Sunday, February 13, 2011


Okay, I know its been awhile. Everything ahs been so hectic! I started classes this week and I love my professors. Most of the kids in my classes are from the US which is kind of a bummer but only one of my professors speaks English. So awesome!

Okay…Barcelona. Where to begin! It was absolutely incredible. One of those experiences that almost feels like a dream. I remember when I went to Paris with Alex as soon as we landed in New York and met up with my mom we declared it was the PERFECT trip (we couldn’t declare it before because we didn’t want to jinx it). That is exactly how Barcelona felt. The weather was absolutely incredible and Tamara had a friend from high school who was studying in Barcelona who is a history major who showed us around and taught us all about the architecture and the history of everything. We saved so much money on tours and transportation because we had him! Here we go…

Thursday morning we caught the bus from our house to the Granada bus station where we caught the bus from Granada to Malaga. It is so strange to be driving along the beach…in the mountains. Palm trees and mountains…it still seems a little off to me but it sure is beautiful. The bus ride was like an hour and a half and we arrived at the Malaga airport with plenty of time. We checked in and wandered around eating our lunches that our senora packed for us. We got on the plane and our flight was a little less than 2 hours. Because we are such good travelers we did all the research on transportation before arriving. Our hostal mapped out the cheapest way to get from the airport to the hostal on the website. So we hopped on the train at the airport and then transferred a few times and ended up in our neighborhood in Barcelona called Poble Sec. It was really nice and safe! Our hostal was awesome! We totally lucked out! We were sleeping in a room with 5 other girls who were all really nice. 2 from Minnesota, one from Brazil, one from Australia, and one from France. Between all of our Spanish and English we could communicate but it was funny. The hostal was kind of hippie like and very relaxed. Every one was sooooo nice! The hostal had free dinner on Thursday night so we took advantage of that! After dinner we met up with Tamara’s friend in the subway. He took us to this bar called the oveja negra (black sheep) which is an old converted warehouse into a bar. It had this hugeee long tables and was really inexpensive. It was the place to be for college aged Spanish students. There weren’t very many Americans there and we made lots of Spanish friends! From there we went to this club on the beach that was beautiful! I ran into a girl from high school there. It was very funny! We stayed there until 5am and then took the metro home.

Friday we slept until 11 and then rallied and headed to parc guell. I don’t know why I hadn’t really heard of Gaudi and his influence on Barcelona but I was amazed. I felt like I was in Disney world/in a dr. seuss book. It was all of these mosaics and weird shapes and animals. I don’t even know how to explain it! (Link below for pictures) Tamara’s friend explained to us that Gaudi was inspired by nature and since there were no straight lines in nature he did not believe that there should be straight lines in architecture which was obvious! We wandered around the park and listened to the performers. It was a beautiful day. From there we had lunch (bocadillas as always) and got on the subway to the Sagrada familia. Now, I’m not quite sure why in my 7 years of Spanish studies I have never come across Guadi and the Sagrada Familia. There is nothing like it in the entire world. Its this cathedral built by Gaudi that kind of looks like a drip castle. It was really funny because we got off the subway and I went to take out the map to figure out how to get there from the subway stop and I turned around and it felt like the wind got knocked out of me. The cathedral was RIGHT THERE. And it is HUGE and strange looking. It was absolutely incredible. The three of us were absolutely silent for at least 5 minutes because we were just taking it in. We then met Tamara’s friend in the park and he told us about the history and how they have been building it for 100 years and it is still under construction. They are estimating that it will be finished in 2028 but no one is quite sure whether or not that is possible. It was 12 euros to go inside so we didn’t make the investment but I plan to come back in 2028 or whenever it is finished so I can see the inside. I wish I could come up with more to say about Sagrada Familia because it was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. I can’t even explain it. Maybe my pictures can do it more justice. Zach then took us walking around the city to see the Gaudi buildings which are other apartment buildings that Guadi constructed. What an incredible artist! We were pretty tired after this so we went back to the hostal and napped. For dinner we met up with Zach and his friends for tapas at this really cool place and had lots of Sangria! Yummm! We then went to this really cool bar that was made to feel like you were in a forest. It even smelled like a forest. It was so cool! We were pretty tired at this point so we wandered home before 2 so we could catch the metro before it closed.

On Saturday we woke up on the earlier side so we could check out on time. We then went to the gardens (I can’t remember their names!) which were beautiful. From there we went to the Miro museum. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love art. I love museums but I was notttt a fan of this one. I just did not understand it. I felt like I was looking at my kindergarten art projects. The view from the top of the museum of all of Barcelona was pretty awesome though. That definitely made it worth it. From the museum Zach took us to the 1992 olympic stadium. It was AWESOME! It was sooo huge! We read about the history and there were lots of cats sleeping in the sun in the stadium. From there we went to the castle. The castle had a beautiful view of the city and we sat there for awhile soaking it in. We then went for bocadillas before heading to the beach. The beach was so beautiful and the pier was crowded with people fishing and enjoying the day. There were so many beautiful boats and palm trees! I stuck my toes (brrrrrrr) in the Mediterranean! From there we wandered up and down Las Ramblas which is the major touristy area. I bought Peter a Barcelona jersey! I was so proud of myself I bargained in Spanish! I got it from 42 euro to 24! He said because I was so pretty and my Spanish was so good that he would make me a deal. He said that he doesn’t usually make deals for Americans because he doesn’t like them but my Spanish was good. It was so nice. Then we were heading towards the cathedral (not Sagrada Familia…the really old Barcelona catedral) when we happened on this festival. Now I haven’t really had problems with anxiety in Spain until this festival. There were these GIANT puppets that were probably about 10 or 15 feet tall that had people inside of them and were dancing around the square. They were terrifying. There was music playing and these giant puppets everywhere. I could not get out of that plaza fast enough. We went from there to the cathedral which is normally closed because it is under construction (like all of spain) but because of this festival it was open. It had this giant courtyard in the middle that was outside and full of these beautiful white geese. There were red candles everywhere and I lit candles like I do in every cathedral. From there we watched street performers in this plaza and wandered around a market. Then Zach took us to the concert hall which is a building constructed by one of Gaudi’s students. It was incredible and I actually liked it even more than I liked Gaudi’s buildings. For dinner we went to this little restaurant and watched the Barcelona soccer game. Everyone was so into it! It was so exciting! Afterwards we had wine in our hostal and met lots of the backpackers, people from alllll over the world! Then we went out for mohitos before we caught the night bus to the airport for our 6am flight!

We had quite an adventure and saw everything that I could have ever wanted to see. The weather was beautiful and I really really loved it. I have 12 days in Granada until we travel to the Canary Islands at the end of February. Who is luckier than me? I feel truly blessed ☺

Here is the link to my pictures! You can view them even if you don’t have a facebook!

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