When arriving in Barcelona I quickly learned two things...1) people just don't speak any English here (probably they just would rather laugh at my futile attempts at the language) & 2) there are people in this city that try to get tourists lost. I have first hand experience.
The aerobus dropped me off in Plaza Catalunya, from there I was to walk the largest pedestrian strip called La Rambla until Plaza Real. When I found a large pedestrian street and asked the name... Of course some joker would tell me La Rambla, while it was actually almost going the entirely wrong direction. Now imagine, girl with the worlds worst sense of direction, backpack that is probably heavier than her, and a stubborn will to push on and find the hostel without taking a sitting break. That would be me. 45 minutes later (a 10 minute walk normally) I saw in the corner of my eye a Bucky luggage tag. "YO! Badger!" Yes, I'm lame, but in the heat and exhaustion it was all my tired brain could muster. A fellow Wisconsinite. A business school student like myself. Surely we can find this hostel! And another 10 minutes later, we did.
Never been as sweaty and attractive in my life.
Checked into my 22 bed dorm room. Which just about fit every stereotype of a hostel that never sleeps. It was midday and people were laying about sleeping, some talking and all with the the lights on. I swear those lights never went out the next 5 days. I met some lovely Canadians, whom I already miss dearly. They were fabulous.
Without giving a play by play for every hour every day of what I did, I will summarize with these general things. Barcelona is an amazing city. Go there. The gothic quarter is filled with the most amazing tiny narrow streets with the best hidden restaurants and bars. I could eat lunch and breakfast for 4€ a day. The sangria is dangerous-delicious and cheap, and a type of tipsy that sneaks up on you. The hours are irregular, wake up at noon, lunch, beach, tour, sangria, home at 7...then shower, sangria, eat dinner at 9. Nap until 11:30 and start partying with other hostel people until 1:45am to leave for a nightclub or bar. Dance more than you ever thought humanly possible until 7am and sometimes not coming home from the party until 10am. Wake up again at noon and that is the life of a person in Barcelona. Siesta is an important variable.
I met wonderful people. Went on the most amazing night bike tour (of course included sangria) and basically fell in love with the city.
Barcelona- I will be back!