Halloween in Spain

Trip Start Aug 16, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Sunday, October 31, 2010

31/10/2010 Halloween
Written, 14/11/2010
                So I woke up at what I thought was a little before 9:00am but that night was daylight savings and it was actually almost 8:00.  This was a little disappointing, as I would have enjoyed that extra hour of sleep, after the last night, but was afraid of missing breakfast.  Although that would not have been that much of a tragedy, as I was about to find out.  The breakfast was terrible!  Some kind of stale brand X corn flakes, that tasted as though they’d been in a storage locker for about a decade, toast with some really god-awful jam, hot chocolate from a machine that left a thick sugary sludge at the bottom of the cup, orange “juice” that tasted like bad Tang and some plastic wrapped pastry thing that was the highlight of the breakfast simply by virtue of being edible.  But most of us forced down what we could because it was in fact already paid for, rather than have to go pay for breakfast somewhere else.  This really is not the best example of breakfast in Europe; however it does remind me of how much I miss American breakfasts.  Europe in general really doesn’t seem to put the same effort into breakfast.  I don’t know how many times we’ve been invited to breakfast and been very disappointed to discover that it consists of coffee and a croissant.  I really miss those big breakfasts of coffee and or juice, bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes and an English muffin or croissant.  When I get back to the U.S. I’m going to Dean’s Café and having a Giant breakfast of everything!
                Anyways, so after that sad breakfast we had an hour or so before we had to meet at the bus for our tour of the city.  So I went for a walk along the pier.  It was very nice and I saw a couple interesting statues and such.  Including the big monument to Christopher Columbus, it’s very nice and the statue of him at the top is pointing towards the Americas apparently.  However I doubt the Native Americans would agree with the dramatic and romantic portrayal of Columbus’ first contact with the natives sculpted onto the sides of the monument.
                So after I grabbed a quick lunch I headed off to meet the bus.  We first went and saw the Olympic village which we didn’t stop to look at but just drove by, so I didn’t get any photos.  Although, we did stop nearby and I got some good pictures of the city from above.  Until that point I really had no idea how big the city was until we were up above it.  Then we headed off to the Temple de la Sagrada Familia.  This was the cathedral designed by Gaudi.  It has been under construction for almost 100 years, and still isn’t finished.  The pope was apparently coming in the next couple of days to celebrate the completion of the roof.  They expect the cathedral to be finished including the highest tower hopefully in the next 30 years.  I took pictures of the two side entrances.  The front and back were mostly blocked by construction.  I didn’t go inside because our guide said not to bother since there wasn’t much to see inside due to the ongoing construction.  However the exterior was still exquisite.  The detail and whimsical design was so beautiful and so different from all the other cathedrals I have seen before.  On one side there were sculptures all around the doors depicting the 12 Stations of the Cross with very stylized statues.  It was quite beautiful and so unique.
                After that we drove around for a really long time and looked at several other sites in the city, but we didn’t stop at any of them so I only got a few pictures.  Several of my friends fell asleep during the tour.  It had been a very long two days so far.  Eventually, we got to this park which had apparently belonged to this very wealthy family who was a big supporter and employer of Gaudi and who had hired him to design his backyard.  Gaudi had turned it into this strange but beautiful wonderland of tile and intricate and artistic stone work.  There were dozens of performance artists and musicians there working for coins from the tourists.  The music added another layer to this strange fairly land that just made it even more magical.  If it wasn’t so crowded it would be a really fun place to go and sketch, paint, read or just think.  It was also the location of that really famous tiled sculpture of that lizard by Gaudi, along with some strange houses that looked like gingerbread houses.  My favorite performer was this guy who made gigantic bubbles.  It was really fun to just stand there and watch him.
                Afterwards we all piled back on the bus and most of us fell asleep for a little bit on the way back to the hostel.  Which was all for the best, as we needed rest for that night was Halloween night.  We grabbed dinner at what turned out to be a very nice Spanish restaurant that wasn’t too expensive.  I finally tried real Spanish Sangria, and it was very good, though not too strong tasted kind of like fruit punch.  I had a very nice lasagna.
                That night we went out for Halloween.  I didn’t feel like spending money on a costume so I just borrowed Angelica’s eyeliner and drew a kind of skeleton smile on my face and rubbed some below my eyes to make me look gaunter.  We went to this bar that gave us free shots with the purchase of a drink, which was fine because their drinks were pretty good and very strong and not too overpriced.  I had a “Screaming Orgasm” which I picked because it had the most alcohol in it.  But it still tasted amazing, dare I say… orgasmic.  OK, fogive me my terrible pun, I couldn’t resist.  Our friend Spencer, who has never really drank before had the same drink, and got really tipsy off just one.  I also had a whit Russian, then we all headed off to find another bar or club.  We wandered for a while not really knowing where to go, then we ended up just following some other students who were passing us on the street.  They led us to what turned out to be a pretty fun club.  I had a couple more glasses of wine and we all danced for a very long time.  The bathrooms were apparently hidden, because I was unable to find them no matter how hard I tried.  I eventually had to just leave and go around the corner from the club.  When I got back I was told that everyone was looking for me so we could go home.  I hadn’t thought I’d been gone that long, but I got back in time to see one of the girls in our group practically carried out of the club by some of our group with the help of security.  I’m pretty sure she had been roofied.  She had been drinking out of other peoples’ drinks randomly throughout the night.  I helped her puke and calmed her down.  We waited for her to stabilize enough to walk home and then we all headed home.  So even though there was a slightly dramatic end to the night I still had an overall great time.  Happy Halloween!
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