I have had many amazing trips with my family, but I don’t think any of them will stick in my mind more than when we traveled to Barcelona, Spain. Our amazing adventure started in the early morning May 22, 2009. I remember waking up that morning and thinking to myself, “What a marvelous time I was going to have on this trip.“
Our journey started when we were picked up by a SUV limo and taken to the Indianapolis airport. From there, we flew to Atlanta, Georgia. I remember how surprised I was when we got to Atlanta because it was nothing like I had thought. I had pictured Atlanta as having a very hi-tech airport, but it was old and average, though very large and busy. The flight to Barcelona was nine hours long, but the plane had cool touch screens on the back of the seats that you could play games or watch movies so the flight didn’t seem nearly that long.
Early morning on the 23rd, we landed in Barcelona. It was cool that it was on the 23rd because that is my younger sister Karly’s birthday. Arriving in Barcelona was quite different than I had expected it to be. Instead of getting out of the plane on a boarding bridge at a terminal gate, we had to walk down stairs to the tarmac and get on a bus. After getting through customs, we struggled to find our way using the Barcelona train system. We must have spent a whole hour trying to find the right train to our hotel. This train system problem persisted throughout the whole trip.
When we finally arrived at our hotel, we were completely exhausted from jetlag. We threw open the screenless windows, cranked up the Spanish radio, and took a nap. We eventually got hungry, so my mom told us about this great place she’d read about in Rick Steves’ tour book that branched off of Las Ramblas, a famous street in Barcelona. I wanted to simply go to Mc Donald’s at the train station, but I couldn’t skip the only chance I had to eat at an authentic Spanish restaurant and to experience some Spanish culture along the way. We quickly found Las Ramblas which was bustling with people, street actors, animals, and pickpockets. Actually finding the branching road proved to be quite troublesome. Apparently the roads in Barcelona are rarely marked. We eventually gave up and ate at a nice little outdoor restaurant. It turned out to be very good except for the Sangria which I declared tasted like ear wax.
Another day, we took a Gaudi tour. Gaudi is a famous Spanish architect. We saw his works in buildings, churches, and a park. In his park there were very unique terraces that looked like crashing waves and the world famous Gaudi lizard fountain. Many of Gaudi’s surfaces were made of mosaic tile. We saw his actual home in the park. Inside the church we saw pillars that were shaped like trees in a rainforest with skylights to let sunlight through the trees. He liked to use nature as a theme for his architecture. I thought it looked like something from a Dr. Seuss drawing, but it was all very cool.
From this trip, I learned that Spanish culture is not much different from our own as long as you are familiar with the systems. Now when I go on trips far away, I am always going to soak up all the culture I can and forget the McDonald’s. Being in Spain really was quite a memorable adventure.
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