Barcelona

Ahh, Barcelona. With its pristine urban beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, delicious food and jaw-dropping architecture, there’s something for everyone.

Mediterranean Sea on the Fourth of July
Mediterranean Sea on the Fourth of July

We spent four days there, and stayed at the popular Kabul Hostel. The hostel is located just off Las Ramblas in Plaça Reial. The regional food is divine, and we made sure to eat lots of local specialties like tapas and paella.

Beach selfie
Beach selfie
First round of tapas
First round of tapas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Plaça Reial
Plaça Reial
Kabul Hostel
Kabul Hostel
Paella
Paella

We made some friends at the hostel and went on a bar crawl with them one evening. The hostel hosts these crawls a couple nights a week. You pay a flat fee and it gets you transportation and entry into 3 bars.

It started off in the main lobby, which has a bar. Then our group walked to two nearby pubs: one that had a lounge feel and the other that only served shots. The crazy shot bar was known for its specialty fire shots. I’ve seen this done before in movies, but never in person. I don’t even think it’s legal in the States. After that, we headed back to the hostel where taxis took us to a night club. “Euro-clubbing” was a hilarious experience that we’ll probably never get to do again.

Our new friends
Adam, Jini, Drew, Julie and Jeremy
Kabul Hostel
Kabul Hostel main floor lobby
Fancy fire shots on our bar crawl
Fancy fire shots on our bar crawl

In addition to eating and hanging out on the beach, we also did some touristy stuff. Barcelona is located in the Catalonia region, which is an autonomous community of Spain designated a “nationality” by its Statute of Autonomy. It even has its own language that sounds like a mix of Spanish and French. You may have heard about Catalonia in the news as the region has been trying to become independent for a while. While in town, we stopped in the Museu D’Història De Catalunya to learn more about the history surrounding the area.

Drew playing around in Museu d'Història de Catalunya
Drew playing around in Museu d’Història de Catalunya

One of Drew’s favorite foods in the world is jamón ibérico. Unfortunately, it’s not allowed to be sold in the US due to FDA regulations, so Drew had to eat all he could while on our trip. The finest and most expensive varieties come from free-range pigs that roam oak forests along the Spanish/Portuguese border. The eat only acorns, which gives the meat a rich, fatty flavor.

Drew with his favorite hams, Jamón ibérico
Drew with his favorite hams, jamón ibérico
Jamón ibérico up close
Jamón ibérico up close

Some of the most iconic attractions in Barcelona are the buildings designed by legendary architect Antoni Gaudí. We visited Park Güell and Sagrada Família.

Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Us on the world's largest bench
Us on one of the world’s largest benches
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Tapas round two
Tapas round two
Columbus Monument
Columbus Monument pointing toward America
Jini sending off postcards to family and friends back home
Jini sending off postcards to family and friends back home

Our last morning in Barcelona, we picked up our rental car and headed north into the Pyrenees Mountains to the tiny country of Andorra.