Nina and I arrived in Barcelona off the back of a 15 hour bus trip from Granada. It was midnight on Friday. The two Jess’s who we’d been wwoofing with at Kate’s Finca told us about some friends who ran an unofficial youth hostel in Barri Gotic, the cool central part of the city. We didn’t have an address other than George Orwell Square but we had to try our luck as there were no other options at that time of night. After an hour of asking about a helpful fellow took us to the place. We said we were friends of Jess and the guy let us in, showed us to a bunk and said “anything for friends of Jess” It had been a long long day and we were glad of a bed. Within a few hours it seemed quite unlikely that we were in the right place, Jess and Jess liked a bit of peace and quite and there was none here!
It was a party house! That was ok until a couple in the common room next door started to shake the whole building whilst demonstrating their love for each other. We just wanted to sleep! It felt like a lesson had been learnt in organising accommodation in big cities to save money and to save energy. The next day we decided we needed some comfort and got a room in an apartment where we could cook for ourselves.
We had two more full days in Barcelona and used them very differently. On the first we stayed in and caught up on sleep, contact with friends and family and did a bit of research and forward planning for the next leg of our journey. The famous Boqueria food market was a few minutes walk away and so we grabbed some food and cooked for ourselves too. That evening we strolled the streets and found an amazing bar – Mariachi, rumoured to be owned by Manu Chao. They sold their very own Hyromiel, a honey wine similar to mead. We bought the double pack, one red and one white for back at the flat.
Our last day in Barcelona was a full tourist experience. Once Nina had caught up with her parents on skype we headed out of town to the Gaudi gardens, Park Guell. Overlooking the city up on a high vantage point are the gardens and sculptures designed by Gaudi. The stonework and architecture from a world like Alice in Wonderland crossed with a Hanzel and Gretyl’s house of candy! Definitely some mushroom influence in the bulbous chimney too.
Next we arrived at Barcelona’s most famous and extraordinary colossus of a building – Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece and the one that looks like it will never be finished. Most of the plans were destroyed but building work continues. It’s quite simply gigantic and nothing like any other cathedral in the world. We marvelled at it for some time, unsure of what to say!
The next day we would be leaving Barcelona and arriving at another Wwoof, this time in the Pyrenees near to the French border. We used the rest of the afternoon to purchase a tent which will hopefully give ourselves some extra flexibility and freedom in the coming months. An email from Jess confirmed we didn’t find their friends’ hostel, noone from Chile lived there…