So, it has been around seven months since I completed my Spanish pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I bring the Camino, the Way, along with me. In my mind I will forever be a pilgrim, a traveler, wanderer and a nomad. Due to the life changing experience I had on the Camino, I have left a part of my heart in Spain. This past weekend I was able to travel back to this country that is so close to my heart, the one that I love ever so much. Three of my friends and I headed off to the gorgeous city of Barcelona on Friday afternoon. It was my first time traveling with this group and it was fantastic. I am so thankful we were able to explore the city together!
The second I stepped off the plane I felt at peace like I was arriving home. We flew with Ryanair from Pisa to Girona and we then took an hour long bus ride into the city. We stayed in a small room in a sweet woman’s home which I organized through Airbnb. The room, I was informed prior to our stay, is typically used by two people and would be a tight fit for the four of us. It did turn out a bit tight and cozy, but the room only cost us each six euro per night, so I was not complaining! The woman we stayed with was actually originally from Germany and has an adorable, sweet three-year-old son. She was so inviting and her love for her sweet son was so evident and beautiful. It was my first time doing a private room with Airbnb, as I usually rent out an entire apartment, but it was such a sweet experience since our host was so welcoming and loving. (Below is an image from my flight to Barcelona).
I quickly fell in love with Barcelona and I also re-fell in love with Spain. The first night we explored the nearby area of the city and headed to a tapas bar for dinner. The next morning (Saturday) we headed to a bar for breakfast, oh how I have missed my typical Spanish Camino breakfasts! After breakfast, we headed to Park Güell which was incredible. I loved seeing the Gaudi architecture, palm trees, beautiful flowers, and gorgeous views. It was a bit cloudy, the park looked gorgeous regardless of the weather. While there, I even bought an adorable stone necklace from a street vendor. One region of the park requires an eight euro entrance fee, which we opted not to do, but we did enjoy exploring the free areas of the park. I will definitely go back and do the other regions of the park someday but as a broke college student, I was happy with and enjoyed what I did see of the park!
After quite some time at the park we explored the Gran De Garcia street with Gaudi’s architecture and then we headed to see Sagrada Familia, we did not go inside, but we did admire the exterior of the grand, fantastic, unique church.
Afterward, we headed to the beach area of the city, got paella, and walked along the dock and sea. The beach and water reminded me of California, it was a great time. We stopped by Santa Maria del Mar as well, the church is grand, beautiful and filled with stained glass, it reminded me of León’s House of Light. After visiting the church, we tried to make it to the Magic Fountain light show, but we missed it, which is another reason to go back to the city someday!
On Sunday morning, I went to the Picasso museum. I got I’m free with my student ID which was a blessing and a surprise! I enjoyed my time at the museum, it is very organized and well done. Afterward, I headed back to Santa Maria del Mar where I admired the beautiful stained glass while having quiet prayer and reflection time. While there I was taken aback by the church’s glorious beauty and the colorful sunlight that poured through the windows. It just seemed like a holy, heavenly place.
After visiting the church, I wandered through the streets, met a sweet pup, then headed to an adorable, artsy cafe.
I also visited the Arc of Triomf (as pictured below).
Later on, I met with my friends at the apartment and we headed back to the Girona airport via bus. Our flight went well and we made it back to Florence in a timely manner. I really enjoyed my time back in Spain and I cannot wait to go back again in the near future. Until then, I will embrace my time in Florence and get ready for my future travels. What’s next? Venice, Greece, Morocco and more! Until then…Stay true, live justly and always travel on. Peace and love.