The Spain portion of our trip was cut short due to travel mishaps. First, our flight from Tel Aviv was delayed because of NATO air exercises over Cyprus, and second, our flight was delayed due to a passenger refusing to fly and de-planing. When that happens, the flight attendants must go through all the overhead bins to make sure nothing was left by the passenger. We all had to reclaim our carry-on baggage and holding it in our seats while they checked the entire plane. By the time we landed in Turkey, we had missed our connecting flight, which was the last flight of the evening to Barcelona.
Turkish Airlines “took care of us” by giving us a hotel stay in the city – for which we had to purchase Visas in order to leave the airport. We were at the hotel for a full five hours before having to get up and head back to the airport to make an early morning flight. By the time we actually made it to our Barcelona hotel, we were very grumpy. We took a quick nap before walking to La Sagrada Familia, since we had a ticket with a specific entrance time on it. The basilica is definitely a work of art and I enjoyed walking around seeing everything. It is an extremely popular place to visit, however, so I’d recommend going early in the morning rather than mid-afternoon like we did. Also, since it is a sacred site to many, there is a dress code. The guards at the entrance are subjective, so some days they are less strict than others. In general, no short shorts or tank tops (make sure your shoulders and thighs are covered).
As a total music nerd, the thing I was most interested in was the large pipe organ. It was so beautiful both to look at and hear!
That evening we met up with one of our close friends who happened to be in Barcelona too. We wandered around, found a nice market to get fresh juice, and then went to out to dinner. Here’s a candy shop from the market:
And fresh sliced meat that we snacked on:
And then some paella:
Because of our flight issues, that was the only day we spent in Barcelona. The next morning, we took the metro out to a small town outside of Barcelona called Terrassa. We have friends who live there, and they generously offered to let us stay with them. We spent just one night there and tried to make the most of our visit the next day. During our exploration, we had fresh coffee and pastries at a bakery before heading to the town’s castle. To our surprise, entrance to the castle was free because it was the first Saturday of the month. Apparently, much of the town’s art and culture is free on first Saturdays.
Here we are, inside the castle! What a strange, and slightly uncomfortable, bench!
After the castle, we visited a modernist house filled with artwork and a science museum. In the late afternoon, we took the metro back to the airport and got on a flight to Iceland!
It was a quick trip to Spain, but our visit definitely makes me want to go back for a longer trip. There are more museums and historical sites to see, as well as great beaches that we didn’t visit. I know we’ll want to go scuba diving here since it’s supposedly one of the best places to go to dive with whales or other large mammals!