Saturday, May 8, 2010

Euro Trip '10 - Barcelona

So we packed our bags and headed to the train station. :) We missed the first train, but it turned out alright because we didn't have to wait so long at the weird airport to board. We each had one backpack stuffed with a weeks worth of clothes, but we made sure to leave some room for memories and souvenirs. The flight to Barcelona was about 3 hours. We could barely sleep on the plane and my ears were killing me. (I don't know why that happens now?) It feels like knives. Anyyyways, Ryanair always makes you get on and off the plane outside, which makes me mad beacuse it always seems to be raining. Well, it WAS raining in Barcelona and COLD!? We were so bummed. I was wearing flats and just while we were walking to the airport from the plane they got SOAKED and my feet were freezing. Oh boy.
We all went to the bathroom and caught the bus to our hostel. After we got settled into our room (the hostel was awesome!) we met up with Hannah's friend from home, who happened to be there at the same time, and went out to eat. We were starving!!We found a little place that serves paella and we all wanted to try it. I thought it was delicious and I ate like a hog monkey. Beth didn't like it only because the smell reminded her EXACTLY of the weird animals her Nigerian roommate chops up and eats everyday. (If the paella was made with curry, I would have felt the same way) So Beth was pretty much forcing it down, haha. We waited and waited for the rain to let up, but it was a major downpour and only seemed to get worse (I don't know how because it was already insane). We decided to make a run for it back to the hostel 3 blocks away. We stood in the doorway of the restaurant and did a countdown then ran for our lives. It was WAY worse than we thought. The water on the road was up to the middle of my shins and there were deep puddles everywhere along the sidewalks. Cars were racing past and it was raining too hard to see if we had the walking sign or not to cross the roads. It was a serious freak show. We were all running everywhere and laughing so hard. Our flip flops and flats kept getting lost in the puddles on the road and our clothes weighed 20 pounds. When we got back to the hostel everyone was laughing at us and asking if it was raining outside. We looked like drowned rats for sure.

The next day it was still pouring down rain. I did NOT pack the right clothes or shoes. We woke up early, got some breakfast from downstairs and took the metro to a Sagrada Familia cathedral that Antoni Gaudi designed. It started being built in 1882 and STILL isn't finished. It's absolutely ridiculous. We came out of the metro and I asked them which way to go. I turned around and it was practically on top of us. It took my breathe away how beautiful and massive it was. The entire thing is so detailed and has SO many things carved into it. There is way too much to see when you look at it. It's incredible.We really wanted to go inside and it was only ten Euros. I'm so glad we did. The bottom part entrance was sort of like a musuem with all of Guadi's designs, drawings and expectations for the cathedral. I don't even know how he thought up any of it. There was so much to see inside- pictures, videos, sculptures, little replicas. You could even watch the guys working on the cathedral! It was so weird.
We headed around to the front of the Sagrada Familia and we got to go inside up there too. There was so much construction happening. Inside was massive with HUGE pillars and stained glass windows. It was such a beautiful cathedral and so much thought went into it. I'm so happy I got to see it.After we went to eat at a little restuarant. I ordered a cheeseburger and when it came out, it was literally just a burger with cheese on it. No bun, no nothing. Thanks? It was really good though, but not very filling.We headed back to the Metro after because Kateri had to catch a train to Figueras. She was heading there for the next day to see the Dali museum. She's really into him and was so excited. On the way there we stopped at a little shop and I decided to buy a poncho since my only coat was soaked to the bone and it was going to be raining the rest of the time. I picked one that looked decent (for a poncho) and chose grey because I thought it help me to NOT stand out in a crowd. Turns out I was wrong. The poncho was ridiculous and I looked like a mad scientist who left the lab for a small lunch break. Oh boy. It wasn't cute.So we said goodbye to Kateri and got on different trains. Me, Beth, Brittany and Hannah headed back to the hostel. We went to a TINY grocery store nearby and bought some chips and drinks to hold us over between meals. When we got back to our room, we already had another roommate. There was a dirty tank top and white socks drying over the bed. After Hannah read a receipt on the bed (ha), we found out it was boy named Shawn. Grrreat. We talked and ate chips for a while and finally Shawn came back. We introduced ourselves. He was pretty short and skinny, 23, likes rock music (I asked if he liked Tool, pretending like I did..haha! ), 3 really stupid tattoos on his arms, not ugly...but the beard made him look disgusting. Anyyyways, he sat and joined in on our conversations about everything. He didn't act annoyed with our girl talk, he seemed to like having some company. (He was traveling Spain by himself since he has work off?) Then he would say things like "I'm not saying this to be offensive, but we're not at the same're just young." Yea Shawn, screw you. You're 23, big deal. So he was pretty annoying...and had 3 stupid tattoos that he wouldn't tell us what they meant. When we'd ask he'd just show them to us?? It was totally weird. So we got Dominoes for dinner and Shawn pitched in. It was really good. I wanted to go out, but no one else did. So we stayed in.
The next morning we got up early again to go on the Gaudi Walking Tour that was given by the hostel and was free! I was sooo excited. The whole way there we HAD to stop in every single store to ask if they could put money on Hannah's phone. I told her 10 times "We can do it AFTER the tour, Hannah..." It was ridiculous and annoying. After a while me, Beth and Brittany ditched her and headed to the meeting point for the tour. Hannah showed up at the last second and was so happy about her phone.
The tour was awesome. We saw three buildings that Guadi created and they were insane. One of them was a house that he had re-done. The guide told us that almost everything he did had something to do with Saint George who represented the area where Gaudi was from. This particular house was designed to potray St. George slaying the dragon to save his daughter. The roof looked like the dragon. The chiminey was like the Ascalon sword St. George used to kill it. The balconies were the skulls of all those the dragon killed. And the pillars were the peoples bones. It was so awesome.After, we went to a buffet and sat, talked and ate for a long time. We were so exhausted and cold from the rain. When we went back outside, we got maybe 2 minutes of I ripped my poncho off in celebration! But the sun didn't last long. Soon it was raining again.On the way back to the hostel we shopped around a lot. It was fun. We all bought some colorful headbands.
We only left the hostel to eat KFC that night. We had to catch a taxi to the bus station at 3am and wanted to get some rest. I was sort of bummed we didn't get to go out in Barca, but I was so tired the next morning so it was probably a good thing.Barcelona was BEAUTIFUL and I can't imagine what it looked like with the sun shining. I would love to go again some day and lay on the beach for real. It was a great time and I'm so happy I got to see Spain again. :)

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