This morning I had to leave my beautiful hotel room at the Best Western in Nice. It was bittersweet, and I blasted my music and AC for a solid ten minutes in order to properly grieve the loss. And then I visited my favourite bakery for the last time. I said goodbye to France and hello to Spain!
I took the 99 express bus to the Cote d’Azur Aeroport. After waiting a while, and paying 30 euro to check my bag, I made it through security in record time. I arrived two hours early as they suggested, but have never gone through security faster in my life! Thankfully their free wifi kept me occupied.
I went to board my plane to Barcelona and was very surprised when the flight attendant told me to choose a seat. There were no assigned seats! I started regretting not getting in line to board the plane sooner. Now I understood why half our plane was lining up an hour before the plane took off. Luckily I was able to find an aisle seat instead of getting squished in a middle seat like the passengers behind me.
The flight to Barcelona was only 50 minutes long! Yesterday a half hour bus ride got me to another country and today a 50 minute plane ride. I am constantly amazed at how accessible everything in Europe is. I can’t imagine living here and not jetting off to explore a new place every weekend. I guess that’s why Europeans are so insistent on their vacation time. With so much to see in your own backyard (and with flights for 36 euros I might add) how could you not?
After arriving in Spain I boarded the airport shuttle and then took the metro to my hostel. Surprisingly, the directions that my hostel gave me were very easy to follow. I bought a T-10 card for the metro (10 journeys at half price) and didn’t have any troubles at all. Compared to my first day in France, this was kind of a breeze. But my Spanish language skills (not that I have any) haven’t really clicked in. My first reaction is still “Merci” instead of “Gracias” but I’m sure that’ll switch soon enough.
My hostel is a little outside of central Barcelona but I already love it. The owner greets you at the door and then sits you down and explains parts of the city you’ll want to see. He pulls out a map and circles all of the highlights, including what buses to take. He even told me about a fountain show happening tomorrow night that I might be checking out.
My room is small, but there are closets and a desk. I’m sharing it with two other girls and I managed to get the single bed while they share the bunk bed. The bathroom is tiny as well but everything is clean and no bigger than it needs to be.
After settling in and answering some emails, I took a little walk around my neighbourhood. If you go up to the main street, there’s a beautiful church. A bunch of kids were skateboarding outside of it, which was fun to watch. Next to the church is this cobblestone street that looks like something out of a fairytale. It’s narrow with bakeries and fruit stands down both sides. I picked up a bruschetta type thing and then stopped at the supermarket for fruit, cheese and biscuits.
My hostel also has a pretty cool dining area. They let you use all of their dishes and you put the dirty ones in a bin which is super convenient. I took my meal upstairs to the rooftop terrace. There isn’t much of a view but it’s really lovely up here. I’m surrounded by big trees and a community of neighbouring balconies. When I came up to eat my dinner, the owner was busy watering the plants. I can tell he really loves this place; a huge difference from the non-existent, money-hungry owners of my other hostels.
Tomorrow I plan to hit central Barcelona. I want to wander around La Rambla and check out some of Gaudi’s great works. And hopefully, end the night with the fountain show. I’m already loving Barcelona quite a bit and I’m excited to properly explore it tomorrow.