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This weekend, we set off on our first weekend trip of many. Early Friday morning, we boarded a Renfe train and settled in for a calm three hours. Upon arrival, we navigated public transportation to make our way over to our accommodations at Black Swan Hostel. The place was clean and spacious, the employees friendly. We were too early to check-in, so we dropped off our bags and headed out in search of food.

Day 1 was pretty relaxing. We had paella, patatas and coffee at Snack 55 – a tapas bar. We certainly took our time with a nice long lunch, just like the Spaniards do.

Next, we figured we should make our way over to the Sagrada Familia. We would end up at the Sagrada Familia every day of our trip, though we didn’t know it at the time. Sadly, the site is under construction! We were appalled until we learned that Gaudi’s original plans were unfinished, and the construction is to complete his original ideas.

Steph and I with the amazingly detailed, back of the Sagrada Familia.

Steph and I with the amazingly detailed, back of the Sagrada Familia.

We knew we wanted to explore inside, but the line was too long. We decided to get an early start the next day to beat the crowd, and headed to Parc Guell for the day instead.

We walked 40 minutes to the park, and 40+ minutes back to our hostel afterward. The soreness from that trek stuck with us throughout our trip, but it was certainly worth it! Parc Guell is absolutely beautiful – filled with unique rock structures, detailed mosaic-work and inspiring views.

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Mosaic Terrace

Mosaic Terrace

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A shot I'm particularly proud of that just happened to turn out well. Support under the Mosaic Terrace.

A shot I’m particularly proud of that just happened to turn out well. Support under the Mosaic Terrace.

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Of course, this was balanced out with a healthy dose of graffiti, but it’s wonderful nonetheless.

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But why?

But why?

After exploring the Park for a healthy few hours, we schlepped back to our hostel. Unwilling to stay in on our first night in a new city, we began researching something to do that night. After little luck, our hostel announced a little tapas/bar outing, and we were all in! We were excited to meet some fellow travelers, though it turned out they were mostly from North America.  We soon realized we were the most “Spanish” of the group, as far as speaking the language and understanding daily life. It was a strange feeling.

Of course, we ended up staying out later than intended. By the time we made it out to Sagrada Familia the next day, the line was even longer than it had been the previous day! It was hopeless. So, what did we do? Wait hours in the line? Skip the inside of the Sagrada Familia? Jump a fence, and a tower or two?  Stay tuned for part 2 😉

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