Hola! - Barcelona - Days 4 - 5

Trip Start Apr 01, 2009
Trip End Jul 13, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Catalonia,
Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23

Today, I woke up to a beautiful day! After breakfast, I headed out see some sights! Today was a very interesting day in Spain. I strolled from my hostel to La Rambla and then into Barri Gotic to do some exploring! The Spainish were celebrating St. George's Day, which I would compare to Valentines day in the U.S. Men give a rose to their significant other and the women give a book. There were book stands and flower vendors EVERYWHERE! I walked around the Gothic Quarter for about 2 hours checking out all the shops and restaurants. After enough walking, I decided to headed to the Gaudi designed Parc Geull, which is about a 15 metro ride to the north.

After getting off at the metro, I walked to the outdoor escalators for a nice lazy ride to the top a the hill. After the nice escalator ride, I entered the park, where I admired the largest outdoor bench in the world. I then found a nice comfortable seat on the bench and sat around and took in the wonderful view of Barcelona! After an hour or so of relaxation, I strolled around some more of the park and snapped a few photo before heading back down the hill to the hostel.

When I arrived back at the hostel, I dropped my bag off and to off for a sunset view atop Muntanya de Montjuic. Most of Monjuic is covered with the buildings and stadiums from the Olympics, but I was headed to the castle that sits on top! I took the funicular from the metro station and the hiked for roughly 20 minutes to the Castell de Montjuic. When I arrived, I snapped a few photos of the picture perfect view of the city. I then walked to the other side of the castle where I snapped some photos of the harbor and watched a few planes land at the airport! I then grabbed a huge Estrella Damm beer and found a nice seat in the grass and waited for the sun to fall below the horizon! After about an hour or so, the wind began to pick up, so being in shorts and without a jacket, I decided to head down for some dinner. There was a large group heading out to one of the many clubs in Barcelona, so, in order to complete the true Barcelona experience, I decided to join them.

We strolled down to an area on the beach that is lined with outdoor clubs and lounges. The walk was pretty long, but it paid off in the end! I noticed a man in a black suite standing beside a very nice stairwell, which was in the middle of the side walk. So, out of curiosity I went over and asked him what the stairwell led too and he told me is was a club. I asked him how you get in and he told me you had to be on "the list." I then asked him how you get on the list and he responded, "who are you with." I pointed to my group of people, which included about 8 - 10 girls and 4 guys, so he took a look and said, "follow me." The night club was very swanky with an asian theme. The club reminded me of Tao in Las Vegas! We arrive at the club around 11 PM and did not leave until LATE! Great night in Barcelona!

April 24

The next day, I woke up pretty late because of the late night night clubbing the day before! So, I decided to take it easy and stroll around to check out some of the famous Gaudi architecture that us found throughout the city.

I started by strolling down La Rambla, with a quick stop in the market. I then walked past Placa de Catalunya to an extension of La Rambla where many of the nice shops in Barcelona are found. The walk took about 1 hour, but I was cool outside, so the walk was very nice, especially for my headache! The first stop I made was at Paseo de Gracia and then Casa Lleo Morera, both were very interesting as Gaudi architecture is one of a kind! I then strolled back to Placa de Catalunya where I noticed a bunch of people lounging in the sun. I thought it would be perfect to stop and rest for a little while.

The first stop I chose was in the shade under a group of trees. I quickly changed locations after a pigeon pooped on the guys map who was sitting beside me! Pretty funny! I laughed! So, I walked to an open area where I found a nice spot to chill out! I laid around for about 2 hours just resting, soaking up the Barcelona sun and people watching! After my rest, I headed back to La Rambla where I saw a street performer jump over 4 people and then to the market where I picked up a few grams of the best jamon that the market had. The jamon was very expensive, but well worth it. The jamon was so marbleized that almost looked like candy. The jamon is very rich, so I was only able to snack on a few small pieces at a time. After my stop at the market, I went back to the hostel to meet a group to see the fountain light show at the Poble Espanyol de Barcelona or Barcelona capital building.

The group of about 25 met at hostel at 8 PM. We made the quick 10 minute walk to the capital building. The light show was absolutely incredible! There were what seemed to be hundreds of fountains running with a massive central fountain spewing water to the sounds of modern and classical music. The show lasted for 2 hours, but we arrived very late, so we were only able to see about 30 minutes of the show. It was well worth it! The show is only on Friday and Saturday night, but is a must for Barcelona! Really cool! After the light show, me and two girls from Vancouver, Amy and Bonny, took the funicular to Montjuic to check out the Barcelona skyline at night. Pretty amazing, but it was a little chilly, so after an hour or so we headed back to the hostel where I hunkered down in front of my computer to make my plans to meet my mom and grandmother in Venice, Italy on April 29.

I had planned to cruise through the south of France to get to Venice by the 29, but after many many hours of research, I found it would be very difficult to make it to venice in time and enjoy the 5 days of travel. So, I hopped on the computer and began to research. I ultimately decided to use one of the benefits that comes with my rail pass, a cruise on the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Civitivecchia (Rome's port)! The ship sailed at 10 PM the next day and would take 20 hours to complete the cruise! I also decided that I would head to the Emilia-Regmagna region of Italy for 2 days to enjoy the cities of Bologna, Modena and Parma. After I complete my plans for the next 5 days, I crashed!
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