As soon as I came back from Europe in October, I knew that I wanted to come back to Barcelona. I had a great time meeting new people, I loved the hostel I stayed at and I wanted that same type of experience. It only made sense to have my first stop of 5 cities in 5 countries be Barcelona for 4 nights.
This trip starts off by meeting my friend Marilyn at Newark Airport. She flew in from Los Angeles first and we started our trip together from Newark to Barcelona. This was her first time going to Europe so I was happy to show her around some of the places I’ve been to before, people I’ve met and explore new cities together.
First day was a little bit of a light day. We decided to go La Sagrada Familia and had a delicious dinner at Riko’s Pollo.
The next day was the day I had been looking forward to for months, to go and see Barcelona FC play against Espanyol in the Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe. Originally it was scheduled for the 31st but was re-scheduled for the 30th. This turned out to be a great move for us because the weather was beautiful.
Since in the afternoon we were heading to the game, we didn’t do any sightseeing and we relaxed at the hostel. One of the reasons I love staying at Fabrizzio’s Pettit is because it fosters an environment to meet people instead of just going to your room and never interacting with others. That morning I talked football (soccer) with Hakim from France and Jamie from England, who were both very nice guys and I hope to keep in contact with both of them.
I later met a group of Americans that I had profound conversations with. We talked Politics, Sports and the influence of money in both. In a short period of time they let me into their lives by telling me about where they are from, how they all met and a general summary of their lives, which I greatly appreciated. One thing I’ve learned in the last couple of years is to trust my instincts and my instincts tell me that these are wonderful people that I hope to keep in contact with. Even though we are from different parts of America and have different upbringings, we had a lot in common. Berkley current lives in Madrid and we discussed seeing possibly both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid play in the future, so hopefully this comes to life. I’m looking forward to possibly seeing Becca, Elliot and Desirae some time in the near future in the states.
So the time has come and just heading to the game was a bit of an adventure. We for some reason had trouble getting a taxi and then when we finally got one, we had to jump out of it early and run to the stadium. We could hear that the game started as we are approaching the stadium. So finally make it to our section and we walk through the tunnel…I can’t describe the feeling but it was like getting hit by 90,000 people at once. It was intense. The passion of the fans, young and old. Cursing and complaining in Spanish, you can’t get that on TV. This was Marilyn’s first football match and she had a blast as well.
And I got a Lionel Messi goal on camera…
Overall an amazing experience. If you have the chance to go to a game, do it. I’m actually a Real Madrid fan but I still loved it.
After the game, we met up with my friend Niya. Niya and I met in October when she gave me a tour of the city and we stayed in contact. She’s a great person and I was really looking forward to seeing her again. We met up for drinks at a hotel with her friend and caught up with what’s going on with our lives. After a couple of hours we decided to part ways but meet up the next day so she could show me around to parts of Barcelona I hadn’t been to.
The next day we met up with Niya and she brought us to this cool rooftop bar for some drinks and pictures from up high.
After the rooftop bar walked to a Turkish food spot for lunch and saw more tourist sites. We even stopped by the 13th century Cathedral of Barcelona.
Ultimately, I had a great time with Niya and Marilyn. Good conversations, good food and good drinks. I found out that Niya loves the phrases “Child Please” and “Jesus take the wheel” which I found myself repeating throughout my whole trip. I feel grateful to have such a wonderful person like Niya in my life and I felt like this trip helped to solidify our friendship.
The last couple of days at the Hostel, I met some awesome people. I came across a guy named Tim from England and in a span of a couple days we sat for hours talking politics, life in each others countries and life philosophies. It was just an overall pleasure to talk to him and I appreciated how respectful he was.
I also came across 2 Americans from New York that had both years ago decided to leave the United States for different reasons. One of them was Nick and talking to him was very interesting. He lived in different parts of the world for periods of time and working for himself. Hearing someone from the US taking his life into his own hands, going wherever he wanted and creating his own source of funding was fascinating to me…it’s just not something you hear too often.
The other great guy I met was David. David actually worked at the Hostel but hearing his story of how he ended up in Barcelona was great. His reasons for leaving was understandable. He worked on Wall Street, was successful in terms that a lot of people may look at life but he wasn’t happy. He decided to make the move and has loved his life ever since. His positivity is infectious and I hope to keep in contact with him as well. Yet another reason to come back to Barcelona!
Fast forward, it’s our last night in Barcelona and we came across a group of women from Porto, Portugal who were in Barcelona to celebrate one of their birthdays. I asked them if they wanted to go to a bar around the corner for a drink to celebrate. They had been up for almost 24 hours but they agreed. Then we agreed on a shot. Then a second shot. This of course turns into us going to a club and dancing till 4 am, mind you Marilyn and I had to wake up at 7 am to make an early morning flight. We had a blast and it’s a night I won’t forget. I am grateful to meet such nice and wonderful women from the best city in Portugal, Porto!
My Final Thoughts: As you can probably tell, I had a great time in Barcelona. Even though it was my second time there, I saw places I didn’t see before and made new connections to the city. Don’t be surprised if I come back for a short stay to say hi to new friends.