
I am going to break down Barcelona into two categories: Sights and Food/Drink
Of course a major part of this section is going to be anything Gaudí since most of the major tourist attractions are his. Antoni Gaudí is an architect who used neo-Gothics art and oriental techniques and was part of the Modernista movement during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Below are pictures of one of his most famous pieces the Sagrada Família that Gaudí began in 1883 and it is expected to be finished by 2026. We also visited the Park Güell which is another Gaudí spot and probably the most famous tourist pictures you have seen. We did not get to go into the area where the benches are because there wasn’t anymore available time that day so here is a tip, plan ahead if you want to go in. This is a new change that they are charging and monitoring the amount of people inside so keep that in mind. So either go and plan on coming back when you have made a reservation or get there early in the morning. We were still able to see a good amount of the architecture without actually going in.
THE BEACH!!!!!!! We only got about an hour at the beach because the weather was pretty rainy but it was a great hour!
Castell de Montjuïc
Exploring the Gothic Quarter
Walking down les Rambles
The go-to market in Barcelona is La Boqueria. La Boqueria seemed more like an actual market where you could go and buy groceries as well as get food so we walked around oohing and ahhing at the stands. One thing I found that stopped me in my tracks and I had to resist from buying multiples was a cone full of meat or as I like to call it prosciutto cotton candy. See picture below. I of course also had paella here. The pan pictured below was completely empty and was split between two—think that explains how it was.
Happy hour was never missed; one day was at a restaurant the other was casually on the streets.
Espit Chupitos was one of my most favorite places/things we did in Barcelona. Chupitos means shots and that is exactly what this place is. A shot bar; no tables or chairs but instead just a menu of about 200 different shots they have that are about two-three euros a piece. This is every 18 year old American girls dream—or nightmare. We started with the “Harry Potter” shot which is lit of fire and sparkles and then we also had the “Diablo” shot which they put alcohol around the shot in the shape of a cross and then lit on fire. It was so much fun. I could have stayed there and kept trying different ones all night. You have to be very careful but definitely do not miss it! Perfect for pregaming.
Phil and I parted ways after a very authentic breakfast…at the airport McDonald’s. I will say though that I got toast with tomato pulp which was one of the things I really wanted to try before I left! McD’s always comes through. I hugged Phil goodbye and he headed to his Philly flight and me to my Minneapolis one.
Apparently Phil learned his lesson because I didn’t hear any stories about not having a passport to get through customs.
Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter