Saturday, May 14, 2011


View of the city from Park Guell
The school here kind of has a lot of breaks which is nice! The first week in May we had May break.  I went to Barcelona and Valencia, Spain with Emily. We spent four nights in each place.  We left for Barcelona on Monday after Queen's Day weekend.  We took a train to Eindhoven airport and flew to a small airport just outside of Barcelona which we then had to take about an hour bus ride to get into the city and then a taxi to our hostel.  Monday night we didn't do much; we got checked in to our hostel, went and got some groceries and walked around the area a little, then we ordered in a pizza and planned what we all wanted to see in Barcelona.  We are not very good at planning things to do before the trip, we only do that once we get there which we probably should do more planning before the trip.
In front of the Sagrada Familia
      On Tuesday morning we did a Gaudi walking tour which took us around the city to see some of Gaudi's famous architectural works.  The tour ended with the famous cathedral La Sagrada Familia which started construction in 1882 and will not be completed until about another 20-30 years from now! After the tour we took the metro to the Park Guell which was also designed by Gaudi. The metro is an easy way to get around the city but you have to be really careful of pick-pocketers!  A lot of the buildings there look like some houses you would see in Hansel and Gretel. From the park we were able to get a great view of the city.  After the park we were walking back to our hostel, down la Rambla when we noticed that the sky was starting to look like it could rain.  We tried to hurry back in time but we didn't make it; luckily we had our umbrellas and at first it was fine to keep walking because it was just a normal rain.  Then it started down pouring! At that point our umbrellas weren't helping much and we were getting pretty wet.  We stopped under some shelter for a litte while, but decided to just walk back to our place because we were pretty close and were already wet and didn't know how long the rain would last.  We got soaked; my jeans and tennis shoes were very wet and didn't dry until the day we left and my shoes need some help of a blow drier to dry.  That night we went to eat a restaurant and we tried paella which originates from Valencia. It contains rice, meat and vegetables; the one we had was chicken but seafood is also very popular. After supper we went to a local bar to watch the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona football game and got a pitcher of sangria.  One of the souvenirs I bought was a Barcelona football jersey with Messi's name and number on the back.
At the beach
    The next day we did another walking tour, but this time it was of the old city of Barcelona which was nice to hear a little about the history of the city.  After the tour we walked to a near by park to eat our lunch (we got groceries to make our lunch because it was a lot cheaper than eating out all the time; we just had ham sandwiches, oranges, and chips). After the park we headed to the beach!! It wasn't as hot as the day before but it was nice enough.  We laid out for awhile and then went in the water.  The water was cold at first but not too bad after you got used to it.  Finally at around 6 we walked back to our hostel stopping to get ice cream along the way.  We also stopped at a supermarket to get things to make spaghetti for supper.  The first night in our hostel room it was us two, two other girls and one guy. The next night it was just us two and the one guy.  When we came back to our room after the beach we saw that three people had moved into our room.  We went and showered to get all the sand and salt water off.  After the showered I went back to the room in my towel to get dressed because when I went in the shower no one was in our room, but when I went back in there was three guys in there.  It was a little awkward and kind of funny. They asked me if I wanted them to leave the room so I could get dressed but I just got my clothes and got dressed in the bathroom.
Olympic Stadium
     On our last full day, we took the metro out to see the largest football stadium in the world--Camp Nou which is home to the 2011 Spanish champions, FC Barcelona.  We didn't get to go in but just walked around the outside of it.  Next we went to go see the Magic Fountain but unfortunately, the fountain wasn't running. From there we walked up to see the Olympic Stadium as Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.  We just walked around there for awhile, ate our lunch and then headed back.  After all the site seeing we went back and walked around La Rambla.  We stopped at a farmers market just off of La Rambla which had a lot of fresh fruit, meat, and candy.  Finally we stopped at a few souvenir shops. After shopping we headed down to the port to just walk around and then went back to our hostel to eat left over spaghetti.  That night we headed back down to La Rambla for dessert and drinks.  We found a vendor that had dessert and had a Belgium waffle with coffee ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzled over it; it was sooo good! We wanted to find a cafe on La Rambla and get sangria and people watched but at the cafes it was too expensive so we just went back to the bar that we had watched the football game at and got sangria there. 
     Overall I had a great time and I really like Barcelona.  It is a very pretty city with a lot of history.

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