Barcelona Travel Blog

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Amy and Jason - documenting our first night in a youth hostel!!

Wow! We just got back from a whirlwind tour of Barcelona this weekend! Soooo fun, but now I'm quite exhausted.

We took a bus from Montpellier to Barcelona, which turned out to be a great way to travel because the scenery was superb (we drove through the Pyrenees!) and it was 40 euros cheaper than the train! Once we got to Barcelona, I'm proud to say that we successfully navigated our way through the city to our youth hostel, even though NONE of us speak the language. (Though I did actually buy some postcards on saturday and made the complete transaction in spanish. I said, "ocho, por favor" and followed that with a "gracias"! It was eciting.)

Our youth hostel was pretty nice, not unlike living in a college.

me on the longest park bench in the world, in the park designed by Gaudi...with all of Barcelona in the background!
Haha, the spaniards are just a little too conservative with their water, though - to take a shower, you had to push a button to make the water come on (cold, of course), then had to keep pressing it about every 45 seconds because the water would only stay on for that length of time.

Speaking of water, you can't order tap water in a restaurant like you can here in france...they make you buy bottled water, which of couse is ridiculously expensive.

Despite these aqua issues, I really loved the city of Barcelona - it has a lot of color and character! We saw many of Gaudi's designs on Saturday - the famous Palau Guell with the world's longest park bench, Casa Mila (the strange looking Gaudi apparment building), and la Sangrada Familia (the church still under construction with all kinds of crawy towers).

the church that is still under construction (also designed by Gaudi)
We also explored the grounds of the Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau, which is on the UNESCO world monument list; arcitectually, it is just beautiful, and the entire hospital covers several blocks and is more like a college campus than a hospital. After all that, we continued our journey up to a place called the Poble Espagynol, a village/museum setup designed to represent each region of Spain. So you can wander around this place and see the different types of architecture, crafts, and traditions native to each area of Spain! A good way to taste the country when you only have a day and a half in one city!

We wound up eating dinner both nights along La Rambla, the famous pedestrian street in Barcelona that goes out from the port and the statue of Christopher Columbus. The first night, I ordered a traditional spanish dish, seafood paella.

outside the church...the name of Jesus in every language ("and EVERY tongue shall confess...")
Paella is basically a spanish rice dish and it was good EXCEPT for the fact that there were little squid legs in my dish (which I was not expecting...the menu just said "fish", but there was definitely no fish to be seen anywhere in the rice) that looked like worms...not appetizing at all. Lol we wound up at Starbucks later that night, where we got some yummy blueberry muffins and tea/coffee; we bumped into some other american students there and joked that going to starbucks was like retreating to a safe, known world in a strange place.

And while on the topic of food, two extremely exciting things happened this weekend -

(1) On the way to Barcleona, the place the bus stopped for a break had an ICE MACHINE. That was FREE. I thought I was dreaming for a minute.

This just fascinated me, but I have no idea what it means...the figures to the right are Judas and Jesus ("the betrayal kiss"), but as to the square grid with numbers in it, nobody that I asked knew its significance.
..then I woke up and filled my entire water bottle with ice, apparently an unheard-of idea in these parts of the world (despite the heat).

(2) For lunch on Saturday, we found a place that made real SMOOTHIES. The first I have seen...oh how I miss smooties in the summertime! It was probably one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. We documented with pictures.

In all, a fabulous weekend. However, now I must face reality and write a paper...you know what's kind of annoying? We are spending all day on the 4th of July takings tests!!! We have our placement test for the university Paul-Valery here in the morning, and a final for one of our UGA classes (which end this week as university PV classes begin) in the afternoon. Bah. Oh well...on Sunday we're going to Avignon and in 2 weeks we're going to Nice for the weekend!!!

Hope you all are doing well! Love you!

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Amy and Jason - documenting our fi…
Amy and Jason - documenting our f…
me on the longest park bench in th…
me on the longest park bench in t…
the church that is still under con…
the church that is still under co…
outside the church...the name of J…
outside the church...the name of …
This just fascinated me, but I hav…
This just fascinated me, but I ha…
the beautiful hospital grounds
the beautiful hospital grounds
photo by: fivepointpalm