A week, I was wandering around Barcelona, Spain with my new friends. This was our first venture outside of the Madrid area and I was excited and eager to see what all of the hype was about.
Now, for those of you who may not understand my title for this post, the Cheetah Girls were a popular Disney group when I was growing up..and in their second movie, they travelled to Barcelona to compete in a singing competition but the movie also featured a couple of the big sites to see. I’ve seen that movie countless times and watching it made me want to go to Barcelona SO BAD. And so, I finally got my chance this past weekend. So, with that, here is my weekend as a Cheetah Girl.
We took an overnight bus to Barcelona from Madrid because we found it to be the cheapest form of transportation, and honestly, I think it was the best decision. We left Thursday night and arrived in Barcelona around 7 AM. Our bus was really nice and had TVs on the back of the seats so you could watch movies or play games if you wanted, it had places to plug in your phone or tablet, and free WiFi. I slept most of the time because I knew I would want to be well-rested for our busy day that would come after we got off the bus.
“Well everyone, this is Barcelona. The magical land where everybody’s dreams come true!” -A very sleepy Aimee at 7 AM when she got off the bus
From the bus stop, we headed for the beach to watch the sunrise. We didn’t realize how far away from the beach we actually were though..so by the time we even got relatively close, the sun had already risen. We got ahold of our hostel and found out that our room was ready and we could check in early, so we headed back across town so we could get rid of our bags. I actually had never stayed in a hostel before so this was all new and exciting for me. Our room had eight beds, two showers, a bathroom, and each bed came with linens, a locker to store your items safely, a bed lamp, and two plug-ins so you could plug in your phone and camera or whatever else you needed to charge which was nice. There was also free WiFi which was nice. We rested for a little bit before venturing back out into the city.
The first thing on our agenda was to go see the Sagrada Familia. But on our way there, we passed a cute café and I wanted coffee (imagine that). We went in and ended up eating lunch there and the food was fantastic! Once we arrived at the Sagrada… I don’t even know how to accurately describe what I felt. It was MASSIVE. It has been under construction for over 100 years (135 to be exact) and isn’t projected to be finished until 2026. Once it is finished, it will be the tallest church building in the world. I was so intimidated but so in awe at the same time. Pictures do not do this place justice at all. There is so much detail that went into that building, its insane. Everything in and on it has a purpose. Antonio Gaudí was a genius. He designed the building and even though he passed away 91 years ago, the building is still under construction. We paid 22£ for our ticket into the church, an audiotour, and a ticket into the Gaudí house museum and it was 1000000% worth it. I learned so much from the audiotour that I would have never learned if I would have just boughten the general admission ticket into the church. Here are some photos of the Sagrada Familia.
We didn’t do much else on Friday. We went back to our hostel and had mojitos on the roof with other youth who were staying there and then we went down to the bar and hung out and had a couple of drinks before we went to bed.
Saturday was crazy busy and ended with my foot bleeding through four pairs of socks form all the walking..but it was so worth it. We started the day off with a free walking tour around the Gothic and Born districts. Now, I know you’re probably like “whaaaaat? FREE tour??? No way!” Well, yes. It was free. The tour guides solely work off tips, but other than that they don’t get paid. So at the end of the tour, you are supposed to tip them as much as you think their service was worth. I actually learned a lot from this tour and it was a good way to see a lot of things in a short amount of time without having to backtrack and revisit things we had already walked by. The tour was more focused on the history of the area which was nice because I knew nothing about it beforehand.
After the tour, we walked to the metro so we could head for Park Güell. On our way to the metro, we passed by the Arc de Triomf. Of course, we had to stop and take pictures.
Once we got to where we needed to be, we began our trek to Park Güell. I knew it was going to be on the top of a hill because I had seen pictures of a part of it that looked over the whole city. We started to turn to head up a huge hill when a local stopped us and told us to keep going one more street and that that was would be easier. So we took his advice and quickly found out that he was right. There were escalators that took people up to the start of the park, so instead of having to walk up the giant hill, we got to ride up for most of it.
If you are ever in Barcelona, make the trip to see Park Güell. Even if it is far from city center. It’s so worth it for so many reasons. The view is absolutely amazing, but is best from the highest point. You can see all of Barcelona all the way to the Mediterranean on the other side. The park also leads to some of Gaudí’s best works and his house museum. He designed so much mosaic art in the park and it was so beautiful. I was also really excited for that park because this was another part that involved the Cheetah Girls. They were in the same park that I was!! They sang and danced their way through the park and I was so excited to see my childhood in real life. We got to see the famous lizard and catch the view from the park benches that overlooked the city!
After the park, we ventured back towards city center but stopped for lunch at a little restaurant down the street from the park where I had my first Paella. We also found this really neat vintage t-shirt shop that may or may not have had me geeking out the entire time we were in it.
We made it back to our hostel and my feet were very sore after a long day of walking (we walked for about 10 hours). However, I quickly learned why my feet were so much sorer than everybody else..I took off my shoe to find out that my foot had been bleeding and it had bled through four pairs of socks. (Yes, I wore four pairs of socks because I was trying to save myself from this and I did not have proper shoes with me). I ended up sitting on the floor of our hostel with tears streaming down my face because I was bleeding (I don’t do blood. At all. Ever. In case you were not aware of that). My friends were very nice and encouraging and they helped me take care of it and they soaked my socks for me to get some of the blood out. After that, I was drained. I was tired and ready for bed.
Sunday morning we got up early and checked out of our hostel and headed for the beach in attempt to watch the sun rise once again…but it rained on us. We got to the beach and it was cloudy and rainy and gross, but the waves were MASSIVE. It was cool to see because I’ve never seen waves that big and I was almost afraid watching them crash so close to where I was. A couple of my friends “got in” the water, but I just watched from afar.
After the beach, we went to find breakfast (in a small café who had the best coffee I had had yet) and then we still had some time to kill before we needed to head to the bus station, so we went and found street art! There was a park called the Talking Walls that was full of street art and small murals that we visited. I loved it and I think my friends thought it was pretty cool too. After that, we headed for the bus station and headed back to Madrid. The bus ride was long and kind of boring, but it was also very beautiful. The Spanish countryside is full of mountains and small pueblos that I would love to spend a day in..maybe someday.
Overall, my weekend as a Cheetah Girl was so much fun and it was everything I had ever dreamed of. If you ever get the chance to go to Barcelona, do it. It’s beautiful and worth every penny and drop of blood that you might shed walking around the city!