Funbi Sowande: We have our fun loving and vibrant Assistant Editor as our guest nomad today! Having spent 6 months for an internship in Brazil, she made a self promise to make seeing the world a necessity. “Travel broadens the mind and widens your horizons” is her all time favorite travel quote and she is ready to widen her horizons one country at a time. Read all about her Euroventure! Instagram- @thefunbi
*Naijanomads note: Kindly read part 1 here
By the next day I was pumped and ready for my Eurail adventure. This was a 24hour trip to Barcelona from Venice. Yes! 24 hours and I still don’t regret choosing the rail option. 2 out of 4 of us were proceeding to Barcelona and we had to be at the train station before 6am. We said our goodbyes and began the second phase of our tour. I think one of my favorite things about this rail experience is that you can disembark and visit other cities which depends on how long the stop is.
We went through loads of cities; Milan, Cannes, Nice and our final stop for the day was in a place called Perpignan. Brethren, this city was cold o. It was like summer had ended here. We checked into a hotel opposite the train station and thankfully there was one last room available for €75 (N18,750) per night. Despite the cold, we looked for a nice pub around and had dinner before heading back to the hotel. By 10am the next morning, we were ready for our final leg to Barcelona. Can I just say that my favorite city during this trip was Barcelona. I think I left a piece of myself there 🙂
We finally arrived Barcelona around midday. The city is very beautiful and very different from Venice, not that I am comparing though (or maybe I am). Our airbnb apartment in Barcelona was a 5 minutes walk from Camp Nou! (where my Barca fans at?) After settling in, we got ready to go for a barefoot boat party we had booked before leaving Naija. The meeting point was at Port Olimpic, which is like a hub for a lot of fun things. There is the beach, restaurants, clubs and a casino. The boat party cost €40(N10,000 ) per person which included the boat cruise, free drinks and access to the hottest clubs later at night.
We were in Barcelona to have a turnt weekend and that we did! Party people will definitely have an awesome time in Barcelona. Hours later with lots of Sangria in the system, we headed back home to freshen up and get ready for the night ahead. We returned to Port Olimpic and met up with the boat party people who got us into one of the clubs. It was a fun night! We partied so hard. I was a total mess on snap chat that night (apologies to my followers). We stopped by one more club and called it night. Annoyingly, only few taxis were moving at that hour and it took us 2 hours to get one. It was really frustrating. And no, we didn’t think of Uber :(.
Next day, of course we woke up very late and decided to do some sightseeing. Our hosts gave us all the metro information and a city map. We got the 10-trip train pass for €10( N2,500) and set out to explore Barcelona. First stop was Placa d’Espanya to visit the Arenas de Barcelona for a 360 view of the city. We paid €2(N500) and later found out we could gotten free access via the elevators in the mall. Several pictures later, we left for the famous magic fountain. We got to the magic fountain just as the show was beginning. The “magic” of the fountain is that it’s a show of lights and music. It is really beautiful and the ambiance is nice. If you are lucky you will get a place to seat or stand by the fountain and get an occasional water splash. The fountain’s playlist is diverse from classical music to pop hits to Disney sound tracks. It was a great way to spend a Sunday night.
For our final day we had a full schedule; Sagrada Familia, Montjuic Castle and watch Messi play at Camp Nou. We started at Sagrada Familia and architecture lovers would definitely love this place. We could not get tickets but even from the outside, it is a sight to behold. Our next stop was the Montjuic Castle. We paid about €5 (N750) at the entrance and we did a tour of the fortress. After the tour, we took a cable car off the castle and hurried back home to get ready for the Barcelona game. Watching Lionel Messi play at Camp Nou was the highlight of my entire trip and a brilliant way of spending our last night in Barcelona.
We hopped back on our train and in 6 hours, we arrived Paris. Right after we settled in, we headed out to the Eiffel Tower later in the evening. It was really beautiful with all the lights but I think the tower is so much better during the day 🙂 .
Rejuvenated after a good night rest, we went to see the Louvre pyramid, the museum and of course we had to see the Mona Lisa painting! There is so much more to see in the museum from Napoleon III’s apartments to paintings by famous painters to sculptures, to jewelries belonging to ancient monarchs etc. I don’t think it is possible to see all the museum has to offer in one visit.
Disneyland day!!!! This was the best thing about my Paris visit. Heck! this is the best thing about Paris. A One-day Two- parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney studios Park, pass cost €80 (N20,000). This covers all the rides and attractions at both parks. It was a rainy day and they sold raincoats for €6(N1,500). A lot of childhood memories were rekindled during this visit. We saw the castle that told stories about beauty and the beast, took Jumbo the flying elephant ride, the mad hatters teacup ride, entered the maze Alice got lost in and lots more. I had a blast and will definitely come back again and again. The trip was quite a distance because it is located in the outskirts of Paris so its takes up the entire day.
Despite the long day, we still set out to experience the nightlife in Paris. Believe me when I say Google can solve all your problems. We discovered a pub-crawl on Google for about €16 (N4,000) which gave us access to 4 bars/clubs and you also get 4 shots.
The next day we decided to go see the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris popularly known as Sacre- Coeur. The street leading to the cathedral was lined with several souvenir stores and we did a little shopping before heading to the Basilica. We weren’t really interested in going inside for a tour so we climbed up the stairs, took some pictures and chilled a little bit. For our last night in Paris, we did another pub-crawl! It was super exhausting but hey we had many hours to kill on the plane ride back home.
There were several other tourist attractions we could not visit due to lack of time. These places have so much more to offer. Thank God for Trip Advisor and Google, one can never run out of suggestions.
See below a quick breakdown of the costs not mentioned above:
- Visa: N20, 000
- Flight Ticket: N232, 535
- EUrail 4 country pass: €494
- Barcelona Apartment: €112(N28,000) for 2 sharing (3 nights)
- Paris Apartment: €354 (N88,500) for 2 sharing (4 nights)
- Venice Apartment: €619 (N154,750) for 4 sharing (3 nights)
*Apart from these costs we spent about €1500 (N375,000) for activities, food and some light shopping