We arrived after a long night in Barcelona at about 10 am. Our rooms of course were not ready so we dropped off our bags and then started our walking tour. First we went down Las Ramblas, the main drag of the city. On Las Ramblas was our first stop, the Boqueria Market. It was like the Mercado Centrale in Florence, only bigger. They had fresh fruit juices in all kinds of combinations. I personally got Strawberry Mango and it was so refreshing. The next stop was the Christopher Columbus monument which was right next to the harbor. This was the first look at the ocean I had in a long time, not including Venice because those are more classified as rivers. The sun was shining and the weather was warm. It felt like it was late May more than it was late March. We then headed to the Casa Baltó, a famous building designed by Antoni Gaudi. We then headed up behind the Casa Baltó and saw the 1992 Olympic Stadium. It was not as large as I pictured it to be. We then continued with our Gaudi tour to see the Güell Park that was designed by Gaudi. And to finish up the tour we ended with the temple designed by Guadi, La Sagrada Familia.
We arrived in Paris at about 6 pm on Tuesday. We quickly wanted to settle into our rooms and then get some dinner with the guides. When we got to the hotel it was not at all like any of the other hostels we were staying at. It was actually a hotel so you’d think it would be nicer? Well, don’t let the names of things fool you. This “hotel” was not as nice as any of the hostels I’ve stayed in. Andrea, Elisandra, and I were staying in a room together which was only made for two people. It had a queen size bed that was shoved up against the wall, and a cot next to the bed. The bathroom consisted of a sink and a shower that had tiles missing. The toilet was out in the main hallway. We also had a communal shower/toilet combo right outside our door. There was one working outlet in the entire room and it was meant for the mini fridge. Moral of this part of the story: don’t think that hotels are always going to be better than hostels.
We left Amsterdam in the morning and were headed to our next destination, Brussels. Unlike all of our other destinations we were only there for about 3 hours, so this entry is gonna be a little one. Everyone on our program had the exact same idea: eat as much as possible before time runs out. The time we were allotted doesn’t give you enough time to find any kind of monument or see anything all that important, but it is perfect for wandering the streets looking for food. Brussels is known for its beer, fries, mussels, waffles, and of course chocolate.
Next stop on the crazy week of Spring Break was Amsterdam. The bus got into the city at about 6:30 pm. We all were very tired from a very long bus ride. At our hostel, we were lucky enough to get fed both breakfast and dinner for free. Side note about our hostel: at breakfast they had PEANUT BUTTER. Literally the best part of this trip was I took about 25 packets of peanut butter. After settling in we had dinner in the cafeteria, then Andrea and I were lead by one of our guides, Bruno to the center of the city.
I know I have been M.I.A. lately, but I have had limited access to internet or I have been very busy trying to get back into the swing of things after Spring break! 10 days of traveling through five of Europe’s most popular cities: Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona.
First Stop: Berlin. We arrived in Berlin around 10 am on Friday morning. When arriving at the hostel, they did not have our room ready so we changed in a public bathroom and moved straight on to the walking tour. We saw the Bunker where Hitler hid during the end of the war, the hotel that Michael Jackson held his baby out the window, the Holocaust Memorial, and the remnants of the Berlin wall. It was all very powerful to see that much history in a short amount of time. As American as I am about to sound right now, I don’t care; I was really excited to find that they had Dunkin Donuts in Berlin. During the tour we snuck off an got some iced coffee and it literally made my day.