Barcelona and Valencia

There are many songs that refer to places that I could only dream of going. The Decembrists have a song called ‘O Valencia,’ Freddy Mercury has ‘Barcelona’ and Elton John, ’Paris.’ These cities seem so far away, like something you would see in a movie or in the news, however, they are cities Ali and I have had the opportunity to visit! Our travels have been so amazing and eye opening to different cultures, food and people. Once you start traveling, it is difficult to stop.

Recently (early December), we were able to rent a car and drive across Spain to Barcelona and Valencia. We had an extended weekend and thought it would be a great opportunity to visit a couple of cities that are further away. Our friend, Chris, was at our house when we spontaneously decided to go, so we invited him along.  We went from nothing to having everything booked in about an hour. It was an intense hour! 

Barcelona was our first destination. I was able to drive for the first time in four months which made me pretty excited for the trip. There is something about cranking up the music and driving 120 down the highway…120 kilometers per hour that is. We stopped to fill up the gas tank and saw a couple houses that looked as though they were straight out of Star Wars. They had sort of an adobe style mixed with a bit of Tatooine. I'm pretty sure Anikan Skywalker grew up in one of them. This was a great start to the trip.

I was blown away by the Sagrada Família. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is an exquisite cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. It looks like no other cathedral with its vivid, brightly colored, stained glass, amazing spiral stair cases, and strange architecture you might see in a science fiction film. It literally took my breath away! 

After Barcelona, we traveled to Valencia. Even though Barcelona is on the coast, we didn’t get to the beaches because we stayed in the center of the city. However, in Valencia we stayed two blocks from the Mediterranean Sea. I was able to see the Mediterranean Sea for the first time! It was incredibly blue and reminded me of the beaches in Michigan (if you minus the salt water and millions of creatures that could kill you). Valencia is a beautiful city and known for its paella, Oceanographic Museum and wonderful beaches. 

After our time in Valencia we headed back to Madrid. We had such a great time and captured a little bit of it. The video is above. Check it out, and also make sure you check out our past excursions here!