Today I began my journey through Barcelona with a croissant and cocoalatte (chocolate milk). We then bought our first metro pass and decided to get on without any understanding of the transportation system. We took a guess and luck was by our side as we exited the metro in order to enter La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia was an amazing piece of architecture built by the famous Antoni Gaudi. He is a well known architect in Spain who is known for creating masterpieces without any blueprints. After walking around the neighborhood, we walked back onto the metro and headed towards the Castilla de Montjuic. We thought we would be going to see this beautiful castle on the hill, and little did we know that this “castle” was an execution fortress used by the government throughout the 18th century. Getting to this castle was the biggest journey of all. We decided to be cost efficient and hike instead of taking the 14€ gondola ride. That hike was a tedious 45 minute uphill battle against the 85 degree heat in the scorching sun. We took numerous breaks and made it to the top only to encounter the vast view of the blue Barcelona harbor. It was an exhilarating sight and we treated ourselves to a bottle of water at the peak of the mountain. In Barcelona, no one uses reusable bottles and instead they simply purchase bottles of water when necessary. At 1-2€ a bottle, it seems like a misuse of money to me, but I guess it is a part of their accustomed culture.
That evening we went to dinner at a local restaurant on Las Ramblas. Another rule of thumb when traveling is knowing that it is rude to share a meal in other cultures and just forget the concept of taking home leftovers. We were denied at a place because we wanted to share a pizza instead of paying 10€ each for our own. We finally found an oriental restaurant with the same menu as all of the others that was willing to let us share the three tapas and pizza. Our tapas included chorizo, spicy potatoes, and fried potato dumplings (my personal favorite). Overall, we had a delectable meal after an exhausting day of excursions.