It has been a wonderful week. I feel like I say that all the time. But really this entire experience has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, so again, it's been wonderful. Before I get to the highlight of my week I'll update on what's been going on. Last weekend we took a day trip to Cuenca, you can read all about it here on Chelsey's blog. It was the cutest little town, but sadly I hadn't been feeling very well for a couple days and Saturday it hit me like a ton of bricks. Chelsey was feeling the same way. By Saturday night we were both sure we were dying...not dramatic at all. We ended up spending the next two days in our beds, no church or school. Ana Maria did a great job taking care of us and by Monday afternoon we were ready to go at it again. Tuesday after class we went to Madrid with a couple girls to visit "Taste of America". They sell all these American food items that you can't find anywhere else. I may have bought my own little stash of Dr. Pepper....don't judge.
Then we prepared ourselves for the trip I've been most excited for....
I cannot even begin to describe how freaking excited I was. I have been wanting to go to Barcelona for as long as I can remember. And I'm just so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. There is just so much to say about the trip I don't know where to start! I've heard that the beginning is the best place...so let's start there.
We left early in the morning, per usual. I knew this was going to be a great trip when everyone else had to change roommates for the week and I didn't. As I mentioned before Chels and I had been "down with the sickness" for a couple days so we were quarantined. We were totally fine by the time we left but they decided to just keep us together. Now, not saying that I wouldn't have loved rooming with someone else, but when one isn't feeling very well it's nice to have some sort of stability. Plus Chels and I together equals pure awesomeness.
Anyways, on the way to Barcelona, we stopped in Zaragoza where the Basilica de Pilar is located. We took a litte tour and I touched the pillar left by the Virgin Mary...I didn't kiss it though...I wasn't sure if that was sacrilegious or not. There were also two bombs hanging on the wall inside. They came through the roof but never went off...A MIRACLE! So that was pretty interesting.
Finally, that afternoon, we arrived! I made it to freaking Barcelona!! Pure Joy. That's all I can say. We checked into our hotel...now I don't mean to sound snotty or anything...but this place was horrendous. And I'm not the only one who thought so. It looked like those places in horror movies where the Jason hides in your closet and then chops you up. To be honest, I was completely terrified. I feel like such a brat...but the water wasn't even working when we got there! and the beds looked like that had nastiness things in them and the shower was salt water once it started working. I'm justified in being afraid right?
Luckily, the situation was made better when Lance and Jacqui took us to gelato. Not gonna lie, after eating italian gelato, nothing here has met my standards...well this place did it. It's called Amorino and it was divine. Divine I tell you. I mean goodness that great should be illegal.
We also got to visit the Boqueria Market on La Rambla, it was way cool. There was just so much fruit...and other interesting choices of food. I can't believe people eat some of this stuff....that I'VE eaten some of this stuff. Ugh. Yeah that's a cows tongue. No big deal.
We then wandered down La Rambla until we found ourselves at the pier. Man do I freaking love water! It was dark and you couldn't even really see anything, but just knowing that I was dangling my feet over the Mediterranean Sea...again Pure Joy. We then ventured back to the hotel to enjoy a wonderfully terrifying night of sleep.
The next day was our designated tour day. We woke up bright and early and hopped on the bus for a tour of the city. I discovered that I am completely naive. Barcelona is huge! I guess when you hear about the same couple things you kinda forget that there is a whole city there. We visited the Park Guell. This place shows off some of the architecture stylings of Gaudi. It was pretty freaking cool. And the weather? just fantastic in case you were curious. When we were leaving the park we received some great news....WE WERE MOVING HOTELS! Apparently, we weren't the only ones not impressed with the hotel. So we ran, literally ran, to our hotel and packed up everything and got outta there. It took ten minutes. That is very impressive for 23 girls. Just saying.
Anyways, after packing all our things onto our bus, we headed toward the Sagrada Familia. Simply amazing. I mean really, I don't have any other words...do you think my art professor will accept that for our essay? It's another Gaudi creation. Why is he so good?
We then visited the Picasso Museum. He wasn't always a crazy artist...did ya know? My favorite part was the Las Meninas section. He repaints different sections of the original Velasquez painting, except in his Picasso style. It was actually pretty cool. We then made our way to our new hotel, which was WAY nicer by the way. It reminded me of a place my dad would stay. For those who know him, I just provided the perfect description. After we got settled we went to dinner at a nearby Thai food place. Alana Woodbury was living in Thailand before the program and helped us order the best things. Let me tell you, it was great. I just love Thai food. After that we just settled into our hotel and talked with a couple of the girls. It's like a big ol' sleepover when we are all together.
The next morning was our last day on Barcelona...and I started it by watching the sunrise on the beach. You have my permission to be jealous. It was amazing! Seriously everyone should experience it at some point in their lives. We had to wake up pretty dang early since the sunrise was at 730 and we didn't know exactly where to go. But thankfully I'm a map genius and I got us there without any trouble. It was so worth it getting up. I love the beach. With all of my heart. My grandma has always told me that I belong on a beach, and it's so true. I'm a person who needs warmth, water, sand, sun, bright colors, relaxation, etc. The beach is just a place that always provides these things for me. I'm probably gonna need to live on/near one at some point in my life.
Afterward, Chels and I went to a little plaza area while the other three went shopping. Now for some information about Chelsey. She hates birds. Not saying that I like them, but Chelsey absolutely despises them. Anytime one flies or waddles anywhere near us she flinches and makes faces. And this plaza was crawling in birds. I convinced her that we should go walk/stand around the birds and let me tell you, she is stinking funny around em. She has a video so someday when she finally posts it I will share but until then, just imagine us "ghosting" birds and squealing/screaming when they fly.
Anyways, that day was Friday and our free day. So after the sunrise Chels, Lindsay, Jenna, Hilary and I went off to see the city. The Fab Five as I like to call us. We first went to the Cathedral of Barcelona. It's really weird going through one without a guide like we usually do. But it was nice at the same time. We spent all the time we wanted there and were able to just walk around. This Cathedral always has 13 geese in its cloister to represent one year in the life of the martyr Santa Eulalia, a young girl tortured to death in the 4th century by the Romans for her religion. I also may have smacked a random ladies butt while in there. It was an accident of course, I simply thought she was one of the other girls in our group. Surprisingly, she thought it was as hilarious as I did so no worries, it all worked out.
We then met up withthe other girls and went to Hard Rock Cafe then back to the beach. Duh we went to the beach again. I would have stayed there all day if someone had let me.It wasn't very hot (but it was nice) and the water was freezing so I didn't get in the water. In fact, Chelsey was the only one who did. Here's a video of the entire scene:
We had been told that, even though they aren't nude beaches, some people may be naked. We were finishing up our beach trip, so I thought that we had gotten lucky. I was so very wrong. This very tan, old Spanish man showed up all of the sudden. It was seriously out of nowhere....and he was completely butt-naked....and he walked right by us....literally about 15 feet away. Some people amaze me. Guess it's all part of the experience. We quickly got our stuff and booked it outta that area.
Once we were clear of him we slowed down and took our time walking down the boardwalk. We then decided we didn't want to walk all the way back to La Rambla, but we needed to get there...So we stopped Kitty and Adam, the best bike trailer peeps ever and caught a ride. It was so fun just chilling riding in a bike cart along the beach.
When we got to La Rambla, I made a shopping stop. Disclaimer: I've been extremely good about my spending while here. Chelsey can vouch for me. So I felt it was okay to purchase a couple things, namely FC Barcelona gear (it's not all for me). I was/still am just so freaking happy about my purchases. I even got to wear some of it to a game! But more on that later.
After we got some more gelato (I owed Chels for getting in the water) we headed back to the hotel. A bunch of the girls made plans to go clubbing, but I laid down at 830 just to chill and next thing I know it's 3am and I'm making sure my alarm is set so we can wake up in time for the bus to leave. I completely zonked out. Don't remember a single thing. Obviously I was exhausted, but those are the best kinds of sleep right? So ended my Barcelona adventure. Pure Joy. That pretty much describes my trip in two words. I am just so grateful that I was able to have this opportunity.
till next time