Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SPRING BREAK • Barcelona, Spain

As I'm sitting here working on my third salad and forth cup of cappuccino of the night, I decided it was finally time to update my blog. Much has happened in the last three weeks; some good, some bad. But mostly, very good =) So in this specific blog, I'll just talk about Spring Break! It started on the 11th and ended on the 21st. I was priviledged with the opportunity of going to Barcelona, Spain with Lina & Jeannie. My 1st choice was Ireland & the Netherlands, but that didn't work out so off to Barcelona I happily went!

We left on March 13th at 4:30 that Saturday morning. After an hour long bus ride to Pisa and a 3.5 hour wait (2 hr delay) for the flight to Barcelona, we finally made it. It was beautiful that day. We definitely had some good vibes floatin' around as the three of us walked through the streets looking for our first hostel. Once we did found it, we came to the conclusion that we would barely hang out inside during the duration of the stay. This is mainly because the room, shared with 10 to 11 other people, was way too "janky," if you will. But that was okay! Since we were staying on the main street, however, we were incredibly taken back on how expensive everything was. Our first day was very chill. We got some expensive cheap food, took a long nap, then hit the bars. I didn't buy anything because of how expensive everything was, but I had fun. Some 18 year old Italian boy kept hitting on me... it was odd. I think we took videos that night, actually. I have to ask Lina about that one..
The next day, due to our laid back personalities and lack of accurate planning skills, we didn't have a plan- which was not a problem. We mainly just walked around and hung out in the Piazza della Catalunya soakin' up the sun all day. Too bad I was sick for most of the day so I had to retire early. I don't remember if we did too much that night, but I do know I had some good conversations with this guy named Ramona. He is originally from Miami and has been traveling for like... 5 to 10 years. He spoke five completely different languages and had lived everywhere. Even though he was a "druggie" he was incredibly insightful and had interesting stories to tell.
The following Monday morning we checked out of our oh-so-loved dirty hostel and moved into a much better setting. A lot more strict- but nice. After, if remembering correctly, we took naps (the Barcelona way) and then explored once again. This time I was able to walk out to the ocean, which was not an option the day before because I had to go home early. We walked down La Rambla (main street) and visited the outdoor market. WOW was I in veggie heaven- fruit, too. We got these amazingly yummy juices and I, myself, had a thing of strawberries, too.
Afterwards, we explored the town some more and finally started to make some plans. That night was really fun. Since we didn't know where all the parties where at, a man who worked the hostel, told us to go to Crappy Mondays at the Apollo that night.
So that's just what we did and boy was it entertaining. Not knowing what to expect, we walked in with complete "awe." Everywhere we looked, there was a hot European skater boy. And I'm talking bangin hot. Hehe, but that's besides the point. I guess that night was the premiere of some Vans skater film that had been directed, produced, and featured by several of the people who were there that night. I was really happy I was sober that night, let me tell you. I don't know why, but I have the worst luck in clubs! Not only had I caught a guy in the middle of trying to pick pocket me on the dance floor, but directly after, as I was walking up the stairs, a shit faced guy leans in to kiss me! Confused at first I push him off... but after him asserting himself the second time, I straight knocked him out! Fool tumbled down the stairs as his friends were laughing. Man was I pissed at that point! But after meeting up with the girls and meeting really interesting people, I was very satisfied with how the night turned out. We, again, did it the Barcelona way and got in at 6 the next morning =P
The following day, Tuesday, we went on a city bus tour and visited Parc Guell. I absolutely LOVED it there. The mosaics and architecture, done by Gaudi, was astonishingly beautiful and so unique. We walked through the place for hours and then got lunch at a local restaurant where I had finally tried Sangeri (cold wine mixed with juice). I didn't love it as much as Lina and Jeannie, but it was still alright. That night nothing really happened- we were far too tired.
Wednesday was the delightful Saint Patty's day. Barcelona, well, doesn't care. That holiday is definitely an American celebration. We rented bikes and hit the beaches. That morning as I was packing our sandwiches, I had to reach up on the top counter to get the bread, which required a bit of climbing. As I was in the midst of doing so, one of the English boys, Jay, warned me about how risky it was. In the middle of him doing so I come crashing down. China ware and all! I, being very typical, knocked over and broke four plates and bowls. hahaha Boy was I embarrassed, but they all forgave me. Anyways! It was far too nice and so much fun. We packed lunches, as you know, and had a picnic on one of the beaches then rode around a bit more. I swear, as much as I hate to say it, being on a bike gives you such a child-like mentality.That good kind of mentality though, like the only thing you have to worry about is not getting a bug in your month and as take a deep breath in. I loved being out there in Spain rushing through the crowds at, what, 15 mph? It was so.... relaxing, uplifting, I don't know... you get the point =)
Later that night we hung out with our new best friends. It was four skater boys from England, including Jay who I previously mentioned, who were just the sweetest guys ever. They were just so laid back and innocent. So we tagged along with them as they showed us all the spots in Barcelona. I had so much fun that night, started out slow but surely enough turned out to be great. At about 4 in the morning as we began heading back to the hostel, we ran into some of the guys friends. It was at this moment that I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling I had.
As I observed the situation I was in, I was hit with the realization of being in Spain and hanging out with complete strangers from all over Europe. These strangers, some from England, others from Germany and France, were all so laid back and carried themselves in such, subtle yet obvious, elegance compared to America. I even talked to one of the guys in French! It wasn't until the next morning that I had learned the guys we met were actually famous skaters in Europe. Huh... (I have to ask the names again) but yeah... good feeling.
The following Thursday started out with a slow morning. We then walked around and went to a restaurant that had been previously recommended by some American girls we bunked with. Oh em gee. Was this place the most delicious food I have eaten thus far on that trip. The restaurant was called DosTrese and had a very hippie atmosphere. Since we were unable to sit downstairs during the day, where all the great decorations were and such, we decided to sit outside. The salad given was probably one of the best I have ever had. We then were given plates of chicken laying over a layer of steamed zucchini. AAHHHH amazingness.
After lunch we took the metro back to Parc Guell where we shared a bottle of wine along with cheese and crackers and watched the sunset and hung out for a bit. It was a perfect way to end the night. <3
Friday was the big night. We had planned to buy postcards, write them out in Piazza della Catalunya, mail them, do last minute souvenir, make lunch, take a nap, have a large authentic Spanish dinner at this restaurant we had picked out, then go out to Razzmatazz, the largest club in Barcelona.
Well, I got through the postcard hang out, I got through walking around, I got through drinking another organic juice... but then I hit the seafood and meat stands. It was at this point that I had realized how sick I was. Thinking it was pure hunger, we stop at a grocery store and I buy cold pasta to eat on the walk back. That wasn't it... so then once back at the hostel I make a turkey sandwich then hang out with Jay. It was at this point were I realized just HOW dizzy, dazed, and nauseated I actually was. Let's just say after completely ridding all the food and stomach acid that I possibly could, I was bed ridden for the remainder of the night. The English boys claimed it to be water poisoning. I was really sad I couldn't make it out that night, but at least I saved a lot of money?! .....
The following day was the day to leave. A fellow AIFS student recommended for us to go to Parc de la Ciutadella to see the fountain and stone Mammoth. After getting lost and hearing several moans and groans!! ... we finally found it =) It was definitely worth it and a nice way to end our trip.
All and all I had a lot of fun with Jeannie and Lina in Barcelona. These girls were the perfect people to go with; we took our time with everything and never once got annoyed with one another. We collected many inside jokes and shared MANY hilarious moments. I love them far too much and am glad I got to meet such humorous people. =))) Next post will talk about the bike ride I had on Sunday. If you made it thus far I congratulate you! Shows you find my life somewhat interesting, yeah?

Peace and Love,
Erin Willis <3

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