The weekend in Barcelona!

Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
Trip End Nov 24, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Catalonia,
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So the time finally came for the flight to Barcelona!  I had made it for late Friday night so I could still watch the boys but after figuring trains and buses into the equation, I ended up leaving before they got home from school, so I should have made it for earlier in the day, but oh well.  I took a bus from Brescia to the airport and checked in, then had lots of time to wait.  I used RyanAir, which is the cheapest flights around Europe, but it's cheap and ridiculous.  The seats are first come first served, so I got in line early to get on the plane first, but it was late, so I ended up standing for a really long time.  Finally it got there but we had to take a shuttle to the plane, so even though I got to sit I realized that those that got on the bus last would be the first ones to get off and on the plane, damn!  I luckily still got the window seat I wanted, even though by the time we took off it was dark and I couldn't see anything.  It was only about an hour flight, then I had to take a bus into Barcelona, because the airport was an hour outside.  Around midnight we pulled into the bus station and Zach was there waiting for me.  We got on the metro and went to  the hostel, which I never would have found on my own.  Even though Zach had requested that we were in the same room, I was in a different one.  We stayed up for a little bit talking then I went in.  It was around 2 by that time so everyone was sleeping and the lights were off.  I was in the top bunk and had forgotten pajamas, but I was so tired by then I just climbed up in my clothes and tried to fall asleep.  The guy below me was snoring so loud and I think my adrenaline was still pumping so I laid awake for the longest time, finally drifting off but being woken up a drunk couple who decided it was the right time to argue about who loved each other more.  Needless to say, my sheet didn't keep me warm enough, even with my clothes still on, and I got about 4 hours of sleep.  When Zach woke up we went in search of breakfast, then headed downtown to meet up for a free walking tour of the city.  Somehow we missed the meeting point and ended up by all the tourist buses.  I had brought up the idea of getting one to make sure we were able to see everything, but they weren't the cheapest things.  But since we were there we got our tickets, then hopped on.  We sat on the upper deck, and it was wonderful out, mid 70's, so it was a great time.  We saw much more of the city than if we had just relied on walking, and they gave us earphones to listen to information as we passed important buildings.  We briefly went by Sagrada Familia, the one building in Europe I was absolutely dying to see, but I knew we'd be back to see it in more detail later.  Once we got off we had just enough time to grab dinner before meeting for the free walking tour of the architect Gaudi's buildings (he's the architect of Sagrada Familia) and I got Starbucks!  They didn't have the kind I am craving, but still so good.  There were two other guys in the tour and the guide said she was always nervous when an architect was on her tour, but I had forgotten a lot of what I had learned, even though there were times I remembered things I don't even knew I knew.  We ended by Sagrada Familia, then went our separate ways.  Zach and I went to find dinner, finally stopping in a decent looking place that had paella, a traditional Spanish dish that he really wanted.  It was good, it's rice with meat and seafood, and we liked it so much we even left a little bit of a tip, but hours later realized they had overcharged us, so we were really upset.  I was really tired by then but we wandered around watching all the street performers then finally went back.  I was more prepared this night and got a blanket and didn't sleep in all my clothes, so it was a little better. 

The next morning we went to Sagrada Familia, to go inside.  There was a super long line, but so worth it.  The view from up top was amazing, and it was so fun to get a more up close view of all the decorations and try to remember what all the symbolism of them were.  We spent hours there, and I took roughly a million pictures, then we headed off towards the beach.  It was another nice day, but more cloudy, so even though I had my swimming suit, I didn't want to get in the water.  I sat on the sand while Zach went off to look at some other things, then we met up again and headed towards the hostel, because we had reservations to go to a Flamenco dinner.  We were in a part we didn't know and stumbled across this park with a beautiful temple surrounded by fountains and gold statues.  Some guys were there and asked if we could take their picture, then after talking, found out they're from Colorado too!  One of them is even from Fort Collins, which is crazy, since that's where Zach's from too!  Small world.  We changed at the hostel then went to the meeting place, but whoever was supposed to be there never showed up.  So we looked at the restaurants in the square there, deciding on one that had food from all over the world.  There was a guy playing guitar so I wanted to eat outside to hear him, but we were shoved in a tiny doorway where radio music was playing, and we were totally secluded from the rest of the restaurant.  I ordered wine but they never brought me a wine glass, so I swiped the one from the table next to us, and once they brought out our food we never saw our waitor again.  They never checked to see how we were doing, it was just horrible service.  One of the waitors set up a table for two on the patio where I had asked to sit (guess we weren't good enough for them to take the extra effort to set up a table) and in the process hit a lady in the back with a chair.  He didn't apologize and it was just really bizarre.  After we finished we were sitting there and Zach mentioned how it was the only place he'd ever seriously considered dining and ditching.  And you know what, I thought that was a wonderful idea.  We quickly made up our mind, then left.  I don't even know how long it took them to notice we were gone.  I feel bad, but it also kinda helped take the sting out of being screwed the night before.  With the money we hadn't spent on dinner we instead spent on ice cream and coffee, then we went back to the hostel and hung out before going to bed.  I had to get up really early to catch the bus to the airport, but for some reason I was really, really tired in the morning.  I went down to check out, and the guy looked at me like I was crazy-I hadn't realized it was daylight savings time and my phone hadn't automatically changed like it would have in America.  So we had an extra hour, during which I would have liked to sleep more, but instead we went to the bus station, and found a little cafe that was open and ate delicious donuts and other sweet croissants.  I got on my bus to go to the airport and Zach went off to get on his bus to go to another town near Barcelona, and then I waited for hours in the airport.

Another example of the ridiculousness that is RyanAir.  I got to my gate and waited for a long time, only to see it had been changed to another gate.  So I went there, and got in line.  Then an announcement came on, saying it had changed back to the original gate.  So everyone rushed over there to get in line again.  Then, they said it was changed again.  This time everyone was literally running to get in a decent place in line, but I got stuck behind the slow people.  I was pissed, it's really a stupid system, but again I got lucky and was able to get a window seat.  That day I went on planes, trains AND automobiles, which is pretty sweet.  I got back to Dello, exhausted, but happy with my experience and the incredible pictures I got from Barcelona!
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