From Granada to La Sagrada
The past couple of weekends have involved some major movements for me: two weeks ago I traveled south to Granada and this past weekend I traveled north to Zaragoza and Barcelona. Both trips involved seeing some REALLY beautiful sites, both historic and modern.
Five and a half hours south of Madrid (by bus) awaited the lovely Andalusia (the most populated autonomous community in Spain!). To keep our spending at a low, a couple friends and I decided to stay in a hostel and truth be told, this was my first time ever staying at a hostel. To give you a sense of location, our hostel was located right in the center of Granada, about five minutes from Granada’s famous cathedral.
I hopped on a bandwagon of friends headed away for the weekend and wound up on an overpriced, not-so-organized “organized” erasmus bus trip to Barcelona. Although I absolutely do not regret visiting this beautiful city, I definitely recommend skipping out on randomly-organized group trips. The service/person who took us on this trip wasn’t a good event planner, making for a messy trip that we (the travelers) had to take control of for ourselves. One of the things that I did like about this trip was our stop in Zaragoza, the midway-point between Madrid and Barcelona, for the Fiestas de Pilar: one of Spain’s biggest festivals, dedicated to the patron saint of Zaragoza, Pilar! The old and young alike celebrate the saint with festivities the week of October 12th, with musical presentations, contests and other events put on the day of the holiday.
We made it to Barcelona in the evening, rested a bit at our budget hotel and then went to the boardwalk for the evening, which was cool! The following day a group of us visited La Sagrada Familia, a Catholic church designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The interior and exterior were both amazing, providing a mix of awe and tranquility. We walked around to see some other historic sites and made it to the famous street called La Rambla. The street livens up at nighttime when street vendors open up shop and sell unique-crafts. If you keep walking straight down this street, you’ll eventually hit the beach! But beware, although it didn’t happen to me, I’ve heard this street is famous for pickpockets.
In case you guys would like to see more photos, I’ll be working on setting up a link for you. The awesomeness of these two weekend trips do not fit into one text post. I 100% recommend that wherever you’re studying, make the most out of getting to know the country you’re in. I don’t know if my budget will allow for a full-on Eurotrip but at the very least, I’ve visited some astounding places in Spain. That being said, get to know the city you’ll be in. Get lost. You’ll find amazing restaurants, cafes, street art, shops and maybe even people (what a concept!) along the way.