Sunday, October 3, 2010

Un voyage espagnol?!

Tuesday was a half day from school and was the last day of our month of intense language classes.  (Thank goodness!  The whole 9-5 thing was killing me!)  At 3 on Tuesday, 3 of my friends and I started our journey to Barcelona, Spain.  We started off taking a train into Paris, then the metro to another train that would get us to the airport and then a plane to Barcelona.  We got to Barcelona around 11pm at night.  We stayed in the airport that night because there were no busses or trains or cabs that could cheaply take us to our hotel (which we couldn’t check into until noon anyways) Sleeping in the airport was an adventure in itself.  I think I got a total of 2 hours of sleep the entire time we were there (Unless you wanted to sleep on the floor, you had to take up 3 chairs and lay sideways.  You had to stick your feet through one armrest and spoon the other armrest.  (Super comfy right?!)  Because none of us could really sleep we found an all night café in the airport.  In my wonderful Spanish (which is seriously lacking because all I’ve spoken for a month is French) I asked which method of transportation was the best to get to our hotel.  The lady told me nothing….There is nothing tomorrow.  Finally we put together the pieces that there was a strike tomorrow.  Living in France we are totally used to strikes (in France, strikes are relatively quiet and no trains run and fewer busses run).  Spain is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.  We walk outside to get a taxi with a long line of people and out of nowhere this group of at least 25 people with whistles and signs and megaphones block the road and yell at every single taxi that drives by, leaving us there with no way to get to our hotel.  At this point we were a little freaked out but just figured the people yelling were the “scabs” and the taxis were taking their usual jobs.  We walked away from the airport and finally got a taxi.  In a mix between Spanish and motions and reenactments, I told the taxi that he couldn’t get through the group of people and had to turn around to take us to our hotel.  Luckily he understood me.  By the time we got to our hotel, it was only 9am so we started walking towards the nearest McDonalds to sit and get some breakfast.  On the way there we witnessed a group of 30 young kids throwing glass everywhere and then one threw a huge rock at a bus which caused glass to shatter all over us.  (Scariest thing ever)  We enjoyed McDonalds for our first wonderful Spanish meal… (My McBacon sandwich had a salsa sauce on it – totally Spanish right?)   When we could finally check in we all took showers and took a well needed nap!  We went to a Pans and Co restaurant which served Subway like sandwiches and my new favorite – Patatas Bravas.  Patatas Bravas are fried potatoes with mayo and hot sauce on top.  They were amazing!!! 
You’d think after that day I’d want nothing more to do with Spain. 
On Thursday we shopped and we shopped and we shopped and we shopped some more.  I tried on millions of clothes and ended up only buying a few things but really liked them.  For lunch we ate at a restaurant on the same street as all the shopping (Not a good idea). In all we ordered 2 pizzas, 2 paellas, 2 sangrias and 4 waters (no, water is not free in Europe) which came to a grand total of…..80 Euros!!  80 Euros just for lunch!!!!  After a long day of shopping we went back to the hotel and took another nap.  I am a big fan of siestas in Spain.  Then we met up with my friend who is studying abroad in Barcelona for the year who I have known since like 3rd grade.  We ate at an Italian restaurant which was amazing.  Much better than lunch.  Between 4 of us we had 2 pizzas, 2 things of pasta, a thing of garlic bread, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of water and 4 deserts.  Another wonderful price came with dinner…70 Euros!!!  And people in Spain don’t eat until 9 or 10 at night!  My grandparents would go crazy here!
Friday we went and saw Sagrada Famillia which is a huge famous church in Barcelona.  I took pictures but it was so huge that it was hard to get it all in the picture.  You are probably better off Google imaging it to see it.  After that we ate our favorite McDonalds and got some ice cream.  Then we went to Park Guell, which has a lot of architecture by Gaudi.  It also was on the top of what seemed like the steepest hill in the world.  It was hard for my little legs to make it that far as quickly as my tall friends did.  It was very worth it though.  (I will post pictures of this later)  If anyone is an America’s Next top Model fan, there was the finale fashion show here the season that Caridee was in it.  Then we did lots and lots of souvenir shopping.  Gotta get lots of stuff for the family and friends!  Again we took a nap after this and then went to my friend’s apartment and played circle of death.  Fun night and we just relaxed.   And prior to going to my friend’s apartment, I got two pairs of sandals for 10 Euro a piece!  Can’t beat that!
Saturday we had to check out of the hotel by noon and then again ate at our favorite McDonalds.  We saw the Picasso Museum (which I thought was very cool – I am not into art but it was very neat to see all of his work).  Then we shopped a little more, got some ice cream – Nutella flavored! YUM!  Then we saw some cool shaped apartment buildings and went to a fountain which was supposed to have a light show…but it did not.  It was cool to see the fountain though.  At 10:30pm we took the bus to the airport for another adventure in the world of overnights in airports.  I did not sleep one bit, instead I cleaned out my purse, reorganized my suitcase and sang to my friends who were all trying to sleep.  I made it through the flight successfully thanks to 3 xanax.  I don’t remember getting on or off the plane, which in my book is a good thing.  For breakfast in the Paris airport I we enjoyed hamburgers at 5 am.  Probably the earliest I have ever eaten a hamburger.
I am home now (Well my home in France) and it feels amazing to be back in my own bed.  Being both a Spanish and French major I love them both but I am definitely a Frenchie at heart.  I spoke a ton ton of Spanish and feel a whole lot more comfortable with my speaking skills which is good.  I can’t wait to get back to the United States and continue taking Spanish classes. 

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