BARCELONA

{Feb. 7-10 Barcelona, Spain}

Hola!

DSC00459

Erica and I have traveled a lot together… to LA for the Rose Bowl, to Milwaukee – to New York – to Washington – to Rome, and to Amsterdam. We were just reflecting on how great of travelers we were earlier that week and supposedly we forgot to knock-on-wood. Yes, mom we missed our flight to Barcelona.

We won’t get into the background details here, but basically we scrambled to the airport even though we knew we were too late in the hopes of charming a nice old man  to get us on the next flight. Well…that didn’t work. There was indeed a nice old man behind the counter who said he could’ve gotten us replacement tickets if we had made it 20 minutes earlier, and now he couldn’t help us out because “his boss was watching.”

But with a free place to stay in Barcelona and a flight home already paid for we weren’t going to throw in our towels. The next 10 hours consisted of us getting on a bus from Campiano Airport to Termini train station, then train to the Fumiciono airport, and then finally departing to Barcelona.

Upon arrival we were quite relieved and decided to not think about how we spent our day..we were in Barcelona after all! We decided to have a low-key night and catch up on life with Kate and Krystyna, our roommates from UW, at an authentic tapas restaurant–I honestly had no idea what half the stuff we were eating was.

DSC00420

DSC00422

Friday we ventured out with no real plan in mind, which is sometimes the best strategy when exploring a city for the first time. Kate and Tyna brought us to Las Rambas, the famous pedestrian street filled with life. Everything in Barcelona seemed much bigger than in Rome,

Off of Las Rambas is the entrance to La Boqueria–a food market that has everything and anything any culinary genius would ever want. IT WAS HUGE and a turn around every corner brought new colors and smells. The meat section and fish section made me a little queasy to say the least–a lot more eyeballs and slaps of lard than I am used to seeing at a Copps.

Dad why didn't you ever cook us goat face?

Dad why didn’t you ever cook us goat face?

Fresh smoothies for 1 euro. This is where I fell in love with Barcelona.

Fresh smoothies for 1 euro. This is where I fell in love with Barcelona.

We started our evening with a huge plate of paella followed by a night out on the town to check out Barcelona’s infamous night life. The club along the beach wasn’t too shabby to say the least.

Saturday we woke up with one plan in mind: CARNIVAL. Carnival is basically Mardi Gras on steroids and is about two weeks of parades and parties throughout Europe to celebrate before Lent. A lot of my friends in Italy traveled to Venice to celebrate carnival there, but we decided to do it while we were in Spain! It is tradition for people to dress in costumes–nothing like the slutty nurse/animal costumes we see for Halloween but rather much more extravagant with masks or face paint.

Photo credit to my girl Sofi Majstorovic while she was at Venice carnival.

Photo credit to my girl Sofi Majstorovic while she was at Venice carnival.

We strapped our wings on in the morning and spent the first half of the day roaming Barcelona getting stared at because we happened to be dressed up on the wrong day or something–but people knew we were just excited for carnival. Later on artistic Kate painted our faces and we headed to the roof of their apartment building. Never have I ever had a more beautiful pregame (poolside) as we watched the sun set and laughed about all the stupid things we have done so far in our college careers.

DSC00457

Once it got dark we packed up our things and headed for the train station to get to Sitges, Spain. We knew we were going to have a good time as soon as we saw the herds of people in costumes board the train. Sitges is a smaller town about 45 minutes from Barcelona that is known for this HUGE carnival parties, homosexual community, and sandy beach.

The whole thing was hilarious. The streets were chaos–more crowded than I have ever seen Mifflin. We tried out a few different bars but spent the majority of our night outside in the streets admiring people’s costumes and attempting conversations with the Spaniards. At least I can speak that a little better than Italian.

IMG_1777

Sunday Erica and I woke up early wanting to take in as much as the city as we could

The adorable little boy who led us to the end of the maize (note his walking stick). GRACIAS!

The adorable little boy who led us to the end of the maize (note his walking stick). GRACIAS!

during our last full day. We sought out a beautiful park that someone had suggested on the outskirts of the city and attempted the famous maze in it. I have never seen so many adorable kids in one setting.

Afterwards we wandered our way back into the city and tried to figure out what we were going to do the rest of the day as most places are closed on Sundays. We passed a bike store and Erica suggested we rent some..and that was that. We biked for two hours around Barcelona, enjoying the views along the ocean and through the park by Arch de Triumph. It may have been the highlight of the weekend–proving the best things go unplanned.

Later on we met up with Kate and Tyna to enjoy your last night together. They brought us to a carnival parade that was going on near their apartment.

DSC00495

All in all, I loved Barcelona. And how could you not–the beach, the people, the nightlife. Everything was just much bigger than we see in Rome– the buildings, the piazzas, the streets. It is definitely on my list of places I will have to return to in the future because I don’t think I saw or experienced half of the things! The weekend in Barcelona made me realize my heart is in Rome for this study abroad journey, but if I ever work in Europe when I am older I would have NO problem moving to Barcelona.

Foto Del Giorno

2/7

From taxi to bus to train to airport..longest day.

From taxi to bus to train to airport to Barcelona..longest day of travel.

2/8

Just a little taste of paella.

Just a little taste of paella.

2/9

Went to Sitges--a smaller beach town near Barcelona--to celebrate Carnival.

Sitges–a smaller beach town near Barcelona–to celebrate Carnival.

2/10

Biked around the ocean and through Barcelona's parks. We are low key the best tourists.

Biked around the ocean and through Barcelona’s parks. We are low key the best tourists.

I’ve noticed that traveling to other countries makes Rome feel like just a bit more like home. Every weekend I am gone it is such a relief to return to our little Italian neighborhood.

Sorry I am so far behind.. between midterms, traveling, and attempting to find a summer internship, free time is rare. You’ll hear from me soon though.

Sending my love to America.
K

Advertisements

One thought on “BARCELONA

  1. Love the Barcelona adventures and am glad you made it there. Maybe Barcelona should be my next European adventure.

    We had a wonderful time and enjoyed going through the pictures and journaling. I don’t have many pictures, so am looking forward to getting yours. It was very eventful trying to get home but we made it. Our driver to the Roma hotel didn’t know where to drop us and then it took us awhile to figure out the check in process. I like it but we didn’t understand it at first. We already had a tight connection from JFK to Detroit and everything kept going wrong from 40 minutes spent on the tarmac to a very long customs line which we expressed through but then our line was still backed up. Then my luggage was practically the last one off since we had to reclaim it to get through customs. The funniest part was we could not get out the door to the next terminal because someone was stuck in the revolving door and it took several people to know where the other exit door was. Weird………….we ran our butts off and made it.

    We came home to nice snowstorm (tongue-in-check). It’s freezing here and I’m sure the sun will be out in Roma now that we’re gone. So enjoy.

    Off to a busy week. Hope the cleanse is going well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s