And finally, the last destination of my cruise! It's been a year since I took this trip, but I'm finally closing out this series of posts! Lesson learned, next time I should post about my trip as soon as possible after I come back from it, so as not to lose the momentum of writing about it... And take more pictures! I took a good amount of pictures, but I could've definitely used more, especially for these blog posts.
Anyways, since Barcelona was the last destination on our cruise, we stayed a couple of days afterwards so we had more time to explore.
We arrived first thing in the morning in Barcelona, and went straight to our hotel near Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Once we checked in, we went straight to La Rambla. The first order of business was food, and we found this nice tapas place along La Rambla. The restaurants here were definitely targeted towards tourists like us, but we were so hungry (and the menus were so appetizing) that we didn't really care much. Although the food was a little pricey, it wasn't as pricey as what you would pay for something similar in the states, and it was delicious. We each ordered our own fishbowl of a sangria, though my sister and dad regretted it (and my mom and I got to finish theirs).
The rest of the day was spent walking along La Rambla. We shopped and took pictures of the various pretty buildings, and before we headed back to the hotel, we bought jamón ibérico and some rioja (red wine) from a grocery store. Dinner is eaten very late in Barcelona, so the rioja and jamón would be wonderful snack as we relaxed before heading out again for dinner.
We took a leisurely stroll as we searched for a restaurant for dinner, walking by Palau Nacional and the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, and the Plaça d'Espanya, also near our hotel.
We ended up eating some tapas with riojas at a random shop we found along the streets. A whole bottle of wine was only around 7 euros!
This day, New Year's Eve, was dedicated to the cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, and lots of eating.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world, and Gaudí's work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (source: Wikipedia). Upon even nearing the building, you can see why - the intricate work on the outside of the building is a marvel to behold.
And the interior, another marvel, with the tall ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows everywhere. Looking at the intricate designs on the ceilings was like looking into a kaleidoscope, brilliant lights and symmetrical deigns abound.
The church also had towers that you could visit, which required additional admission fees. It was definitely worth it - the view from the top was amazing, and the staircase to return to the bottom, albeit terrifying to walk on, was picture-worthy too.
The Rest of New Year's Eve
After La Sagrada Familia, we headed to Cervecería Catalana, a nice restaurant near La Rambla. There was a bit of a wait, but it was definitely worth it.
After lunch, we walked along La Rambla for a bit for a bit of shopping. My sister and I stopped at this cute little Portuguese shop for some coffee and dessert.
On our way back to the hotel in the afternoon, we once again picked up some jamón ibérico and rioja, among other treats. We bought more this time, some as an afternoon snack, and some to stock up for New Year's Day, when not much would be open.
Dinner came around, and we found this shop by one of the main streets, with, once again, tapas and paella.
The countdown was a relaxing affair for us - we walked around a bit after dinner, picked up some more beverages, and headed back to our hotel to imbibe and snack as we waited for 2017.
Day 3 was an uneventful day, as most things were closed. We had breakfast at a quaint little cafe near our hotel that was open, and then just did a lot of walking around for the day, taking pictures of many of the landmarks.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya
Plaça Sant Jaume
Last Meal in Barcelona
It was the end of the day before we knew it, and for our last meal in Barcelona, we wanted to eat somewhere nicer. We decided on this restaurant near our hotel, though sadly, I no longer remember the restaurant name :(
And that concludes this series of posts! I can't believe it's taken me a whole year to document this all... The trip was amazing, though I have to be honest, none of it was because of the cruise. The cruise itself was a great experience, but I have to say that I could've done with out. Because each night the ship took off to the next city, we only had half a day at each place. This trip was a great introduction to the various places along the Mediterranean, but next time, I want to pick and choose which cities to visit, and travel without any tour guides - that way, I can customize the trip so I'm seeing what I want for how long I want, and can eat at the places I want to eat.
I hope you all enjoyed this series, and I hope you're all having a great holiday season!