I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! The weeks seem to be flying by. Has anyone figured out how to make time slow down? Work on that for me, okay?
On Thursday of last week, Hayley, Shiva, and I headed to the Poble Sec and Sants-Montjuic portion of Barcelona! Sants-Montjuic is where most of the infrastructure for the 1992 summer Olympics was located, so it was really fun to see the area.
We started the day off with breakfast at our hostel and then headed on the metro to Sants-Montjuic! Our first stop was the Palca Marques de Foronda and the Palau National, a museum that we saw from the outside.
There were a lot of walking paths throughout the area so we wandered around a bit, and then headed towards the Olympic stadium!
We walked through the Olympic park and saw the Palau Sant Jordi (an indoor sporting arena), Torre Calatrava (the huge white communications tower), and the Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic Lluis Companys (Olympic Stadium).
While we were in the Olympic Park we saw a photo shoot going on. I think the people being photographed were professional athletes (the man might be a cyclist, because we saw him riding a fancy bike around the park between shots), but Hayley, Shiva, and I had no clue who they were! Anyone recognize them?
After visiting the stadium we walked up the mountain (aka huffed and puffed and eventually made it to the top without taking the shuttle) to the Castell de Montjuic (I’m sensing a Montjuic theme here.), a beautiful old fortress. It was free to walk around the fort and totally worth the climb for the stunning views we got of the city and ocean! There were also some really pretty gardens and a small military museum.
Before heading down the mountain I nabbed an xuxo pastry from nearby cart. The xuxo is a traditional pastry from Catalonia, Spain, so I figured this was a good time to try one! It basically consisted of cream filled deliciousness in a donut-like pastry.
Recharged by our snack break, we headed down the mountain. There were really pretty views of the city along the way, and there was a gorgeous fountain halfway down! We ended up walking through La Franca to the edge of Las Ramblas, a famous street that runs straight up the middle of the city.
We were getting super hungry, so around 3 PM we ducked into a vegan restaurant called Juicy Jones for a late lunch/early dinner. The walls were absolutely covered in mosaics, and the menu was stocked with loads of vegan options!
At the restaurant we all ended up ordering different versions of the menu of the day. I got hummus with bread, organic white wine (those grape pesticides, man), Thali (a mixed plate of Indian goodness including basmati rice, curry, and dal), an Halva. My hummus was pretty good, and my Thali plate was excellent!
Unfortunately, every single one of the desserts we ordered was terrible. Terrible as in I-didn’t-even-eat-it terrible. Other than the disappointing dessert and patchy service, the meal was pretty good, though.
I’m literally addicted to sugar, so Hayley and I decided we needed to get a real dessert. We ended up getting gelato (because, you know, we were totally in Italy and stuff). I did get the Crema Catalana flavor, though, so I went semi-local! We walked up Las Ramblas with our ice cream and admired the area, which was really pretty at night!
Our last tourist stop of the day was the Passeig de Gracia, where we saw Casa Batllo and Casa Milla lit up at night! It was a lot of fun to see them in the evening (if you want to know what they look like during the day see my post here).
After heading back to the hostel for a little break we headed back into the city center for a night on the town! We ended up meeting up with another kid from Emory, Wen, who had just arrived in the city. We walked around a lot (we’re terrible at deciding on places to go out!) and ended up in Manchester, an awesome little bar with sweet tunes and drinks with names like Joy Division, The Cure, Arcade Fire, and The Smiths. I got my first mojito and we sat on a couch in the back to talk, drink, and listen to music for most of the night.