Hang on, pals. Before we begin, I need to go over a few points. Humor me, please - you are the very best.
1 // These snapshots seem to be from an entirely different lifetime, because the grand architecture and light, breezy days are a far cry from today's almost ninety degree hot blazin' heat stroke ready, popsicle-brandishing day. And we have no air-conditioning, HELLO I thought I was in the 21st century.
2 // My travel buddies, Lauren, Nick, and I are what I like to call "imitation senior travelers." As in - food comes first, sightseeing comes second, and raging comes last. Also, we decided to see the city via a hop-on-hop-off bus and most definitely paid three times more than any bus ride excepting one on Beyonce's personal tour bus should cost. But, we also found the pricetag (26 euros?) to be worth it - easy transportation, and we got to see sights that we wouldn't have otherwise had time for.
3 // I'm for sure one of those travelers. DSLR propped up in one hand, iPhone raised in the other (it has a wider angle, and is Instagrammable right from the WiFi equipped bus, I mean duh). I make my friends stop every step and smile for me and insist on photographing one detail thirty six times because one's background is too blurry, one's foreground is too blurry, this angle is off-kilter, will someone please come and save me from myself already?
4 // And yet, with that said... if there was ever a day I was going to throw in the towel when it comes to meticulous photographic documentation, this second day in Barcelona would've been the day (not that I actually did throw in the towel, that'd be crazy).
Paella this good shouldn't be allowed. How am I to ever deal with mediocrity or sub-standard paella ever again? Hit up 7 Portes if you're looking for an expensive, but lifechanging, paella. The place is a lot stuffy and snobby, the waiters all but refuse to acknowledge you for the most part, but the paella is everything.
La Sagrada Familia. Let's backtrack to two things I said earlier. One, remember how I mentioned that to me and my friends, food comes first and everything else in life comes second? I'm telling you now (whispering guiltily, but still saying it) that I will make an exception for La Sagrada Familia.
I don't think I've ever seen anything so grand, magnificent, and spiritual. This place spoke to my soul. And it's far from complete. That's the craziest part. If something not even half finished can have this kind of effect on me, I can only begin to imagine how truly earthshattering the finished product will be.
The second thing I said, was that I'm an obnoxiously meticulous photographer, especially when it comes to traveling. I think it's how I process my adventures. Well, I most definitely was about to say "eff it" after seeing this treasure of a church because there is no way - no. way. - I could've even come close to capturing a tiny fragment of its scale and ability to move people. I just can't do it. I doubt anyone can.
The stained glass was my very favorite. There were rainbows of panels all around the church, some with warm colors, some with cool, and still others with combinations of everything. With the sunlight streaming in through these windows, literal geometric rainbows bathed the entire interior with light and color and... spirit, really, if I'm being cheesy and all.
As you go take a peek at the back (which is really the front, upon completion), you walk through a Gaudi and Nature exhibit, all about Gaudi's inspirations. It forces you to acknowledge every detail of his masterpiece. Truly spectacular.
Hungry and exhausted, we grabbed a somewhat early dinner at a tapas chain (also recommended by Nicole). The Spanish most likely considered it to be a late snack or a late, late lunch, but for us - famished as we were after a day of sitting on a bus and staring at things greater than us - we gobbled down every last morsel of steak and spinach and chickpeas, and mussels and potatoes and cured meats, and more. Um, and sangria. And the fruit in the sangria.
um, and churros con chocolate.
Because, when in Spain, right?