Barcelona

I’m not sure where to begin! This weekend my program and I went to Barcelona, which is a gigantic, crazy city. If you are living vicariously through me I apologize that I don’t have any type of went-to-an-insane-party-and-drank-Spain’s-supply-of-alcohol story (nor will I ever). I’m more of a low-key traveler, some consider me boring but I think I’m a hoot!

Let’s see…the first day that we got there we had a small panoramic bus tour and then we had free time after checking into the hotel. A couple of us stayed close to the hotel and looked around. Every single person we talked to before the trip told us 20x over to keep an eye on our things or we will get robbed. That advice made me really excited for the trip…

We checked out a mall because I was in need of a jacket but it turned out that I will always be too poor to shop in Spain. I was unusually tired and not-unusually hungry so we went back to the hotel and rested. (Don’t worry…the story will pick up I promise).

After I rested up we went to an amazing Turkish restaurant where I had some of the most amazing falafel. Then we checked out the “magic fountain” show that proved to be truly magical. The show starts at 9:30pm and goes till midnight. We sat there for quite a while and then moved on back to the hotel. But before we made it back we took a pastry break where I consumed the best chocolate donut I think I will ever eat.

The next morning we had a walking tour of Barcelona. Being the poor college student that I am, I made a sandwich (because there is sandwich material in a European breakfast bar…I continue to find it odd), wrapped it up in a napkin, and saved it for lunch! I probably saved about €6 at least. I brought an orange and an apple as well…but a guy in our group threw up the apple because it was rotten. Needless to say…I didn’t eat my apple. I didn’t eat my orange either because I gave it to a homeless man. I know how it feels to be a starving human in Spain…dramatic or not…us hungry people got to look out for each other.

Back to the walking tour…to be honest we looked at a lot of old buildings and cathedrals. We were in the gothic quarter of Barcelona. The problem was that the morning started with a huge thunderstorm so we were kind of rushed through the tour. I have a lot of photos that I will post to my Facebook. I know not everyone has Facebook but it is the easiest way.

After the walking tour Cassi and I walked our way to a street called Las Ramblas. It’s one long street that is full of shops and vendors. It’s also a street that is crazy expensive besides some vendors. I bought a beautiful rainbow moonstone ring, just in case you care.

From Las Ramblas we kept getting distracted by the beautiful day it turned out to be. I rode a lion, entered the small land of gypsies, and played on a pirate ship. I’ll let that sink in….

Fine. You caught me. It wasn’t a real lion. But they are damn near close to real life! The land of gypsies was a long line of tents that was like a tiny flea market of the most random things that gypsies were selling. Annndddd as for the pirate ship, it was real! But they made it touristy, so there so no wheel or boards in the thingy-ma-bob to bring up the anchor, which made one angry Caitlyn. Alas, it was still a real pirate ship.

From there we took the metro back because it would have taken us over an hour (if we didn’t get lost or distracted) to make it back to the hotel. We rested up again and started our adventure to the Ice Bar! Oh yes. You read that correctly my friend. An ice bar. A bar made completely of ice. Even the cups were ice. But before I make it to the bar part…I must explain the mouth watering food we ran into.

We were on our way back to the Turkish restaurant so I could relive the falafel experience before we left. We ended up running into a large festival celebrating something that had to do with the Romans. It was a long street full of vendors that sold anything from candles, to food, to clothes. I bought a falafel wrap from a lady, who should receive an award for the the best thing I have ever eaten. I devoured that falafel wrap like a fat kid in the corner. Holy moly I’ll be thinking about that for months. We moved forward and ran into a crepe stand. So the 3 of us girls split a Nutella strawberry crepe. I will also be thinking about that for months as well. After making it all the way around we returned to a bakery stand where I continued to buy a chocolate donut the size of my head. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But to my surprise it really wasn’t good and I only ate about 1/4th of it. That was God’s way of saying, “step away from the pastries!”

We hopped onto the metro to the ice bar…

It was a really cool experience! (Pun intended) They give you a huge coat and gloves and then you go in and get your drink. The average time people spend in there is 45 minutes. I think we made it to about 44 minutes.

After the ice bar we went back to the fountain because we loved it so much the first night. If we wouldn’t have been so tired I think we would have stayed there all night.

The next morning (this morning) we had another walking tour of Gaudí’s masterpieces. He is a famous architect that turned out to be a really cool dude. He started out strong and rich but then found religion, which brought him down off of his fame high. From there he would live in the places he was designing, having no real home. He built a small school for homeless children and gave all his income to his work or the poor. Apparently, one day he was deep in thought while crossing the road and a tram hit him. At this time he would dress like a beggar, not believing in excess. People had no idea who he was because he looked homeless and the taxi driver would not allow the witnesses to put him in his cab to take him to the hospital because he was supposedly homeless. The police was called to force the taxi man to take Gaudí to the hospital. 24 hours later, he was identified as the famous architect.

I loved his work because it was incredibly whimsical. I would like to research him more because I have a theory that he loved the Hansel and Gretel story because his work looks a lot like candy houses…

After our walking tour we had free time at Las Ramblas but it turned cold and rainy. I ate my free-from-the-hotel-packed sandwich and orange in a Starbucks. We eventually made it onto the bus and back to Valencia.

I survived Barcelona without being pickpocketed. Don’t get me wrong, I find this a huge success, but I was ready to throw some elbows and go down fighting! Gotta love my dramatic side 🙂

Now I must type out my homework for tomorrow and upload pictures. Who knew trying to update everyone could be so exhausting?

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4 thoughts on “Barcelona

  1. an ICE BAR???? awesome!!!!!!! it’s like a less stinky version of the penguin/puffin exhibit at the StL zoo! Very proud of you for not getting robbed and proud that you didn’t taser anyone as well. that donut looks UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! We miss you here and can’t wait to have you back to share all of this!!!

  2. Caitlyn, I just read all of your posts. You are a such an entertaining writer! Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us. Sounds like you are having the time of your life and learning a LOT about the Spanish culture. What a rich experience you’re having. Take care, be safe, enjoy!

  3. I absolutely love the photos Jacober!! I hope we get to hear about a football match soon 🙂 keep having fun and thanks for the great updates!

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