Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vlogging and Conquering Barcelona

Barcelona is awesome. We didn’t have big plans for Barcelona when we researched the trip, but several people who had been there all said we would love it, and they were right. It’s really spread out, all the cool things are miles from each other, but it’s easy to get around on foot – unless you decide to walk to Parc Guell, which is at the top of a massive hill. There are millions of tours – hop on hop off, cycling, walking – we have done none of them.

Our favourite part of Barcelona is Las Ramblas, a street with more character than really fits in it. If Barcelona is a town of pickpockets, Las Ramblas is the centre but so far we’ve been fine. Our backpack has a sneaky pocket in the back between the straps so that’s where our money goes. If they knife the bottom of the bag (as they apparently do), all they’re getting is our lunch.

Las Ramblas has footpaths either side but also a massive median strip down the centre. The street performers are like no other. We thought the statue in Dublin did a good job but in Barcelona they go to a whole other level. A photo with Alien, anyone? There are heaps of performers other than Alien – a dragon with massive wings who will scare the pants off you as the photo is taken, Victorian ladies all in bronze – of course they all work with partners. Their income is not from the coins you throw at their feet before you take your photo, it’s from the wallets of the crowd that surround them, stolen by their partners in (literal) crime. As long as you hold on tight to your bag though, it’s well worth the show.

The best thing about Las Ramblas isn’t the street itself, it’s the alleys off the street. There’s even a massive market with every food you can imagine at number 89. Filled up on 1 Euro fruit salad and 50 cent fudge, we left Las Ramblas searching for the Barri Gotic cathedral. Smartphones are a godsend when you can pretend to text, all the while looking at GPS instead of holding out a Look-I’m-a-Tourist map. We wound through tiny carless alleys, crazy shops and the most amazing patisserias you can imagine. Since we don’t know what everything is, we’ve taken to asking shopkeepers for the best they’ve got, and through this method Courtney had ‘the best dessert of his life’ – a cake-meets-crème-brulee type deal that was amazing.

As we turned a corner and Barri Gotic unwittingly jumped out at us, we were thinking how the still photos of attractions really don’t put the surrounding areas into context. And so we vlogged for you. A video-blog. The battery goes flat at the end of the video so we didn’t mean to cut it off and not say goodbye, but that’s how it goes.

Not what you expected? Us neither. But it’s still beautiful.