HOLA BARCELONA Things I Did and Things I Wish I Had Done Differently (Part 2)

filipina in dali museum figueres spain

One of the most distinct features of Barcelona is its magnificently over-the-top architecture. And when you think of Barcelona architecture, which name pops to your head? Antoni Gaudí, of course. Sure, the city is not just Gaudí but the Art Nouveau approach of his works, in my opinion, gave Barcelona its unique beauty.

We visited Parc Güell the day before, so we planned to see some of his other works for Day 3. First stop: Casa Milà or more popularly known as La Pedrera. I would have loved to go inside but I had to remind myself that I would be working in Spain for half of the salary I used to earn in the Philippines. So I just ogled at the building from outside.

Next stop: Casa Batlló, another quirkily stunning masterpiece of Gaudí. It’s just a 6-minute walk from La Pedrera and you wouldn’t need Google Maps to find where it is, just follow the groups of people with cameras and selfie sticks. Again, we didn’t go inside and I didn’t even bother to ask the entrance fee. Discussing art and architecture outside as if we knew what we’re talking about was free, so that’s what we did.

From Casa Batlló, we went to our next stop: La Sagrada Familia, the iconic basilica that was once described as “too many cooks in the kitchen”. It kinda makes sense and still, there were cranes that ruined the whole image but when I saw it as I exited the metro station, it took my breath away. Seriously. Probably because I didn’t expect to see it that up close right away.

THINGS I WISH I HAD DONE DIFFERENTLY:

I wish I had the budget to actually enter the buildings. The ticket to Sagrada Familia alone without any guide costs 15 euros per person. I’m sure it’s worth it but at that time, I had to go full-on frugal.

We walked from Sagrada Familia to Arco de Triunfo for about 20 minutes. Just behind it was the Parc de la Ciutadella. Too bad there was an event that day and I think the park was closed.

The walkathon continued as we found our way to Barri Gotic, a lovely old neighborhood 15 minutes away from Arco de Triunfo. We let ourselves get lost in its delightful maze of narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways. We also stumbled upon a nice little restaurant that served delicious paella.

We were having a nice time wandering around the quarter when suddenly I noticed some people running towards us, coughing and telling us to run in the opposite direction. Of course, we did as told but we weren’t spared. We started coughing our lungs out too, like a burning type of cough. Apparently, a pipe had been broken and released some kind of gas. I still wonder what it was exactly. It was still early to go home but I got a bit paranoid and didn’t want to go back. We weren’t able to see more of Barri Gotic.

THINGS I WISH I HAD DONE DIFFERENTLY:

That gas thing was a total bummer. I wish I had seen more of that part of Barcelona. Everywhere I looked was a picturesque scenery. I could spend a whole day checking out quaint shops and cafés, gawking at gorgeous old-Europe architecture and posing hard for an instagram photo.

Day 4, I couldn’t leave Barcelona without visiting the museum of my spirit animal, one of the most eccentric men in the art world, Salvador Dalí. Dalí Theatre and Museum is not actually in Barcelona, it’s in Figueres, his hometown in the province of Cataluña. It’s actually quite far, about 2 hours away from the center via Renfe train, which, by the way, isn’t cheap (16 euros one way).

We bought our tickets at the train station but we had to wait an hour before the train arrived so we decided to amble a bit around Barcelona. We got a teeny bit lost on our way back to the station and missed the train, HAHA so we had to wait another hour.

Finally, we arrived at around 5 in the afternoon. We walked some 20 minutes from the Figures train station to the museum. The town was really different from Barcelona, very peaceful and lots of old people in the streets.

We got our pre-booked tickets (12 euros each) at the entrance of one of the weirdest and most amazing museums ever.

Dalí is awesome. He’s my kind of people. And I loved this museum. I even bought a book and some postcards from the museum gift shop, which I usually don’t do.

THINGS I WISH I HAD DONE DIFFERENTLY:

Good thing that we didn’t plan more activities in our itinerary for our last day because the trip to Figueres is a whole day thing. I wish we had not missed that train though. I took a nap at the floor of the train station like a hobo.

To say I had a lot of fun on this trip would be an understatement. It was a dream come true and too good to be true. I wish I had done a lot of things differently but I’ve got no regrets because surely I will come back soon.

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