Europe Trip Recap – Day 1

Park Güell Entrance House

You might have noticed that my blog was short on posts over the past ten days.  If you’re wondering the reason why, it’s because Todd and I were on a Mediterranean cruise through Europe!   We were joined by my sister Christine and her fiance Jason.  Prep yourselves for a week of blog posts dedicated to telling you and showing you the details of my trip!

Dragon Statue

May 27th we flew out of LaGuardia airport in New York to Montreal, then picked up our connecting flight from Montreal to Barcelona.  Spain is six hours ahead of New York, so we wound up arriving at our hotel around 8:30am.  Since our hotel room wasn’t ready that early, we dropped off the luggage and headed out to begin exploring the city.  Our first stop was Park Güell, a park that is filled with buildings, a market place, and other things designed by architect Antoni Gaudí.  I should probably mention that we climbed this ENORMOUS hill to get to the park.  It was so steep that there were actually escalators to take you up the street at certain points.  At one point I literally thought I was going to roll backwards down the hill.  My legs were killing me after that trek. The park was originally supposed to be a housing complex for the rich, but when no interest was shown in the show-homes the project was scrapped.  The park was absolutely amazing.  The style of the houses (which reminded me of Gingerbread houses), the mosaics in the marketplace, and the dragon statue were all just so different and unique!

Tapas!

We were all starving from our hike to the park and from our flights so we hit up a tapas bar near our hotel.  Let me just stop for a second to talk about the food in Spain.  HOT DAMN it is tasty.  Everything is filled/covered in cheese (Hooray!) or on slices of french bread.  It’s all so colorful and full of flavor and just unlike anything I’ve ever eaten in the US.  Obviously I’ll share some pictures with you of my favorites! 

La Sagrada Familia

The next major place we went to was a church considered to be Gaudí’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia.  The building of the church began in 1882 and construction still goes on today, 129 years later!  Gaudí was inspired by nature and it shows in every aspect of this church.  The columns inside are meant to represent tree trunks, while the ceiling resembles that of a tree canopy.  This church is absolutely massive.  The choir pits were designed to hold a choir up to 1,000 people.  The entire exterior is all hand carved stone masonry work and is truly exquisite.  The stained glass inside of the church is all from Venice and is Murano glass.  The church is expected to be completed sometime in the next 50 years, but it’s totally dependent on how much money is received (The church has been built solely on donations).  We were really lucky, because about two weeks prior to our arrival at La Sagrada Familia about 90% of the interior scaffolding was removed which allowed us to truly appreciate what the interior looked like.  There are truly no words for me to explain how beautiful and different the church is, so I’m not even going to try.  Just take a look at some of my pictures below.

Tree Top Ceiling

Church Interior

Stained Glass Window

I have so many more pictures of the church, but I won’t bombard you with them, I have so much more to share!!  After visiting the church we saw some more of Gaudí’s house designs, the Christopher Columbus Monument, and then met up with the other couple (Mark and Christy) who were cruising with us.  We headed over towards the water and the pier to have a nice dinner on the beach while watching the Barcelona vs. Manchester United soccer game.  Barcelona wound up winning, which set the entire city into a celebrating frenzy that continued well into the early hours of the morning.  After dinner we settled back into the hotel to rest up for the next day. 

Christine at the Park

Day 1 was absolutely exhausting due to the jet lag and trek all throughout the city, but I got to see some AMAZING sights.  Major props have to go out to my sister Christine for doing all the planning for this trip.  She spent months finding all these awesome places for us to visit and without her I probably wouldn’t have been able to see as much as I did.

Stick around the rest of the week for more pictures and stories about our trip!

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8 thoughts on “Europe Trip Recap – Day 1

  1. OMG Kimberly,

    You lucky duck! It’s just your first post, and I am thoroughly envious. Okay, I kid…I’m so glad you got to take this vacation. It looks like you had a ton of fun! I mean, just look at the architecture of that church. I now want to go to Barcelona, just for that church alone. Add to that, the yummy food…and you’ve got a major WIN! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your trip, and these lovely pictures with us. I’ll look forward to more posts about the vacation! 😀

    ~Hira~

  2. I loved both places by Gaudi as well! In the park, there was the large sandy area with people ‘autographing’ the sand! We left out mark there as well! What fun! I also enjoyed the columns underneath with the mosaic ceiling. Can’t wait to hear more about your Med cruise… we did one a couple of Christmases ago and LOVED every minute of it! I actually lost weight on the cruise, for all of the walking we did in each city we visited!

  3. What amazed me so much about Barcelona was how impressive Gaudi was in person. And the beautiful streets…like another Paris!

    And that’s so cool that you were there for the Champions League final!

  4. Now with proper name, lol:

    What amazed me so much about Barcelona was how impressive Gaudi was in person. And the beautiful streets…like another Paris!

    And that’s so cool that you were there for the Champions League final!

    • I’ve never been to Paris, so I can’t completely agree with your statement, but yes the streets were beautiful!

      Gaudi was impresive in person. It’s something that is so unique that I find/found it so hard to try to explain it to people who had never seen it. When we came home we were trying to explain it to our families and we just decided to let the pictures do all the talking. It’s super nice to be able to discuss it with someone who’s seen it though. Yay!!

  5. Pingback: #39 A Review of A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi « Reflections of a Book Addict

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