Barcelona, Spain: Biking, Beaches, and Bocadillos

In front of the famous Sagrada Familia, that has been under construction for 100+ yrs 
It took all of about a half hour into our trip for both of us to agree that Barcelona was one of our favorite places we've ever visited. The energy there is completely different then any other city we've seen during our time in Europe. Most of our trips have been to landlocked, cold cities with lots of history, but not the friendliest hosts. Barcelona, in contrast, was sunny, colorful, and filled with smiling, friendly faces, active and eager to be outside enjoying the weather. And unlike Luxembourg, where we've been bundled up for the past three months, and the skies are usually grey, we were greeted in Barcelona with sunshine and shorts weather! It was a mild 70 degrees the whole time we were there, which we were told is basically the weather they get year round. Lucky ducks!

We began our trip with a bike tour around the city. The company, Fat Tire Bike Tours, was actually started by an Aggie! Now, they operate in Barcelona, Paris, London, and Berlin. We might be slightly biased, being that is Aggie owned, but we are such huge fans of their tours! I highly recommend them to any fellow travelers.

The tour took us all around the city. We were able to see Sagrada La Familia, Olympic Village, the Arc de Triumph, the opera house, and the famous Spanish steps, to name a few. And because our tour guide was a local, she gave us all kinds of fascinating insight into the city that we otherwise would have never known. For example, they don't speak Spanish in Barcelona, they speak Catalan. And also, in September they will attempt to emancipate from the rest of Spain and become their own country. 

This trip really was all about relaxing. After the bike tour, the only "touristy" thing we took in was Guell Park, which we were told was a "can't miss" for Barcelona. It was beautiful, but exhausting, and really more walking then we were looking for on this particular trip. I'm going to do a separate post with more details of the park. 

After that, we spent our days laying on the beach, eating tapas, and even squeezed in a little shopping. (By little I mean, Nathan let me literally run into Primark after I told him of the rave reviews I had heard.) The best part about Barcelona, for sure, was the food and sangria. We definitely ate our way through Barcelona with tapas, pinchos, bacadillos, fresh seafood, and even a couple good burgers. Spain is known for its tapas, so of course, we spent the week in pursuit of the most authentic local tapas, and on our last night in town, we hit a goldmine. 

We got lost looking for the original location we set out for, but stumbled upon a busy street packed with locals. The best comparison I can make is it felt like we were back on North Gate around 1:30 AM. Except, instead of regular bars, they were all tapas bars. And instead of fighting your way to the bar for a shot or a drink, you fought your way to the bar for food! Amazing food at that, usually in the form of something fried, with a piece of cheese, and a slice of bread all held together by a took pick. The bars were buzzing with people there with their friends, most places so crowded they overflowed into the streets. It was an incredible experience and my favorite night of the trip. Im a little disappointed I have no good pictures to show from this night, but then again we were very overwhelmed and trying our best to look like locals! 

Here's some of our favorite pictures from our four day vacay. Barcelona was definitely a multi-post city, so be on the lookout for more posts with details on Park Guell, the beach, and our favorite Spainish eats! 

Fat Tire Bike Tours, Barcelona
The look on my face pretty much sums up how good I am at riding a bike
Nathan, looking slightly more calm and collected 
Barcelona's Arc de Triumph
The very famous and chaotic Sagrada Familia. If it looks like the building doesn't quite match, thats because it doesn't. 
Amazing and fresh seafood collection at La Paradeta (This is how you ordered!)
Chowing down on some seafood at La Paradeta
Nathan with a mouth full of bocadillo (Spanish sandwich) from Bo de B
Hiking up to Park Guell 
The famous lookout point at Park Guell 
Hiking up to the top of  the outskirts of Park Guell 
Gaudi's famous bench at Park Guell 
Largest and best sangria, ever 
Spicy potatos bravas, yum! 
And finally, relaxing on the beach!


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