#018 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, besides its fame football club and Gaudi's architecture, is actually quite interesting to visit. Like other European cities, it has bike lanes throughout the city. So it's quite convenient to travel.
March 31 - April 7, 2016
This hostel is very different from others in many ways. First, they have free rental bike during the off season. Second, the layout of the hostel is all on the ground floor with a lot of space which is very surprising considering it is hidden in the residential area. When I I stayed there, it was 2016 and just started operating, everything is brand new. Their common area / kitchen / living room is very spacious and I see lots of guys watching football there. Yea you know what I mean...watching and debating no matter you are a fan of FC Barcelona or not. Based on their website, I think they've improved the bunk bed with blinds which is a huge plus for me.
Another great plus is you can rent a bike all day long for free during off season. I was there early April and the weather was pretty awesome to bike around. There are bike lanes everywhere in Barcelona and it's a great way to see the city especially when bike lanes located in the middle of avenues instead of on the side. 🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♀️
Funny things happened to me at the hostel as well. I had allergy to some kind of fabric from the blanket I didn't even know and the next day I had rash everywhere. Man, that was itchy!!!!! Well, I finally figured it out it was from the blanket and told the staff. Although there's nothing they can do about it...but they are really caring and nice!👌
I've also met some interesting people here, the one I remembered the most is Eduardo. We've shared the double bunk beds, he was at the bottom and I was at top. He spoke none English, but I think he can understand it. Eduardo is one hell cool of guy, tattoos all over his body, he has the artist vibe. It turned out I was right. He is the graphic designer as I am. He's always drawing something on his sketch book. Something similar to his tattoos. I've also thought Spanish/Latino designers have more vibrant and vivid style I admire because it is so different from mine. Eduardo is one of them haha!
Gaudi and Sagrada Familia
My advice, buy online ticket first and select your time if you wanna go into Sagrada Familia. There will be tons of people, all day everyday. When you get there, you will be amazed by the organic shape of it for sure. I walked from my hostel to there in around 20 minutes. And I came from the backside of the Basilica, so I saw the new design first. The front and the back is very different for me. It will be finished in 2026 if they are scheduled on time. I think the most intriguing part of this experience is the documentary area in the corner where Gaudi is also buried inside the Basilica where you can see Gaudi's vision and his life story.
You can also see other architecture from Gaudi in the city. Once again, it will be crowded and will need tickets. Buy in advance. Beside Sagrada Familia, I think the one I like the most is Parc Guell. I rode my bike there for around 40 minutes and with uphill paths. That was pretty tiring, but fun time going back. I don't you can ride a bike in the park. I parked somewhere near the entrance. The view was so distinguishably Spanish and Gaudi when you see those trees and the structure.
Chinese restaurant owner
Have I mentioned that I've always visited Chinatown in every city I visited? No exception here. Chinatown, or you should say China Road lol, which contains only 2 blocks, is relatively small compared to others. And once again, it's so close to my hostel. I went there when I miss Chinese food. I had a pleasure meeting a couple who came to Spain more than 10 years ago. They were from Shandong (山東) where dumplings are a must eat!
During my stay overseas, I've met so many Chinese people. All of them are genuinely nice. None of them really got political with me. Some of them even curious about life in Taiwan or what so ever. I think all those political tension is propaganda, no matter which government it is. People just wanna live the life, make the most of it! It really doesn't matter where you are from!
Observation in Barcelona
- Intersection cut inside more so they have space for recycle bin. From aerial view, they city looks so beautiful and clean.
- Barcelona Beach is artificial.
- You see and feel a lot of things when you are traveling, especially if you go on solo trip. You have a lot of time talking to yourself. A lot of time making friends on the road. It's amazing and sad at the same time that those people you met on the road, you probably will not cross path again. My trip taught me one thing, don't wait or hold off something because you are unsure. I think the phrase, "Live like it's your last day," was true. The moment of enjoyment or fulfillment will slip away if you don't pay attention.