June 2, 2022: Gaudy Gaudi and His Row of Houses

A Day in the Life:

Today was a busy, busy day! We started off waking up earlier than any of us would have liked to considering we got to bed at 3 am following the amazing drag show we watched at Believe Club the previous night. We had to wake up at 10 am to pack our bags and put them in luggage storage by check out at 11 am. Once I finished with that I went to a bakery on the corner with Gianna, a girl I met at the hostel, to grab a small pastry and then head back to the hostel to eat.

Bryant and I were going to have a solo day exploring the city today because Kass needed to focus on finishing her homework, most of which is due tomorrow. We left at noon and walked to the famous row of houses Gaudi redesigned including Casa Batllo and Casa Amatller, two houses that could not be more different but that reside right next to each other. Casa Batllo is known for its curvy architectural elements, supposedly designed to look like the bones of a rib cage. Casa Amatller on the other hand was owned by a chocolatier and the most contrasting row of tiles on the sharply-angled facade are designed to look like chocolate themselves.

After stopping to take some photos and enjoy the history of the place we continued via metro to la Sagrada Familia, the most famous of Antoni Gaudi’s work and an absolutely stunning cathedral. It’s much more expensive to see the inside than the Cathedral of Barcelona (32 Euros as compared to 8 Euros for students and 12 Euros for the general public with hours that are free) and when doing some further research it seems as though the inside is unfinished. If you’re a big fan of Antoni Gaudi or want to hear a lot about the history from a tour guide it may be worth it but otherwise I think the real showstopper is the outside of the cathedral which you can relax and enjoy from the park across the street.

Not long after that we had to start walking back to the hostel so that we could board the metro and make it to our train on time before our departure to Valencia at 4:15 this afternoon. We made it a few minutes before the train departed, which was closer than was desirable but once we were on it was a comfortable ride. When we got off the train we walked to the bus station not very far away but the bus only took cash and only in exact amounts so we weren’t able to take the bus and had to take a taxi instead.

When we arrived at the hostel check-in went smoothly, and they do have good internet throughout as far as I can tell, however compared to our amazing hostel in Barcelona, Sant Jordi Gracia, there was something left to be desired. For one the bunk beds have much less head room so Bryant had to be in a top bunk of he would hit his head every time he sat up, the fridge is full to the brim and smells as though someone left their stuff when they departed and it hasn’t been cleaned out yet, and the actual hostel bedroom isn’t at the same pristine standard of cleanliness as our hostel in Barcelona. I think what’s most annoying is that the lockers require a 1 Euro coin, since we don’t have one right now we haven’t figured out whether or not it spits it back out the other side or actually takes the money as it doesn’t seem as though there’s anywhere to store it. None of these things are terrible and if we had had an experience in a similarly appointed hostel to start with our expectations might have been more realistic when moving to our newer hostel, and what most will probably look like going forward.

Once we dropped our stuff off in the hostel we left to grab dinner, finding a good looking tapas spot less than 500 meters away. Arandino’s had tons of options but we choose the Patatas Bravas, Pinchos Morunos, Croqueta, and Queso Fresco en Tempura, all of which were absolutely delicious and we finished every bite. They then offered some kind of chocolate cake which I agreed to immediately. Despite already having had one kind of dessert we were all in the mood for some gelato and stopped at Gelateria la Romana, which wasn’t exactly on the way back but after having some from another of their restaurants in Barcelona we already knew it was going to be incredible. It more than met all of our expectations and then some. When we returned to the hostel we did some laundry, Kassondra worked on homework, and I worked on catching up on some of these blog posts that I had said I would write. We’ll see how well all of that goes but here’s to today.

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