“A man or woman of noble character holds a far greater asset than those who have traded it for material possessions.”
To finish off my trip, I traveled to a pair of cities that I should have visited when I studied abroad in Madrid eight years ago. Ibiza, a party island known for its crazy clubs and world-class DJs, was my first stop. After that I headed to Barcelona, a beach town in the north of Spain. I’m glad to say both of them lived up to the hype.
Ibiza is very well known for being a party island, and some of the most recognizable DJs like David Guetta spin at clubs there. I planned on being there on a Friday and Saturday night thinking that those would be huge, but it turns out that the clubs are more packed during the week. Go figure. No matter, I still hit up a club both nights, and went to the beach during the day to catch some sun.
I couldn’t take any pictures at club Amnesia the first night because they had this stupid camera check system similar to a coat check, and no one was allowed to bring their camera inside. If your club is so awesome, don’t you want people to be able to show others? I don’t get it. Regardless, I brought my camera the second night to one of the lesser known clubs because I didn’t want to go somewhere that had a strict dress code. That actually turned out to be a good move because the people came dressed in crazy costumes like this:
Both of the clubs started to get really full around 2 am, and closed around 7 am. I didn’t stay that late, but I definitely took in my fill of heart-pounding bass until early in the morning.
After Ibiza, I flew to Barcelona, one of Spain’s most lauded cities. Everyone told me that I had to see the Sagrada Familia, a famous church. Hopefully by now you know what I think about viewing my 58th church of the trip, but I went for kicks. I’d say it was one of the more impressive churches I’ve seen, but it wasn’t that big. Here are a few snaps:
After getting in touch with The Man, I went to visit Park Guell, a series of structures designed by Gaudi, a famous Spanish architect. Even though I went on a Monday afternoon, the place was absolutely mobbed with people, which was pretty annoying. Getting a beautiful view of the city and seeing the unique characteristics of the park was worth it, though.
I quickly stopped by Las Ramblas, a busy street with vendors and businesses of all sorts. I was only there at night, so it was hard to take any really good pictures. It’s also the area most known for pickpockets, so I didn’t want to stick around too long. Other than that, I did head to the port and the beach the day before I left, and that was quite a sight. This is why people say Barcelona is so beautiful:
The last night, I went out with some people from the hostel. I suggested that we dine in traditional Spanish style, which is by sharing small plates of food called tapas. We had everything from garlic shrimp to tortilla Espanola, a concoction made with potatoes and egg. Paella, another traditional dish, also made the cut, but I forgot to snap a pic of it. Here are what the tapas look like:
Later that night, two things happened that made me pretty negative on Barcelona. First off, a guy came up to our group pretty late in the night and started dancing with one of the girls from the hostel. No big deal, that happens all the time in bars. He was dancing so closely with her that he was able to take her cell phone out of her purse and put it in his pocket. She thankfully noticed, and I was standing right by them. I had some choice words for the guy in Spanish, and I went to follow him out of the bar, but several of the bar staff wouldn’t let me. I talked to the bouncer afterward and he said that this unfortunately takes place often. What can even happen is if the thief gets caught and you piss him off, he will be waiting with some of his buddies to f**k you up when you leave the bar. Seriously?
Then as we were walking back to the hostel at bar time, this guy passed by our group and slapped one of the girls on the butt. Her husband was literally right next to her, and the guy did it anyway. Her husband chased the guy, but didn’t catch him. How crappy is that? I didn’t have any incidents like this my entire trip, and then two happened in one night. Not cool at all Barcelona. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a city is if the people are a**holes.
On a brighter note, I’ll give you guys a few stats from my trip since I like numbers. You’ll have to ask me for some of the unofficial stats when you see me in person.
Trip duration: 49 days
Cities: 16, or 3.1 days per city
Countries: 9 – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain
Days I worked out: 12, very disappointing and frustrating
Days I spoke almost entirely in Spanish: 15, thanks Michaela!
Dollars that I got swindled out of by a street hustler: $25
Days that I drank: I thankfully didn’t keep track, but I would estimate about 18
Pictures taken: 1,513, or 31 per day
As you can see, I kept up a swift pace since I was only in each city for about three days. When you consider that traveling from one city to another could at times take nearly a whole day, that’s not too much time in each place. It’s because of this that the trip was more exhausting than you would think, so I might take a slightly different approach for my next one.
I’m going to write at least one more post after I get home with some more thoughts I have about travel, so stay tuned. I’m looking forward to coming back home and seeing you guys!