HELLO EVERYONE I AM SO HAPPY BECAUSE I JUST RETURNED FROM SPAIN AND IT ROCKED A LOT. For real, I have dreamed of going to Spain forever, and I just got to spend the last four days in Barcelona so life is good. I would highly recommend Barcelona to anyone. It was such a calm city compared to Rome. The buildings are this beautiful mix of old and modern and Guadi's occasional, wonderful work or architecture sprinkled throughout the city. I pretty much packed my days as full as I could, but even then it is still one of those cities that you could live your whole life in and never discover everything. So, without further ado- here is my list of the top things you HAVE TO see (and tips for them) if you take a trip to Barcelona.
1.) The Olympic Stadium
Barcelone hosted the 1994 olympics and built this super amazing stadium surrounding this big hill near the coast. Tip- walk here and ride the sky tram up the hill first before visiting the stadium. There are these amazing gardens, fountains, and restaurants on the hillside and about halfway up you can buy tickets to ride in these little pods over the city to get to the top of the hill. The views are amazing, and at the top is a cool old military fort overlooking the sea. On your way down the hill you will run into the olympic stadium, which is a dream come true for all olympics lovers like myself. There are these amazing fountains on the plaza that slowly takes you up steps into the main arena. You can actually now pay about 10 euros and go down onto the field to run on the track, kick a goal, and even get your picture taken on the podium with your country's flag. IT IS THE COOLEST AND I SHED A FEW TEARS.
2.) The Catalan Museum of Art and the Magic Fountain
Pro-tip one- this can also be reached by walking down the hillside from the olympic stadium (so it's basically the coolest walking tour ever). If you love art like me, this is the most amazing place to go, and it's in this incredible palace-like building that has about eight levels of waterfall fountains in front of it. At the very front is the famous Magic Fountain, and if you go at night on a weekend you can catch the fountain show that has some really cool light affects and often some fireworks.
3.) Park Guell
This is the only proof you need that Antoni Guadi was literally the coolest designer ever. The park has so many brightly colored mosaics, fountains, and interesting architecture that this is something you can't skip. Plus if you are a America's Next Top Model or a Cheetah Girls fan, both were filmed here so you can take all the fangirl pictures your heart desires. Aside from that, it is such a breathtaking space that you can spend hours exploring. There's even a little museum about Guadi that you can visit that comes with the price of your ticket. A tip for the park- buy your tickets ahead of time. We learned the hard way and ended up having to make the journey to the park three separate times before we got in.
Last but not least
4.) La Sagrada Familia
Another Guadi building, who would have guessed? This will literally be the most beautiful and inspiring space you will enter in your life. Construction has been going on for over 100 years and it is still not even finished. This massive church has some of the most innovative architecture, and it uses light and natural geometry in ways that I have never witnessed before (that was such an interior designer statement to make). Plan to spend about two hours here and make sure to explore every corner of this place, as there are some pretty cool hidden sections. Tip- again buy tickets ahead of time online. There is a student discount of a few euros but you can also buy tickets to go to the top of one of the towers and overlook the whole city. If you leave Barcelona without seeing La Sagrada Familia, you have not lived.
Overall, Spain was one of the most amazing places I have ever been in my life. There is such a beautiful mix of cultures that you can see and feel all over the city. It truly is beautiful and inspiring.
Tomorrow morning I begin the highlight of my trip, the Venice Biennale. The Biennale is the world's most prestigious design show, and I get to participate in it. I am twenty years old and I AM IN THE BIENNALE IT IS LITERALLY SO COOL. But basically for the next three days I will not sleep, design my life away, and be ridiculously nervous until the presentation so stay tuned for pictures and stories from THE LITERAL HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE.
I'll also get to see glass making, ride in a gondola, and I have tickets to a soccer game when it's supposed to be down pouring so yay for new adventures. Life is so good everyone.
I'm Liz Bixenman, an interior design student living in Rome for the semester. When I'm not doing schoolwork, you can find me wearing a cat shirt, reading a book, and most likely eating more carbs than I'm proud of.