Forty hours on the ground in Barcelona is just enough time to expose you to a beautiful city filled with amazing architecture but leaving you longing to return to this Catalonia beauty.
Let me just start by saying that my adventure started in Miami as a stand by passenger trying to non-rev on my husband's flight. He flies for American Airlines and it is very rare that they have a 48 layover anywhere, especially Barcelona. This was an opportunity for me that I just couldn’t resist.
We arrived at our hotel and had enough time to for a quick nap and a shower, and then we were off to jump on the Barcelona Bus Turistic (the hop-on hop-off bus). We were told that it's the best way to get familiar with Barcelona and in our jet lagged state, that advice was great! We choose the Blue line and rode past an abundance of beautiful architectural masterpieces including the Sagrada Familia, designed by Gaudi.
Lots of cafes and restaurants abound in Barcelona, filled with tapas and Mediterranean delights - but take note that restaurants do not open until 8:00 pm! However, you can get lucky as many are open for lunch until 3:00 pm. After a wonderful dinner, we planned our itinerary for our last day in Barcelona.
Knowing we wanted to tour the famous Sagrada Familia, we pre-purchased tickets online to avoid the extremely long ticket lines. We took the Metro to the Sagrada Familia Metro stop which is on the blue or purple line. After we missed the English guided tour, we settled headphones and proceeded to tour Gaudi's masterpiece that is still under construction today. I grabbed a Starbucks (thank God it’s universal!) across the street and then headed back to the Metro where we rode to the Drassanes stop and popped out to see the inspiring statue of Christopher Columbus looking out into the harbor pointing to the new world. You can ride the elevator to the top of the statue for beautiful views of the city and harbor.
We walked along the boats and the water and then proceeded to head up to Barcelona's famous La Rambla. This is a gorgeous tree lined boulevard that also serves as a pedestrian walkway with shops on either side. We spotted an entrance and tucked into a lovely square called the Plaza Real. A majestic fountain centers in the square with gorgeous buildings surrounding it. We stopped for a quick bite and then headed out of the plaza into narrow streets that took us into the heart of the old city.
It was there where we discovered the beautiful Cathedral of Barcelona. It has one of the most stunning choir lofts I have ever seen. If you like to meander in places rich with history, this is a perfect place to discover.
After yet another a fabulous dinner (the food there was exquisite) we packed our suitcases and regretted the fact that we did not have more time to explore this amazing city. There are so many more wonderful things that we wanted to explore, but know that we will have to wait for another time… another time for sure.
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