Monday, April 20, 2009

Quotes from Mike: Barcelona (Spring Break part III)

We awoke early Sunday morning to head off to Barcelona. The campsite had an airport shuttle service so the three of us took advantage of it. Alyssa did not come with us to Spain so that morning she headed back to Glasgow instead. This was a pretty smooth ride to the airport and we arrived a little early for check-in so we had to grab some seats for a while. We spotted some and as we were walking to them I noticed that there was a stray cat sitting on one. These are all over Italy so it didn't surprise me really. Well Mike sat down and went to move the cat on the seat next to him so I could sit down. The problem was that he thought it was a fur hat so when it moved when he touched he freaked out a jumped a bit. It was rather funny and the people around us got a good laugh out of it to. When it came time for check in Mike and I had no problems but Katie had some issues with her bag, again, which led to eventually having to check it. Super annoying. There is a funny story though. Katie knew that she was over weight in her carry-on she to prevent that she wore 7 shirts that day to the airport just to find out she was still over the limit and had to check the bag anyway. So she then took out her folder she had her flight information and checked everything else. So imagine this tiny girl with a million shirts on carrying a folder with a print of a puppy on it. Call me insensitive but I got a good chuckle out of it. But we got to the gate and bummed around waiting for boarding. On the flight, I once again semi-succeeded in taking a nap. When we landed in Barcelona, I was super excited, especially because it meant another stamp in my passport. Well to my sadness, no one was at customs to check our passports. No fun. So we then had to catch a bus to the city center and did so, more napping. I didn't have directions to the hostel, only the address so when we got off the bus we jumped on the metro adn estimated where it was. we were wrong. So we stopped at a cafe that was nearby and asked for some help. By we I mean Katie. She is studying in Madrid and was much better off than myself-even with my 7 years of Spanish. But the people in Spain were so nice and Katie had 4 people helping her. During this I came to realize that I did have directions to the hostel-they were on my confirmation page, and I had forgotten about them. So then it made it much easier and we realized we weren't too far away so we headed off. We made it a couple of blocks and decided to check our map to make sure we were fine and as we bagan o take out the map an elderly man stopped and offered his help. Seriously, they are so nice there. So he gave us some more directions and back to walking we went. It was too difficult to find the hostel. We finally arrived and I was so relieved. It was called Sea Point and was right on the boardwalk. I stepped outside, walked 20 feet, and I was standing in sand. AMAZING! We showered and then decied to do some walking around and went dinner. We found one close by and decied to try there "menu del dia". (menu of the day). This included bread, salad, traditional paella, chocolate mousse, and a drink. It was delicious. I had never had paella but it was awesome. I recommend it to all. After wards we checked out some more of the city. This led us to the acquarium that we decided to go to-Mike said he ahd heard it was supposed to be a really good one. And it was great. We got to see all types of sea creatures-penguins, octopi, stingrays, sharks, sea horses, the entire cast of Finding Nemo and a tons more. They even had a room where you were surrounded on all sides by the tank, as in you walk underneath it in this tunnel. It was so cool. I have always been a fan of water and its inhabitants so this was a real treat. Afterwards we decided to try and find the "Magical Fountain" which is an iconic landmark in Barcelona. Along the way we walked past a theatre that was playing Spamelot (the monty python and the holy grail musical). The box office was open and it looked fun so we decided to ask how much tickets would be. With a student discount they were 21 euros so we impulsively purchased them. We went off to find the fountain but failed and had to give up so we could make it back to the theatre in time for the show. The show was spectacular, if you like Monty Python, you would like this. It's great and has all of the classic jokes of the movie and then some. After the play we opted for heading back to the hostel and calling it a night. The next morning, Katie and I woke up and had breakfast while Mike slept in a bit. Afterwards, we went and sat on the bech for a little bit and then I walked Katie to the metro stop. She headed to Madrid on Monday because she had a class the next day. Once I got back to the hostel, Mike and I made a mini itinerary for the day. We decided to start by going to the top of Mount. Montjuic which is the high point in Barcelona. To get there you have the option to ride these cable car/ ski lift things to the top. It looked pretty cool so we thought we'd give it a shot and walked to the starting point tower. This looked like a mini Eiffel and was very cool. We waited in line for a while and then rode an elevator to the top of the tower, where we got on the car. This had an amazing view of the city and was really neat. But my fear of heights reared its ugly head and I started geaking out a little. Good thing I had a strong man like Mike for support, right? Well no, he chose to laugh at me instead. But this ride dropped is off about half way up the mountain so we looked around for a little bit and took in the amazing view. There was mini lift to take you to the top so we then walked up a little ways to get to that. On our way, we happened to walk past the swimming pool arena that was built for the '92 summer olympics and that was pretty neat to see. A bit rustic-definitely not worried about the up-keep. Well, we hopped on the lift and and rode it to the top. What a view, I cannot even describe. Also on top was a castle that still had some tanks and warheads from a war, we thought one of the world wars maybe. And you could walk around and see it all. So we spent some time at the top and finally decided to head back to the hostel and then hit the beach. The beach was amazing but, hey I love a good beach and probably wouldn't have been disappointed if there was a hurricane. While I worked on getting a little tan, Mike worked on adding to his sunburn and succeeded. His neck got so red it looked like someone tried to dye him with beet juice. I have a friend that I use to work with over the summer, Ashley. She is studying in Barcelona so we arranged to meet her that night, she was taking us to her favorite sangria bar. But that wasnt until 10 so we had a few hours to get some food and wander around the dock somemore. Finally we headed off to meet Ashley. The bar was just off a street called Las Ramblas, which is the main tourist drag in the city. We arrived and it was a little creepy at first because from the outside it looked like a dungeon but the interior was really neat, with little caverns and such. So we met up with Ashley, some of her friends, and some of her friend's friends. We talked for quite a while until we realized the time and decided to head back to the hostel. I was exhausted. In the morning we did the same drill of me getting up for breakfast and Mike sleeping in. We bummed around for a little bit but then headed off to the metro to go to the bus terminal to go to the airport. Along the way I bought a postcard and 2 bracelets. Wanted to have something to prove I had been to the city. We arrived at the airport and used the kiosks to get our tickets and then headed of to the gate with no problems. Since we were there so early we were the first ones at the gate. Perfect. The flight company we flow through doesnt assign the passengers seats. You have to hop in line and it becomes a free for all to find a seat and space for your luggage, so we knew we wouldn't be having problems this time. After boarding got delayed for 30 min. we hopped on and jetted off to Madrid. It was a very short flight that went pretty smoothly.


  1. I can just imagine Katie and her seven shirts. I laugh just thinking about it.

  2. yeah it was hilarious. Esp. because the more I laughed the angrier she got. endless cycle.