Day 22 – Barcelona

First of all, yesterday I tried to get train tickets for the next legs of my travels, but even rushing to the train station 3.5h early, they closed international ticket sales (this was 6PM). So I’ll probably be stuck somewhere pretty soon. Last night’s train went well. This time I think it was a “sleeper” cabin, which had room for four people, a small sink and even a power outlet that I used for my computer.

Upon awaking in the morning, I noticed the Mediterranean Sea going by outside the window. Even though it was an 11 hour train ride, it was nothing since I slept a lot and had power for my computer. In the Barcelona train station I figured this was my chance to get some train tickets! To my horror again, the woman at the booth said it is impossible to sell France/Italy tickets in Spain. Apparently you can’t do it anywhere in the country? Well, I’ll be out of Spain soon enough. But not sure what will happen after that. By the way, in Barcelona they don’t only speak Spanish but most people speak Catalan, which is an entirely different language!

Anyway, I had a good time in Barcelona. This included walking (plus escalators) up a big hill to Parc Guell which gave me a good panorama of the city. Afterwards, I visited Sagrata Familia, a cathedral that has been under construction for over 100 years and still decades away from being complete. And there were people working on it when I was there, so they’re still going.

Later I found a nice buffet restaurant and decided to try it. Called Fresc Co, they had very healthy food that tasted good and was affordable ($11). They would almost force people to have a salad first (everything from brown rice to prunes) by having you pick out that before you pay. Then they have another area with fresh fruit, pasta, pizza (veggies or seafood on it), and some banana in sauce for dessert. So I was impressed and I think they found the right combination. And I was on a roll too; I stacked up quite a few plates and bowls. Good thing I wasn’t kicked out!

The restaurant did put me over my budget though. Today seems like a typical day:

  • $34 Room
  • $11 Food (1 meal)
  • $9 Transportation (subway tickets)
  • $7 Entrance Fees (one fee, and that was with showing my student ID)

= $61 Total

I’m trying to keep my budget under $50. So this means I have to skip food, or skip any place that requires a fee to get in, or walk everywhere, or find a couch to sleep on to do so. Sometimes I have to make some hard decisions and cut out certain things.

At any rate, I spent the rest of the day walking around some of Barcelona, past the giant statue of Christopher Columbus, and walked down La Rambla. La Rambla is a unique dividing line in the city that is an uninterrupted sidewalk and for a half mile and no cars are able to cross. That’s where you see street performers and artists.

Tomorrow morning is a train from Barcelona to Montpellier, France. That’s as far as my tickets go so far. But I’ll probably end up in Nice, France. I want to get on a night train to Venice, Italy ideally, but I doubt that is going to happen now. My plan right now is to move as fast as I can because I’m probably going to be forced to delay somewhere.