Hola Espana!!

Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
Trip End Apr 28, 2008

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Break 2008... March 7th-March 14th
Sevilla and Barcelona, Spain
Spring break couldn' t have come at a better time.  Although school isn' t too difficult, it was still nice to be able to get away from the usual school week routine. 
We left for Pisa, Italy Friday after our last midterm exam.  We picked out a cute little bed and breakfast to stay at because we had to get up really early the next morning for our flight to Sevilla.   The weather in Pisa was rainy, so we decided not to go see The Leaning Tower then and come back another time because it' s so close to Florence.  The website said we could walk from the train station to the hostel so we started on our way there.  Turned out that the directions weren' t exactly right, so we ended up walking around in the rain with all of our luggage.  Wasn' t exactly the way we wanted to start our trip, but we finally found the B & B!  Claudia, the woman who ran it, was awesome.  She didn' t speak any English, but she was still as friendly as ever and was the so sweet.  She made us coffee and brought it up to our room when we got there.  Then she pointed us in the direction for some good pizza for dinner.  We told her that we had to get up early (4:00am) to get to the airport for our flight, and she said that she would get up then too and make us coffee and have a little breakfast out for us since we wouldn' t be there for the usual breakfast served.  Then, the best part of all, was that she offered to drive us to the airport!  We really lucked out because it was so early, and it was so nice of her to have done all of that for us!  I wish I could go back and visit her again!!
The flight from Pisa to Sevilla wasn' t very long.  In Sevilla, Amy and I have a roommate from home who is studying there so that' s one of the main reasons we wanted to go there.  We met her at a bus stop in town, and she showed us where our hostel was.  We ended up booking a hostel that was a really good location to the City Center and her apartment.  The first day there we spent wondering around the city to just get an overview of it.  It was great to finally be able to understand what people were saying and be able to communicate back with them since I know a lot more Spanish than I do Italian!  The weather the second day there was amazing!  We did some walking around in the morning and mostly spent the day by the river in the sun.  We were able to sit out in our swim suits and get a little color to our skin!  It felt really nice!  They don ' t have beaches in Sevilla, so one day we took the bus to a beach near Hueva that was about an hour away.  The weather wasn ' t too sunny, and it was pretty windy, but it still didn ' t take away from my pleasure of walking on the beach barefooted!  The little city we were in was really cute too and seeing the different styles of homes was pretty interesting as well.  A night we would usually meet up with Lindsay and all of her friends from school!  It was fun to meet another group of people our age.  People in Spain don ' t eat dinner until 10pm, and we weren ' t very used to that, so usually we would eat before they all did and just meet up with them afterwards.  We took a tour of the Cathedral in Sevilla, too.  Inside is wear Christopher Columbus is buried.  There isn ' t a lot of " touristy " things to see or do there, but that was perfect for us because we have been getting pretty worn out with the constant travel and sight seeing.  Taking some time to enjoy the warm weather and relax was much needed!
Our next stop was to Barcelona and on our way to the airport we ran into a guy that used to go to our high school who is studying there.  It was pretty random that we saw him ... such a small world sometimes!  The flight to Barcelona was quick and easy and Mitch and his friend Mike were going to be flying in the same day too.  Scott and Amy went to the hostel while I was going to wait at the airport for Mitch and Mike.  Turns out that they flew into a smaller airport about an hour outside of town, and not the one in the middle of the city like I did.  I figured that out, then some how made my way there on a bus to the city, a metro to the bus station, and a bus to the Gerona Airport where they were.  It was a little nerve-racking to going somewhere without any clue if I was going in the right direction, but turned out well!  Mitch and Mike made it there after a lot of delays and a long couple of days traveling to get there.  I was so happy to see them though!  It made the frustration of getting there all go away!
Back at the hostel we unpacked and decided to walk around, find some food, and go down to see the harbor area at night.  We stayed near the street called La Rambla.  It ' s a very popular and busy area, and at night, it gets pretty crazy ... especially the people!!
Our first whole day in Barcelona we spent seeing the major sights.  We went to Guell Park which was built by Antonio Gaudi in the 1900.  The was almost like candy land and was unlike anything I had ever seen before.  It was up a hill so you could see all of Barcelona from the top, too.  Walking around there was by far my favorite part of Barcelona!  Next we went to the Sagrada Familia.  It is a huge building that is like a church for the Scared Family.  It ' s old on one of the sides and the other side is just being built today.  They have a lot of it finished, but they still won ' t be completely done with it for another 30 years.  It was really interesting, but we couldn ' t go inside because of all the construction and restoration going on.  After that we walked back to La Rambla and on the way went by a lot of the houses that Gaudi built.  I wish that he could design a house for me because they way they are done is unlike anything else!  We finished our tour of the city at the beach.  It was nice to be on the sea and just relax because our feet were pretty sore at that point.  Amy and I had been looking forward to getting some fish for dinner, so we found a place to eat at and had a GREAT meal!  I love seafood, and hadn ' t had any since I ' ve been in Europe, so it was about time I had some!!  Later that night we went out with some of the other people from our hostel, but Amy and I turned in earlier than the boys did.  While the boys slept in the next morning, Amy and I got up early to go to the Olympic Stadium and the Museum of Art.  The Museum of Art was a beautiful building high up on a hill.  I would have guessed it was a palace if I wouldn ' t had known what it was.  Then behind that was the Olympic Stadium that they used for the Summer Olympics in 1992.  It was really cool to see the inside and too the track where so many famous and great athletes were.  It also then made me really miss running track on a team!   
Mitch and Mike flew back to Florence earlier that day than we did, so they waited at the train station for us until we got in.  Then we all went back to our apartment!  We aren ' t supposed to have people spend the night, but there isn ' t really any way we could get in trouble for it, so they boys are just staying here with us so they can save a little money!  It ' s working out well because we have an extra bed and a couch so they don ' t even have to sleep on the floor.  All my roommates are enjoying have some guests too to mix things up around here!  Last night we all made dinner together, and went out to one of the Irish Pubs in town.  Amy sang a couple solo songs during karaoke and the rest of us did a group song.  It was a lot of fun!  Today we all slept in and got up to make a big brunch!  We don ' t normally cook together, but we all missed each other from spending the week apart, so it made for a fun thing to do to get to check up with each other too!
I ' ve been talking Mitch and Mike around Florence showing them all the things I know to show them.  We went up to Piazza Michelangelo which overlooks the entire city of Florence.  I hadn ' t been there yet, and luckily it was sunny today and made everything look even more beautiful.  On Monday, I skipped my only class (Italian) and Mike, Mitch, and I went to Cinque Terre.  Cinque Terre is about 3 hours away by a couple different trains and on the coast.  Cinque means five and so there are 5 little towns in the cliffs of the land.  You can take the train to each of the cities, or you can hike between them.  We hiked the first couple of towns and took the train to the 4th.  We didn't have time to make it to the 5th town though.  Cinque Terre was amazing...I think it might be the prettiest place I've ever seen.  It reminded me a lot of Greece, actually! 

All and all I've been so happy having Mitch and Mike here.  Lindsay, our roommate from home, is visiting this week, too, so we have a full apartment now!  It's been working out just fine and it's fun having visitors!
Hope everything is great back home!!
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