Sunday, February 27, 2011

My first trip: Barcelona -- day one

02/04 Friday

BARCELONA!!! k so I left the house this morning at 6:15AM to get to the train station at 6:30. I found the platform for my and Gab's train and then waited for her, seeing as she had our train tickets so I couldn't get on without her anyways. I called her at 6:45 and she said she was on her way... so I thought, "okay, she lives closer than me and it only takes me 5 minutes to walk here, we'll be fine".... 6:50.... 6:52.... 6:53?? AHHHHH Gab where are you?! I was on the phone calling and texting as fast as my little fingers could move. Finally at 6:53AM she came running in the door and we sprinted to the train. It left within a minute of us getting onto it; we hadn't even sat in our seats yet. Close call!! She said she had gotten lost and didn't remember where the train station was but then kept asking people and finally found it. Luckily..
The train ride was 5 hours long so guess what I did? Homework? Write post cards? blog? any of the stuff that I figured I'd do? Nope; of course not. I slept. Gab and I had some chocolate covered dinosaur sugar cookies that we demolished and then we had oranges and apples to counteract the cookies :) Or so we convinced ourselves... haha. We met some interesting people along the ride... two guys got on a one stop and completely scared the ba-jeezies out of me. I was sleeping in the seats across from the two Gab was sleeping in; the men got on and just tapped my food and for some reason I was like a rocket... jumped straight up and was actually scared at first, with no understanding of why I was scared. haha - so since the seats I was asleep in were actually the seats belonging to the men, I moved and Gab and I slept the rest of the way, pretty uncomfortably. We were woken again by some lady swearing that we were in her seats and yelling at us in Spanish for about 3 minutes. Finally we had to tell her she was on the wrong coach and she and her son left. The scenery along the ride (when I was awake) was AMAZING!!

There were mountains everywhere and castles... there were also farms and fields of orange trees and many other kinds of produce and trees.
When we arrived in Barcelona, Gab figured our hostel would be close enough to walk to. So we left the train station and started walking down the big street closest. We saw a "Dunkin' Coffee" and a Subway with TINY sandwiches... instead of 12 inch or 6 inch... they were only about 2 inches. ¡¡QuĂ© guay!! After about 15 minutes we finally decided we had no idea where we were / where we were going etc. so we stopped and asked the cutest little lady where we were and how to get to the hostel. She said we were very far away (which we were) and that we had to get on a subway and take the tram about 5 stops away. We arrived at the Hostel Sun and Moon around 12:15PM after asking a few more people about which train to take, getting on it, getting off, feeding a homeless man with the extra bread and cookies from the train, found the hostel, checked in, changed and then went to go explore the city until Grace and Abby were supposed to arrive around 2:30.
Gabby and I walked the main street and saw some pretty neat people doing those standing still things... where they dress up as something weird and stand / sit really still so you'll give them money to take pictures with them. One guy was acting as a genie and he was actually floating in the air. He was probably the coolest one I've ever seen in my entire life. Then we went down to the port - WOW OH WOW it was so pretty! There were hundreds of sailboats with huge, colorful sails in the port where Christopher Columbus arrived back from his voyage to the Americas. YUP - that's the port where he and his big large boats landed back in Spain. HOW COOL?!?! So, significantly, there was a huge statue of him right in the center of the street parallel to the port (picture up and to the left). I'm pretty sure I could have sat down there all day and just photographed everything and everyone I came across. We walked along the pier and the street: Las Ramblas until we lost track of time. Finally realized we needed to go back when the time hit 2:40. We met up with Abby and Grace and then the four of us went out to go get lunch. We had our very first Tapas (little appetizers very popular all around Spain) along with paella, pizza and waters all around. mmmmm. We left and after getting churros and chocolate (MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH CHURROS AND CHOCOLATE) we walked around, down towards the port again where I got to take night-time pictures of the boats... There was a huge Chinese new year festival going on and I found a guy feeding seagulls that I took loads of pictures of. We crossed the pier and shopped in the big mall overlooking the port; Grace bought a dress and Abby found her dream leather jacket. I REALLY liked the jacket but shes less than a size 00 in the states and she wore the medium from that store... so I was out of luck. I did get a belt, earrings and two rings from a store though for 7 euro total. There were some MAJOR rebajas going on there.
We headed back to the hostel to take much needed naps and then get ready to go out for the night. Gab and I met our two Chinese roommates named Mitu (Me-too) and Yoshi. They were way cool but barely spoke any English (or Spanish for that matter)! She and I ended up sleeping for quite a while until Abby and Grace came up to wake us up around midnight. We met our other roommates then: two French girls who were really sweet! Really liked them. So Abby and Grace left to meet their friends who were studying in Barcelona; Gabrielle and I got dressed and then found our way to the same bar to meet up with all of them. The bar was called Chupitos and it had over 100 shots for only 1 euro each. The girls tried a few and I took some pretty funny pictures. I also found a few names on the shot board of people I know... so I took a picture of the names of shots. We didn't stay there long... but we did stay long enough for Grace to persuade some English men to say, "Not me, not Hermione, you!" Why? No idea... Grace is her own special self, that girl. HA. We all left - us 4 plus their friends, got cabs and went to another place, a discoteca (not sure of it's name). It was really cool inside! There were about 4 different rooms with big colored balls of light randomly placed around hanging from the ceiling. It was overlooking the ocean and the bathrooms looked like something out of a medieval castle. Gab and I didn't stay long; we left shortly and walked what we thought would be a short way back home... 30 minutes later after having passed all of the beach, a few sketchy buildings, and a large hotel, we hop in a cab to find out that we were a good 15 minutes by car, probably another hours walk. OOPS!! The cab driver was really social and talked to us about the states. He has family in New Jersey and he himself is from Iraq. So he knew a good bit of English and was one of the nicest cab drivers I've ever met, anywhere. It looks like Gab and I need to pay attention to where we really are from now on and stop trying to walk everywhere, though. Oh well, we got to see the beach and catch some fresh air. We arrived back at the hostel around 3:30AM and met the reason for switching our room the next day: some guy coming in at 4:00AM turning on all of the lights and then proceeding to strip in front of everyone. He gets down to his little whitey-tighties with all of us basically shoving our pillows on our faces, and then decides to turn off the light. Next thing, we all smell this aroma of something basically dead... I wanted to vomit. It was one of the worst smells I've ever experienced in my entire life. Gab opened the window but it didn't do anything. Some people really need to learn about hygiene and learn how to take care of themselves for the sake of other people's well being (aka: their nostrils well being). We did manage to fall asleep though... and slept straight through until 8:30 the next morning when we got up for our complimentary breakfast from the hostel downstairs....

The view of the beach at 3:00 in the morning.
Gab and I walked to the hotel at the end on the left
before we decided to get a cab

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