After emptying my locker and dragging everything to the living room to slowly pack it I ate breakfast and lingered around soaking up the last moments of what has been the best solo trip I have taken in Spain; the sense of community at Hostel Be Mar in Barcelona was incredible, even the American travelers who are notorious for their reputation were tolerable. I wished everyone I had met safe travels and headed out but the Dutch girls were not awake.
I didn’t fly until 530 so I had about 7 hours to see some last minute sites. I wasn’t sure if I would have time to pass the hostel to grab my bag so I just took it with me.
My first priority was beating the other tourist to the Sagrada Familia. Although the price was a bit steep at 12 Euros with a student discount the guide from yesterday said it is worth seeing. He also gave explanation as to why it is taking so long to build; the money that is collected for entry funds construction, the Barcelona council skims about 30 percent for “administrative fees”, so if they finish this 30% pocket liner is going to disappear. A Chinese firm approached them asking to look at plans and said they could finish it in 3 years but the council waved off their offer.
Painfully I handed over my money after waiting only about 10 minutes after taking a picture of the Magic square out front that adds up to 33, the number of years Jesus supposedly had when he was persecuted. On the inside more parabolic Arches funky shaped purplish stone columns, some corkscrew spiral staircases and the coolest set of polished metal organ pipes which were reflecting a scattered spectrum of colors. Back outside I got to hear the harmonic ringing of the church bells once more. Gaudi spent 4 years researching tubular bells and Harmonics so that when the bells of the Sagrada Familia ring they would sound as beautiful as the building looks; after hearing regular church bells these sound strange but awesome.
Hoping to run into the Teachers from Newsome, the school where I was working back in Florida, I was scanning the crowds off school groups but no such luck, so I took the metro over to Les Corts and set off for the FC Barcelona Stadium. For being one of the biggest clubs in Europe I expected to see a much more captivating stadium. The tour of the stadium and museum costs 22 Euros, outside of the range I was willing to pay so I headed out for my penultimate stop.
I had already visited the Magic Fountain near Plaza Espanya so it was irritating that I had to waste a metro trip back there and spend an extra hour basically just in traveling, but there was something I really wanted to see once Jasmine reminded me last night. Jasmine Studies Architecture so we had that connection and started taking about the Barcelona Pavilion which had an idea of but wasn’t 100% sure.she saw yesterday and highly recommended seeing it. I passed by it because it is such an understated building but it is the example of the Minimalist Movement, which I really like. When I was studying Architecture I remember studying Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion which was built in the 1920’s for the World’s Fair. But after the Spanish civil war it was left as rubble until enthusiasts unearthed the foundation and rebuilt it.
It was 3 Euros to get in but it was worth it as this was a nice relaxing place to sit and take a breather after lugging around my backpack full of clothes and computer and whatever else. The Example of the Minimalist movement is an open floor plan shelter with no completely closed in spaces, with a rectangular outdoor reflecting pond filled with river rock and a more secluded, smaller one with a stone sculpture of a nude woman posed in with hands elegantly above her head as if she were dancing flamenco.
At the Barcelona Pavilion there were three Asians taking tons of pictures with nice looking cameras so I asked them to take one of me and the building. Turns out they were Japanese and were really happy when I told them about the Japanese guys I met and when I showed them rock paper scissors in Japanese, we even had a few impromptu rounds and I think they wanted me to stay and talk but I had to get moving.
My last stop before the airport was back to the Mercado de la Boqueria to buy another bottle of fresh fruit juice, pulp and all. Last time I got Passion Fruit or “maracuya”, but this time I Enjoyed apple raspberry.In Plaza Catalunya the Aero Bus picks up people heading to Terminals 1 and 2 for about 5 Euros, a bit more expensive than the regular bus that does the same job but it’s also a tad quicker.
I passed security in one minute no problems; that’s two in a row without even a pat down. On the other side I sat around for an hour and 45 minutes waiting for boarding. As I was waiting to board, my flight friends from Texas, Nancy and … who I sat with on the way to Barcelona were just arriving so we chatted a bit about Barcelona which we both agreed was an awesome city but we had different seats this time so we said good bye.
On the ground, since I knew they had one full day still in Madrid, I found them ate the baggage claim and offered them some info which I had written down about how and where to go if they wanted to visit Segovia. They seemed excited to talk but I had to cut them off because I wasn’t sure when my bus would leave Madrid for Segovia and I still had about 20 minutes metro trip to get to the bus.
When I got to the bus station I got my return trip ticket and had exactly two minutes to spare, getting one of the last 5 seats on the bus. I finally got home around 10. The silent streets of shuttered storefronts were a perfect backdrop to the melancholia of leaving Barcelona and all the people I met there. Although I only met them a few days ago they were amazing company; I wish I could have stayed traveling with them.