We wound up flying from Nice to Barcelona, as it was just as cheap as a 24 hour bus ride. However…we hadn’t flown in two months, and apparently I had become a bit rusty on appropriate carry on items! Security opened my backpack to check something…firstly, I had to ignore Sarah and Reuben’s fits of laughter at the amount of things that had to be pulled out, and secondly I had to hang my head in shame as out came suntan lotion, an umbrella, razor blades, not one but two spray bottles and a water bottle. However, after sending my bag through again they let me fly with all of it – apparently the problem was just that my ipod and spray bottle together looked like a weapon! I was very surprised to get it all back…then I had the job of stuffing everything back into my bag (newly christened the Tardis) and trying to ignore the teasing from my travel companions.
On our first day in Barcelona we set out to explore the Pablo Picasso museum. On the way there we explored some of the rambling alleys of the Gothic quarter and checked out Santa Maria del Mar church. The Picasso museum was interesting – not many of his most famous pieces, but an interesting retrospective of his life and journey through his painting styles. After the museum, we discovered pinxtos – tapas that come on a stick, and your bill is calculated at the end by how many sticks are in the jar on your table.
Our second day in Barcelona was also exactly one year after we left New Zealand. We decided to spend the day walking through the city, starting with two of the architect Gaudi’s most famous buildings – Casa Batllo and La Pedreda.
After seeing these crazy buildings we wandered down Las Ramblas (pictured above) – an openair market – and saw another Gaudi building, the Palau Guell. We explored a covered market, sampling numerous pieces of nougat, and wandered through different plazas, even finding a protest outside the town hall. We visited the cathedral (not the famous Sagrada Familia but still impressive). We explored more of the Gothic quarter, and found thirty euros on the street – we asked in the cafe nearby if anyone had lost any money but they didn’t know anything about it, so we spent it on a 1 year travelversary feast of tapas and wine.