A warm breeze and palm trees greeted us when we stepped off the plane in Barcelona. The drive from the airport to our hotel through mountains and a desert-esque climate reminded us of home. Well, except that Barcelona has beaches of course. Speaking of beaches, we couldn’t wait to visit one our first afternoon here. As soon as we dropped our bags at the hotel, we walked 30 minutes to the beach dreaming of that warm sand the entire way. Like fish swimming upstream, we maneuvered through large crowds of fellow beachgoers (tourists and locals alike) in shorts and flip flops, crossed the bridge over the marina, walked around the port, and, finally found the beach we’d been looking for — and it was everything the Travel Channel said it would be. Packed. With. People. Crowds as far as the eye could see. Like nothing we’d seen before. In more ways than one.
we wouldn’t have changed a thing
Aside from that wild blip on the radar, though, everything else about our time in Barcelona was wonderful (and fully clothed). We spent time in the marina watching the boats come in and out, admired the architecture of the Gothic Quarter on an appropriately dark and cloudy afternoon, strolled through an old palace’s grounds that’ve been converted into a park, and walked around the outside of Barcelona’s famous soccer stadium (we didn’t meet Messi). After being in France for three days where we didn’t speak the language, it was nice to be in a place where Jordan’s college Spanish minor and Guatemalan study abroad could be put to good use!
Our favorite part about our experience in Barcelona, though? The fact that it rained through everything you just read in the last paragraph. Actually, it poured. We were fortunate to grab a few photos before buckets fell from the skies, and here and there when it let up, but we spent the entire afternoon touring the city completely soaked. Drenched. The first blast came while we were walking to catch our bus. We took cover under one awning and then jumped from one covering to the next, hugging up against the buildings like Spiderman playing a game of Frogger. The second blast came while we were riding in an open top bus. Jordan tried to cover Amy’s head with his trusty map (see destroyed map photo below), but to no avail. Her curls were ruined, Jordan was soaked to the bone and it very quickly became way too dark and way too wet to attempt any more photos. We found two seats on the inside of the bus, and rode back to the stop near our hotel, hailed a taxi late at night in the pouring rain, and finally made it back to our room. After securing a small umbrella meant for one, we trudged out again in search of dinner. Naturally, that’s exactly when the torrential downpour hit. We were searching for a tiny restaurant on a little side street, and since the rain was coming down so hard we could barely hear each other, let alone see in the dark, we got lost, again. We marched around the streets (in what eventually ended up being a big circle) as our socks sloshed around in the puddles that were once our shoes and made a squish sound with every step.
When we finally found it and walked in, everybody else, dry and warm, turned and stared at the two drowned rats that’d just walked in. Seriously, you guys, we looked like Jack and Rose in the corridor scene of Titanic minus the handcuffs and flickering lights. It wasn’t pretty. The host, in his dry coat, vest, and bow tie, showed us to our white linen cloth table near the largest window in the restaurant, where we could look out onto the street at the storm we’d just escaped from. As we shared a pitcher of fresh Sangria and a traditional Spanish entree (paella), we could’t help but laugh about the day we’d had. It’d been unexpected, that’s for sure, yet like our life, we wouldn’t have changed a thing, because we’d never be able to appreciate being dry, safe, and warm unless, occasionally, we had to fight through a little storm.
We l-o-v-e traveling! Wanna catch up with our adventures around the world? You can do that here!
Domestic: Nashville • Denver • Phoenix • Vancouver • Seattle • Vegas • Atlanta • Santa Barbara • Florida • Virginia • New England/New York • Sedona • San Diego • Nantucket • Boston • San Diego • Virginia • Arizona
For those who’ve asked, we been photographing our trip with the Canon 5D Mark III camera and Canon 50mm 1.2 L-Series lens. In hindsight, a wider lens would’ve been helpful! The European streets are tight, the buildings are tall, and the tourists are plentiful! If you need gear recommendations, you can view what’s in our bag by clicking here.