What happens when you speak things into existence? You may get exactly what you were hoping for! I have been saying to pretty much anyone who would listen that I want to fly more European destinations at work . Being a new fly attendant , I'm more likely to work domestic , Caribbean or South American routes. Europe is for the big dogs ... or senior mama & papas as we like to call them . I decided ( in my mind) this month I would manifest the destinations I've so desperately wanted to explore and then BOOM , enter Barcelona, Spain! Someone originally working the trip decided to drop it and as fast as I could , I picked it up the night before it was scheduled to depart. You would have thought I won the lottery the way I was screaming on the phone to my friend about the exciting moment. Before I knew it , I was in search for the perfect cute yet warm outfit and frantically seeking things I could do in one day!
My layover was a solid 23 hours. At this point , I am accustomed to making one day feel like a three day excursion. Taking advantage of every moment even if it compromises sleep is the name of the game to ensure the 9 hour working flight is well worth it. My crew has been working at least 21 years , with the most senior crew member killing it with 43 years under his belt! They work Barcelona so often as though it's a daily drive from Miami to Boca Raton so they quickly informed me , they will not be accompanying my novice spirit into any exploring . I was flying solo on this one guys and you better believe I didn't waste a single second !
Fly Things To Know
Facing the Mediterranean Sea , Barcelona is located on the Northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
The earliest settlements was dated to be near or slightly before 5000 BC.
Legend has it that Hercules ( yes THE Hercules ) founded Barcelona. Although there isn't actual evidence to support it , another story is that Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca was the original founder; naming the city Barcino after his family. I think I like the Hercules story better .
Barcelona is the largest city and capital of Catalonia which is one of the autonomous communities of Spain.
The official language is Spanish but many people did speak English or at least enough to help me.
The currency is Euro but in most stores and restaurants , major credit/debit cards are accepted which makes purchasing very easy. Be sure to exchange some cash for things like taking the bus or tipping .
The city's transportation system is simple and easily accessible. There are buses , the metro train , taxis and Ubers to aid in your transport of preference. I did find that taxis were much cheaper than Uber and conveniently there are taxi stops pretty much everywhere in the city. Compare and see what works best for you!
Fly Things To Do
Sagrada Familia :Antoni Gaudi , a beloved famous architect, began construction on this famous landmark in 1883 until his death in 1926. 92 years later , Sagrada Familia still is not finished but is projected to be completed in 2026; 100 years after its conception. Although incomplete , visitors are able to tour the interior of this famed cathedral and experience the remarkable views from the top of the towers. My visit was impromtu so I was unable to purchase tickets before they sold out so my suggestion is to buy your tickets as soon as possible ! My obsession with cathedrals is endless so I really appreciated the work that had been done thus far and I imagine , once completed, it will be one of the most beautiful and intricately built cathedrals in our lifetime.
La Rambla :This is the street to be in when visiting Barcelona. It is known to be the center of the city and connects a series of shorter streets , each with their own specific flair and history to the city. Placa Catalunya , Gothic Quarter , El Raval Quarter, the Christopher Columbus Monument and the Port Vell all can be reached through La Rambla ! I took a taxi into this area and walked around wandering into the various sections. Placa Catalunya (Catalonia Square) , specifically , was filled with tourist and residents enjoying activities sponsored by the city. There were many attractions for kids like theatrical shows , mini playgrounds, etc. as well as tons of vendors selling everything from clothes , books , fragrances and food. There were a numerous amount of cafes and restaurants surrounding the area and other commercial storefronts for more shopping.
El Corte Ingles :Classified as the biggest department store group in Europe, El Corte Ingles is what every department store should encompass. I know you may be thinking why would a department store be a must see but trust me it will worth the visit. There are a few locations but I visited the one near the Catalonia Square and was thoroughly amazed. It sits 9 floors tall with each floor catering to your every desire. There is an actual full supermarket downstairs and as you reach each level , you're welcomed into a world of shopping you probably didn't know you needed. On the 9th floor is a #FlyEats heaven. There is a food court/cafeteria that will satisfy every taste bud that enters , especially after a day of roaming the beautiful Barcelona streets. Stop here for lunch or even dinner and enjoy a table next to the floor to ceiling windows and relish in the birds eye views of the very square you just experienced. I did just that and it was absolutely lovely.
Casa Batllo Gaudi : Another one of Antoni Gaudi's masterpieces , Casa Batllo was owned by the prominent Batllo family who were known in the textile industry. Originally the building was not appealing to many but the head of the household , Josep Batllo purchased it because of its central location on the then very prestigious street , Passieg de Gracia , also known as a fashionable area. He contracted Gaudi who redesigned the building , adding the roof structure of a dragon . The interior designs are mind blowing exposing the progressive mind of Gaudi to create such a modern look. The building has been refurbished many times and in 2002 , the house was opened for the public as the Noble Floor was created into a museum. Again, tickets must be purchased .
Fly Things To Eat
The one thing I was determined to indulge in was Paella! I succeeded beyond measure because I ate the best seafood paella I ever had in my life! Yes , I'm dramatic but ya'll know how I passionate I am about food and finally I enjoyed the type of flavor every other paella I ate prior to Barcelona was lacking. Literally every corner has a cafe or restaurant advertising the numerous types of paella they serve so choose wisely! I devoured mine at the food court I mentioned earlier in El Corte Ingles .
The second Barcelona food staple is Tortilla Espanola . This spanish omelette has all my favorite ingredients. Eggs , potatoes and onions. Sounds simple enough , I know , but the flavor is powerful . There are several variations with some adding veggies , cheese or peppers but the original version is just as good. Thankfully one of my crew members purchased a couple before leaving and we all enjoyed a bite or four on our plane ride back.
What Makes Barcelona So Fly ?
If my day in Barcelona had a soundtrack it would be sounds of a Spanish guitar .Like Carlos Santana himself was walking beside me and each note followed every step I made. Barcelona is of course a historical city , filled with landmarks and architecture from centuries ago which lends to its beauty. It also has romance which appear in the words spoken , the exchange between the people and the views surely taken for granted at times. There's plenty to see ,things to do and fabulous food to eat. I had moments of stillness where I stared in awe at the details of the city , the sun rays shining a spotlight on how truly amazing life is. Traveling into Spain , I didn't know what to expect but now that I have a glimpse of this astounding city ; my passport and I have to make another appearance soon !