Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 1-3: Airplane, Munich Airport, Barcelona

Todd and I left on Thursday, September 16 for a 10 day trip with my parents throughout Spain, Italy, and France. We were flying into Barcelona and would stay there for a few days before getting on a cruise ship for a 7 day Mediterranean cruise that would take us to Italy and France. We flew into Philadelphia and then flew into Munich before finally landing in Barcelona. There were some pretty bad thunderstorms flying into Philly so they shut down the airport and we weren't allowed to get off the plane. By the time we got off and figured out that we had to go to a terminal on the other side of the airport, we had about 10 minutes to make our flight to Munich. I felt like the family on Home Alone sprinting through the airport. They had already called final boarding but luckily hadn't shut the door yet so we made it in the nick of time. In fact, we had to kick some people out of our seats on the plane because they thought no one was going to sit there since they had already called final boarding. We flew through the night and landed in Munich at 3:00 AM our time but 9:00 AM in Munich. We had a couple hours to kill before our final flight to Barcelona so Todd and my Dad decided to grab a beer. Yes, at 3:00 AM they got a beer at the airport.

Todd & I at 3:00 AM with his big beer

We arrived in Barcelona early in the afternoon and checked into our hotel. We walked around the city a bit, grabbed some food, and made it an early evening since we were pretty tired.

My parents, Todd, and I got up early Saturday morning to see the sights in Barcelona. Our first stop of the day was to the most famous sight in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia. It's a Catholic church that has been under construction since 1882 and isn't expected to be finished for another 20 years or so. Antoni Gaudi was a famous Spanish architect who designed the church. It has taken so long to complete because of all the intricate details and the fact that it's construction is supported solely on private donations and the money from the admission to get in.

A poster announcing the Pope is visiting La Sagrada Familia in November

One side of La Sagrada Familia

A view of part of the ceiling inside

Some of the intricate details on the outside

The other side of La Sagrada Familia....you can see all the construction work

It was an amazing sight to see but after a few hours wandering around inside, outside, and in the museum, I was ready to go. We headed down a street with some other famous buildings that Gaudi designed.

Todd & I on a mosaic bench designed by Gaudi

An apartment building designed by Gaudi with a great rooftop terrace

One last building by Gaudi....the front of the building was covered in colored designs
We walked down La Rambla, a street in central Barcelona that is very crowded with tourists and locals. Along the way, there were many street vendors and performers trying to earn a living.

La Rambla

Off the main street, we stopped in the market for a quick walk around. I was curious what the market in Barcelona would have that's different than in the U.S.

Mercat de la Boqueria
Lots of booths with candy

Lots of fresh fruits & veggies....I noticed bananas were really expensive there too

And lots of disgusting animal products like tongue, brains, and heads

We walked all the way down to the lower end of La Rambla to the Columbus Monument. The monument was built to remember that this is where Christopher Columbus stopped after his famous trip. You can tell that at the top of the monument, he's pointing to America.

Columbus Monument

We were able to take an elevator to the top of the monument and have some amazing views of the city.

A view of Barcelona from the top....you can see La Sagrada Familia in the back with the construction

View of La Rambla

View of the port & cruise ships

Todd & I posing on the lion at the bottom of the monument

We stopped for a quick afternoon snack and took a quick nap before heading out for some more walking along La Rambla and a late dinner.

Todd with a homemade waffle topped with gelato

Todd & I on the balcony of our hotel room

The restaurant where we ate dinner

Real Spanish Sangria....delicious!

After a great night of sleep, we got up on Sunday morning and had breakfast before heading over to the port to get aboard our cruise ship, Voyager of the Seas, for the week.

Best hot chocolate of my life....it was so thick, it was literally melted chocolate and no milk

Nothing like a healthy breakfast of churros & hot chocolate


Anonymous said...

barcelona is one place where i've always thought i'd want to visit. these pictures and your description make me want to hop on a plane asap! especially to see that lion because i see pictures of friends posing with it all. the. time.

Bethany said...

The first few days look like they were fun and educational! I LOVE the details of that church; hope I can see it one day, maybe even before it's complete :) Did your ship have an ice rink? I don't know if you remember Marcy Hinzman from St. Michaels, but she was and is a close friend of mine who now ice skates for Royal Caribbean. I believe she did a contract aboard Voyager a few years back, but I'm not positive.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!