We arrived in Nice, France and found an apartment to stay in, which we were happy about to be able to do some cooking for a bit. Our first morning there we headed to the daily market to stock up on fresh ingredients for a salad… and it was delicious! We took it easy in Nice and just hung out at the beach and walked around the city.
One of the days we headed to another coastal town, Antibes, a town several friends on Facebook recommended we check out. It’s a 25 minute train ride away and absolutely adorable. It has the largest marina in the Mediterranean so with that, there was every type of boat store, seafood and the fresh smell of the ocean coming in off the breeze. Antibes had an amazing market, which we purchased all our lunch items from and went and ate by the beach. We also spent quite a bit of time eyeing the ENORMOUS yachts in marina. Shane looked up one boat and it was the 102nd largest yacht in the world. The boat beside it was having a day-time party where there were several workers helping to throw the flashy party. A lifestyle that was beyond imagination for me. It did slightly make me want to work on one of these boats though… could be a helluva experience, right?!
From Nice, it took us about 8 hours to get to Barcelona on three different trains. Barcelona is a city Shane has been to a couple times before and loved it, wanting to bring me one day. I was also excited to see it as it’s one of those cities if you mention it to someone who has been, they all love it. I can confirm, specifically for the food, drink and culture, it’s fantastic. We didn’t do too many tourist sights as we’d done a lot over the trip so there’s still lots to explore.
On Monday we did a walking tour through the Gothic District and this was great to get information from a local throughout a neighbourhood. From there, we went to what is know as one of Spain’s best markets. And it was wonderful! Except for the skinned goat head I saw that has scarred me for life. Check out some of the photos below (from the market and not of the goat!). Monday night we went for paella, the rice dish. Shane was able to indulge in some seafood while I enjoyed my vegetarian one. We also stopped off at a mojito bar Shane had been to before for really good 4€ drinks.
On Tuesday we visited La Sagrada Familia, which is a church that was designed by Gaudi. It’s been under construction for more than 100 years and they are targeting to have it completed by 2026, 100 years after Gaudi died. This church is like nothing I’ve ever seen and when stepping inside, is breathtaking. The inside is extremely modern for its time, with everything very thought out. Apparently Gaudi left very detailed plans and they have been followed as they complete the church. On the roof inside, everything is as if you’re under a forest with stained glass windows creating the effect of sunlight pouring onto the branches. It’s mind boggling how someone envisioned this and it’s stunning. Highly recommend going inside if you’re ever there, or in the mean time, look it up on YouTube.
I had read one of the must-do activities if they have a home game, was to go see the Barcelona FC team play in their home stadium, Camp Nou. Luck would have it that they were playing Tuesday night so we got right into it with tickets and jerseys. The stadium is one of the biggest in Europe, holding over 99,000 fans! We went down to the stadium a couple hours before the game, thinking the bars around it would be busy. We were about an hour too early before fans started pouring in, grabbing their last beers as you can only get non-alcoholic beers in the stadium (we think because of rioting…). Our tickets were up in the nose bleeds so we climbed and climbed the stairs to the top, where we were just a section over from a fenced in area rowdy fans of the opposing team go. They were playing a Dutch team who had very loud fans, chanting all sorts of songs (see the video below). In that section, there were security guards at the beginning and end of each row, then lining the top and bottom. There were also several police officers around the arena with riot gear on but thankfully we didn’t get to see why.
The game was at least 2/3 full and the fans were so loud when a goal was scored or a shitty call was made. The players impressed me with their quick footwork, which I guess is the name of the game playing at that level! Barcelona won 4-0, with their star player Messi scoring a hat trick.
On Wednesday we went back to the market to pick up a few souvenirs then lazed at the beach, knowing our summer was coming to an end. In the evening, we went to a couple different bars in search of live music. In the cocktail bar we found music in, we also met three Russians who we ended up hanging out with for a long time. Super interesting comparing stereotypes of each other’s countries! Two of them were on their honeymoon and part of their wedding tradition is to fly out for your honeymoon the day of the wedding while everyone else stays back to party. So four hours after the ceremony, they were on a plane, still in dress and suit. Happy we don’t have that tradition as we would have missed a lot of fun at our wedding!
After being in Europe for 32 days, we are heading back home, via Detroit to celebrate my brothers wedding. We’ve had an amazing trip, that really was once in a lifetime, having this time after getting married to know we made the right choice (😄). We’re coming back relaxed, tanned and over living out of a backpack but most importantly, still in love and married!