Thursday, February 23, 2012

Soaked In Barcelona, Spain

27.01.2012

So after leaving on a plane from Marrakech, we arrived in Barcelona via Vueling Airlines at 2:15PM. We didn't checked in our bags, since Vueling allows 10kgs into the flight. But they didn't even weigh our bags at the airport. They just see the size.

Once arrived, we make our way to the Tourist Information Centre where we bought the 5-Days Travel Card. Costs us €28/person. While we were there, we asked the info person about the Magic Fountain and unfortunately it's closed for maintenance since the 25th for 3 weeks. What a bummer! :(

Then we took the aerobus to Placa Catalunya which costs us €5.30/person.

Once arrived in Pl. Catalunya. We had lunch at Burger King because we all were so hungry! And to me and Za's dismay, they didn't have any Fish Kings!!! We thought maybe we should go to McD's instead, then Mini decided to ask about any vegetarian burgers and they say they do have them! yeay? Not really, but we just ordered anyway. Vegetarian burger consists of veggies and cheese and costs €7!! It's so ridiculous! We never went into any Burger King after that.

After lunch we took the Metro to Reina Elisenda station where our hostel is situated. This time, we're staying at Albergue Studio. Once arrived at the hostel, we checked in, and the owner of the hostel whom we called "tata" (means grandpa in Tamil, i think). We had to be separated once again because they didn't have rooms for 5 person. So, me, Tina & Punita in one room and Za & Mini in the other. He explained to us how to get around the city and even gave us free towels!! Which we totally need since our towels was so damped from Marrakesh.

Reina Elisenda Station (L6)

Then we rested for a while, freshen up, put on some make up and decided to go to Olympic Centre and Castle de Montjuic. We thought of taking the Funicular de Montjuïc at Paral-lel Station. But once we reached Paral-lel, the funicular was closed. So we decided to head back to Pl. Catalunya.

We walked from Pl. Catalunya to Liceu station and back to Pl. Catalunya. Did some shopping in between. EVERYTHING WAS ON SALE!!! How crazy was that?! Then we went into SEPHORA. Girls and make up can't be separated. IT WAS THE BIGGEST SEPHORA I HAD EVER BEEN TO AND IT WAS 2 STOREYS. The basement was actually the best part. All of was almost gone crazy in there. There were so many colours, so many brands! I wished Barcelona was our last stop. I would have shopped till I drop just there. The girls were playing with the nail polishes. In the end I bought 2 urban decays eyeshadow primer and an eye make up remover. It was €28, but since they were on sale, I got everything for €21! WHAT A BARGAIN! I even bought a jeans at H&M for €10!

Chilling at Las Ramblas

Open air pet shop

I'm in almost heaven!

Luckily, we bumped into Carrefour at Las Ramblas. So we bought some dinner. We even bought cake and junk food for Tina's birthday. Even decided to open up a bottle of wine tonight! Of course me & Za didn't drank them.

Later we decided to have coffee at Starbucks. Resting our legs from not-so-massive-yet shopping.

Starbucks

After coffee, we head back to our hostels. Had our bath. At midnight, we head down to kitchen to sing Tina her birthday song and eat cake! It was an intimate party indeed. How lucky for Tina to celebrate her birthday in Barcelona! After dinner we played Uno cards until we're tired and sleepy.

Chilling at Albergue Studio's kitchen

Birthday girl

We used the computer to online for awhile before we head back to our room to close the curtain for the day. There's 4 more days to spend in Barcelona! We'll need the energy!


28.01.2012

So today, I woke up at about 8:30AM. Tina and Punita was already ready and heading to the kitchen for breakfast. Albergue Studio provides free breakfast by the way. So after I got ready, I too head down for breakfast. They served 2 pieces of bread with jam and butter, orange juice and a choice of coffee or tea. It was a good breakfast.

After breakfast, we put on our make ups (Yes. We're a bunch of girls) and head out to Monastero de Pedralbes. It was so unfortunate that it was raining and none of us had umbrellas. Me and Mini stood under the map since we had 3 maps with us. After 5 minutes of walking the map teared apart. We had to throw it and get soaked. Not too mentioned, I just washed my hair and it didn't even had the chance to dry yet. Also, we were walking in circles reading the map and street sign trying to get to the main road, which made the soaking even worse. Once, we reached the main road (finally!), we waited for the bus 22, but it took so long and we were soaked even more, so we decided to just walk to Monastero de Pedralbes. It took about 10-15 minutes to get there from where we were.

So we took some pics around the Monastery. I didn't do any research on the Monastery, didn't even thought of going in. The rain didn't stop us from doing our thing with the camera. hehe. Then Za and Mini found the entrance to the Monastery. So we just decide to enter and tour the Monastery as well as dry ourselves up. It costs us about €5 with our student cards. The €5 ticket also included other Museums in their list that we didn't have time to go.

Outside Monastero de Pedralbes

The dining hall

The Monastery is very beautiful and very calming in deed. I've always loved religious places. We had the audio guide thing with us which was free. So each of us had one. So we know more or less about the place.

Shhhhhhh~

The garden

After the we've dried up and the rain had stopped as well, we made our way to Avinguda de Pedralbes to take the bus to Camp Nou. While walking I saw the bus, so I ran for the bus! And the others started running after me. It was so embarrassing! I think no one runs for the bus in Barcelona. Everyone was looking at us! Even the jogging people suddenly stopped when they saw us running. We didn't catch the bus though. Buses in Barcelona aren't as frequent as in Moscow. We actually had to wait for quite some time before bus #63 came. While waiting, some old man came up to us speaking in Spanish. I think he said, when you go some place, you should know the language. We think so anyway, heh..

So we rode the bus until Av Diagonal-Av Joan XXIII‎ stop, where we got down and started walking towards Camp Nou. There are street signs directed to Camp Nou. It's not that hard to get around in Barcelona.

Once we reached Camp Nou, we bought the tickets for the tour. It costs €17 with our student cards (€25 if you don't have student cards). So we walked around the stadium. It was really exciting! Although, Za said Old Trafford tour is so much better. They didn't even guides at Camp Nou. So then, we took pictures and posing as if we were the audience or the players. hehe. After the tour ended, the rain started to fall again. So we just decided to have lunch there. I forgot what the sandwich outlet is called. Some sort of Spanish's Subway but it was expensive and wasn't as good. But we were too hungry too complain. We waited until the rain had calm down before we head back to the streets.

Woohoo! Tickets!

Yeah. Like we know how to play. Well, Tina's in the Uni futsal team. :-P

Camp Nou Experience

We took the metro from Les Corts to Liceu. We thought of going into Palau Guell. We walked around in the rain, and decided to buy an umbrella. So me and Mini bought one each. We were desperate and already soaked. Once reach Palau Guell, we almost bought the ticket when the cashier said the chimney is closed due to the rain. I mean, we're there because we want to see the chimney. So we said it's ok, we'll come another day. So we didn't know where to go next, we thought of going to the Olympic Centre.

So off we go to Paral-lel station, only to realised the Funicular is closed due to maintenance. But we found another sign that said there's a temporary bus that goes there. So we waited for the bus (I forgot the bus number though). The bus came a few minutes later and we reached the top of the hill.

Funny thing happened here. When the bus stopped, we thought there was another bus that goes further up and we were so lazy to walk. So we got down and took another bus only to realized that the bus was going back down!! LOL!!! In the end we didn't go to the Olympic Centre. Not even any other days after that. (takde jodoh)

So since we already heading back down to the city centre. We decided to go souvenir shopping at Las Ramblas. Yup. We're back at Las Ramblas. When we got out of Pl. Catalunya station, there was suddenly massive gathering with people giving away FREE BALLOONS!!! We were like, "Tina, did the Barcelonians decided to give you a surprise birthday party?!" Because the gathering was situated in front of Hard Rock Cafe. Then, Punita decided to ask them what's going on. It seems they're doing a protest against the government because they cut down their loans or something. What a funny way to do a demonstration against the government. It looks so much fun though!

Free balloons!

So cute!!

So we're walked along Las Ramblas, checking out every souvenir shop. I must say that the shopkeepers are all stingy people. They wouldn't even give any lesser than €2 for a stupid key-chain. Even though we bought like A LOT!! But in the end, souvenirs just had to be bought, we just went with it. It's so stupid. I feel like I've been ripped off.

After shopping, we ate some waffles which was so yummy!! After waffles, we head to Hard Rock Cafe because Za collects HRC tshirts. Then we bought some dinner at Carrefour and head back to the hostel.

Yummy waffles!!!
Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona

Once reached the hostel, we had our baths and ate our dinner. Then online for awhile before heading to bed.

29.01.2012

Today we woke up and had our breakfast. Thank God it didn't rain today. At about 10 AM, we head out to the city. We took the metro from Reina Elisenda to Sant Pau / Dos de Maig‎ station where we visited the amazing architecture of Hospital Sant Pau i Santa Creu. The hospital is currently undergoing restoration for use as a museum and cultural center. Although you can still pay the admission to visit it, but we decided not to. There was a small free museum in the hospital area that we entered. It was about world awareness; poverty, diseases, etc. Yeah, got us feeling guilty and grateful for how lucky we all are. Kinda gave us a slap. -___-"

Hospital Sant Pau i Santa Creu

Inside the free awareness museum.

After taking pictures of the hospital, we walked along Av. Gaudi to La Sagrada Familia; The most famous landmark of Barcelona. We took some pictures before queuing to purchase the tickets to enter the beautiful cathedral. The tickets cost €13 per person, but we got it for €11 with our student cards. The cathedral is super gorgeous, although it's still under construction. Can't imagine how it would look like once it's done. Read in Wikipedia it's supposed to be completed by 2026.

Av. Gaudi

La Sagrada Familia

The entrance

The inside

So, after Sagrada Familia, we took the metro to Arc de Triomf station to visit the Arc de Triomf of course! duh~ We took some pictures and walk along the park, watch some street performers doing their thing and people having a nice evening walk, never anticipated the misfortune that was going to fall on us.

When we were walking back to the metro, 2 ladies approached us with flowers, saying "flamenco, fiesta". As a big fan of free stuffs and flowers, I got attracted to them when they put one flower on Punita (or maybe we were already hypnotized (pukau) the moment we looked at the flower). Later realized that Mini was already talking to them there, me and Punita went to Mini asking what they're asking for. Tina and Za was already on the other side of the street, and Za suddenly came running back towards us but Tina stayed behind, watching. Mini said they wanted 1 cent coins. She put her coins inside her pockets, so she just pulled the coins out of her pockets while me and Punita opened our purses. According to Za, Mini was screaming at us not to open our wallets but I swear to Allah I never heard anything. I saw the lady holding on to my purse but my hands couldn't pulled away. Then they went away, Punita realized her money was gone from her purse, and when I opened mine, so did mine. Just that I lost my roubles (It was still alot though!) but Thank Allah my euros was still there but Punita lost €300!!!! And she started crying so badly!!! 300 FREAKING EUROS!! Gone. Just like that. Punita tried searching for them but they were no where to be found. They were gone too. In a second. And according to Tina, she didn't even saw us opening our purse. She just saw us looking at the coins in their hands.

Arc de Triomf

Street performers.

Punita went back to the hostel later because she was so sad but it happened. I swear we were hypnotized by black magic or something. Because it almost felt like a dream. We threw away the flowers. I was feeling sad too, but it happened and there's nothing I can do about it. I didn't want to ruin my holiday and my trip. It was supposed to be fun. So we just continued with our next place in our list which is Park Guell.

We took the metro to Vallcarca station. By following the crowds and the signs, we managed to enter Park Guell. We didn't enter from the main entrance though. I don't know why, but the park looks like a scene from Dr. Seuss's. They were really cute and pretty! So we walked around the park in search of the big lizard which is so famous. All the signs were in Spanish, so we didn't know where we were going. We even entered the forest to search for the big lizard. We asked a guy who was in the forest near the fountain about the lizard, he said the lizard was at the other side of the park. So we had to hike back up to the main park, asked around and finally found out (and feeling so disappointed) that the lizard was actually at the main entrance of the park where we walked pass and wondering why were there so many people gathering at that particular place. Had to hike the whole park for no reason! At least we got some exercise? (ayat sedapkan hati. sabar je lah. stupid famous lizard)

The quote on the side of an escalator before entering Park Guell that made my day after the misfortune.

The lizard was just behind us and we didn't realize it. -___-"


Main entrance of Park Guell.

ANTM cycle 7 finale runway.

So we took a picture of the stupid lizard, then head back to the metro. We walked without realizing we passed Vallcarca station and came to Lesseps station. So from Lesseps we went to Liceu station thinking we might catch the last entry to Palau Guell, but we reached 10 minutes later. Since we didn't have any break to eat since breakfast and it was already almost 5pm, we picked one of the Halal Beriyani restaurant there and have our lunch/dinner. They were great and very filling!

The stupid famous lizards of Parc Guell

Then Devendran called to meet up and he joined us to our next destination. We took the metro to Diagonal station where we walked along Passeig de Gracia to Passeig de Gracia station stopping by Casa Mila and Casa Batlo along the way. Passeig de Gracia is something like Champs Elysees in Paris because all the top designers stores are situated at Passeig de Gracia. Unfortunately that when we arrived there all the shops are already closed. Even Casa Mila and Casa Batlo, so we just took pictures of the building outside.

Casa Mila

Casa Batlo

After Passeig de Gracia, we went to Pl. Espanya station where we wanted to take picture of Las Arenas; a mall that used to be a bullfighting arena. They had a lift that goes up to the roof where you can take a panoramic view of Castle Montjuic. Cost only at €1/person. It's for going up and going down. Just had to hold on to the ticket as long as you're up there. The panoramic view is gorgeous. Would be gorgeous in the day too! They even had some restaurants and bar up there. So we walked around the arena and took some pictures. We realized it was still quite early, so we thought we'd go to Las Ramblas chill out at Escriba Cafe.

Las Arenas

Panoramic view from Las Arena's roof. Placa Espanya and Castle Monjuinc.

It was unfortunate that Escriba was closed. Maybe because it was Sunday. So instead we chilled at Cappucino Cafe before going back to the hostel.

Chilling at Cappucino

Punita had felt a bit better when we got back. Thank God. Wouldn't know what to do exactly if she hadn't calm down because our trip is only half way through.

Sometimes you just got to go life the hard way.

30.01.2012

Today is beach day! We got up, had breakfast and made our way to the beach at about 10 AM.

We reached Ciutadella / Vila Olímpica station at about 11AM. Had to walk about 5 minutes to reach the beach. Just follow the way to the 2 twin towers (sort of).

The so-called twin tower

Enjoying the sun

It was a very nice warm sunny day! We even took our jackets off. Getting a bit of sun soaked. ^_^ So we walked by the beach, took pictures, enjoying the scenery. We tried to avoid the water though because we didn't want to get wet, but Mini decided to dip her feet in the water.

Mini took off her boots and put it by the shore, dipping her feet in the seawater and we're taking her picture where out of a sudden, A BIG WAVE CAME! We were SCREAMING so loud trying to avoid getting wet but luck was not on our side. The water came up to our knees!!! Our shoes were soaked!! AND FULL OF SAND! Mini's boots got washed away, we did save them but they were soaked too. Everyone around that was sunbathing or sleeping got up to see whats the commotion. So embarrassing! -_____-"

Post-wave attack

Well, since we were already wet, we decided to dip our feet in the sea too! and the water was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDDD! but it was still so nice! ^_^

We didn't even get to walk all the way to Port Vell and Rambla del Mar. Oh well. So we decided to head back to the hostel to change our shoes. We can't walk around in wet shoes! Off we go back to Reina Elisenda with trails of sand.

Macam kat Miami pun ada

Once at the hostel, we took of our shoes, cleaned them (with hope they would dry by tomorrow) change our shoes and head back to the city. Devendran mentioned about the all-you-can-eat-seafood restaurant called Ichiban Wok for €13!!

So we made our way to Urquinaona station and found the restaurant. It seems ‎they charge €13 and only €9 on weekdays! Lucky for us it was Monday. So ate everything at €9!!!! But drinks was separate though. We, typically Malaysians took like so many plates! They even had fresh seafood where you can ask them to grill. OMG! The fish, the crabs, the prawns..... Even the noodles and fried rice was superb! Now I'm feeling hungry. Even the deserts was yummy.

We were the last customer that got out from the restaurant. They closed at 4:30PM, but we were there until 4:45PM. They didn't even get rid of us or told us that they were closing. So nice! They even asked us if we wanted to grill anymore fresh seafood because they were closing the kitchen. Awww... A filling experience indeed!

FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDD!!!!! 

This was the second half. The first half we were too hungry to take any pics. :-p

After lunch, we made way to Pl. Espanya because we wanted to climb up to see Castle Montjuinc. Once there, we posed in front of Pl. Espanya and Las Arenas (this time during the day) and walked up to Castle Montjuic. We spent quite and amount of time at Castle Montjuinc. Until sunset. When we looked at our watch, it was only 7PM and we didn't want to go back yet. It was getting cold, so we decided to go to Las Ramblas to check out ESCRIBA.

We arrived at Escriba, enter and had a seat. Ordered our cakes and hot chocolate. Although, I don't really recommend eating the cakes with hot chocolate. Just order either or coffee or other drinks, because the hot chocolate is literally hot melted chocolate. Ordering cakes and hot chocolate just add to the sweetness! We got sugar high and was craving for water after that. haha.. I must tell you that the shop is the cutest cafe/pastry shop I have ever seen in my life! The deco is really pretty and the stuffs they sell were so tempting, and the chocolate cake is the best cake I've ever tasted!!! Yummylicious!!!


What to eat? What to eat?

Yummylicous choc cake!!

Pretty pretty shop!

After we had our daily dose of sugar, and checking in at Las Ramblas (if you realized, we'll chill at Las Ramblas every single day while in Barcelona), we head back to the hostel.

31.01.2012

We're heading to Lisbon today, but only later in the evening.

In the morning, we woke up early today, had our breakfast, put our bags in the locker and head to the city at 9:30AM. We're visiting Palau Guell today (finally). The final thing on our itinerary.

So we made our way to Liceu station (back to Las Ramblas :P). We bought our tickets for €8/person (Student price), got our audio guide (it's free) and start the tour. The house is really pretty. Well, what do you expect from Gaudi right? I would love to imagine how they lived in that house.

Stairs in Palau Guell

The chimney was the best part. So many colours and design!

 The chimneys!

I swear, I think Gaudi has some fetish with lizards.

Palau Guell entrance

At the end of the tour, we stop by the shop and bought some souvenirs. Pretty pretty souvenirs. Expensive of course. How we all wished to have more money. ;(

At about 1:30PM, we head back to our hostel, took our bags and head to the airport. We took the aerobus from Pl. Catalunya which costs €5.30.

Last photo at Las Ramblas.

Reached at the airport at about 4:30PM, checked in and waited for our flight to Lisbon which will take off at 6:15PM.

Next: Sunburned in Lisbon!

6 comments:

Faza said...

anna, second update nih lagi panjang lebar and pic cantik gler.. puas hati i tgk hehe

p.s: pic 'enjoying the sun' tuh cantik!

Anna Mohamed Amin said...

haha.. sbb kitorang spend 5 hari kat barcelona.. sbb tu post panjang lebar.. byk sgt benda jadi... :P

petite girl said...

awesomeeee! look fabulous babe!

Anna Mohamed Amin said...

hehee.. thanks babe! ^_^

dHanna-the-secret-agent said...

oh no! scary gila! kesian ur friend mesti she's very traumatized to that. i tgok the picture before, i thought the misfortune part is the lizard stuff. hahaha!

memang i missed that pukau part. maybe ter'skipped' sebab die long paragraph u should bahagi due. kekeke.

anyway, ktorang pun ada bad experience kat spain. the last day, we were in malaga. busy taking pictures on the famous malaga beach itu. biasanya we kept our eyes on our bags, tapi entah macammana terleka sebab dah ada sunrise, bila i pergi tgok bag, one of my friend's bag hilang!!!

like who expect pagi2 buta ada orang kann, ktorang keluar dalam 6am like that. tapi iyalah, at 7.30-8am tu surely dah ada passerby or homeless ke ape ke. memang sadis gila! haritu balik masam je muke my friend. ala siaan. nasib pencuri tak amek my bag, kalau tak, i would never want to see anything related to spain, ever again! haha sebab semua barang dalam tu, souvenirs baju2 sume kan.

nasib baik yg beg die amek tu, my guy friend punye bag, die letak collections of pamplet2 and baju die of course n charger. naseb baik all the souvenirs dah pack dalam his gf. kalau takkk... nangis!!!

kat mana2 pun bahaya kan sebenarnye~ tapi semua tu pengalaman hidup. kalau asyik bernasib baik je kite leka pulak kan.

ohmai peoz, sorry anna i selalu je buat my own entry dekat ur comment box. hehehe

Anna Mohamed Amin said...

Itulah! no one warned us that Spain is a dangerous place. Banyak gypsies pencuri kat sana. We actually met those people again in Madrid, tapi nasib baik time tu dah alert. Tapi sedih la hilang duit. Ada another one of my friend, dia pergi Spain last year, dia kata orang tu langgar sket je kat bahu dia, tiba2 wallet dia hilang.. scary!!

Betul. We need these experience to keep reminding ourselves to remember to ask protection from Allah swt. Semua yang berlaku mesti ada hikmah.

haha.. takde hal la. I pun pernah je tinggal comment panjang2 yang your blog.. huhu..