Yesterday was an absolute adventure. Jena and I woke up early and navigated the metro system in Barcelona in order to get to Park Guell. It was all worth it 100%. We arrived just as the sun was coming up and the view over the city was stunning. We took lots of pictures and sat for a bit to take in the view of the beautiful art completed by Antoni Gaudi. Many buildings in Barcelona designed by Gaudi are magnificent, especially the La Sagrada Familia. Park Guell was no disappointment as you can probably see why. Also the cover photo was taken in Park Guell and is a famous work many recognize but may not know Gaudi is the artist behind it.
After we found our way back, we headed straight to the beach. The temperature was 66 and the sun felt amazing. The sand in my tennis shoes, not so much. The sound of the waves were incredible. If the map of the city didn’t show a large blue blob labeled Barcelona Beach, nobody would ever know it was there. The part of the city we spent most time in was the “gothic quarters.” This area was also beautiful but consisted of tall buildings built very close together and a cobblestone “road” between them. I call them narrow alleys. It’s crazy how a 20 minute walk can take you to a completely different place… city almost.
We left the beach in time to have a calm and very enjoyable Spanish lunch and head to the airport. Jena and I shared tapas (small appetizers) and ordered our own paellas. I had sausage and Jena had chicken and vegetables. I have decided I LOVE SPANISH FOOD!
We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We couldn’t help but think of the extra time we could have spent walking around the market but that’s okay. The plane ride to Amsterdam was well.. lets just say rocky. After squeezing Jena’s hand a few times, we landed safely and soon realized why the plane wasn’t traveling so smoothly. The wind was intense! We got the train to central station and a tram close to our hostel. The number of water/mud puddles I walked through from the tram stop to the hostel was unreal. Probably 10 that I couldn’t avoid in the matter of 15 minutes. My hair was wrecked along with my shoes and soaking jeans. Great! Just in time to meet up with Jacie, who had arrived a few hours before,and go out to dinner.
This morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hostel. Our free tour of Amsterdam was at 11:15 am and of course it was raining but not too windy at this point. We learned many interesting facts about the city’s history, the widest bridge, the narrowest house, and the bike filled canals that run all throughout Amsterdam. Our tour ended at the Anne Frank museum and to our pleasant surprise there was no line! there is always a huge line to get in and I completely understand why. The museum is in the house that the Frank family hid in from the Nazis. There were 8 people living in the “Secret Annex” until they one day were discovered and taken to concentration camps. The pure realization that the Holocaust wasn’t even 100 years ago is just shocking to me. I am inspired just imaging all the great things that Anne Frank would have done had she not died one month before her camp was liberated. I don’t know how many times I have said wow this trip but WOW!
Pancakes and dinner finished off our first full day. The rain stopped and we walked the streets some more. Stumbling upon an iceskating rink and homemade doughnuts put the icing on the cake!