Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh Barc

I'm back from Barcelona! Or Barthelona as they so lispingly call it. I have to say, it's a pretty cool city. A lot like South Beach or Tel Aviv (or Baltimore's inner harbor), except it sort of smells funny and has terrible food (more on that later).

(view from Park Guell)

 Our goals for the weekend were simple: see our friends (check), not get pick-pocketed (fail), not get taken (check), see the major sights (check), and have tapas and sangria (major fail). We arrived Friday night and went straight to our hostel (HostelOne), which was just so much like a dorm it was so odd. Turns our where we were staying was no where near downtown barc, it was more by the airport in its own neighborhood (which was fine because we mastered the public transportation system in our 36 hours there). We immediately set out to try to find the delicious, traditional Spanish meal we had all been dreaming of. Strangely enough, all we found was a wide array of middle eastern cuisines (from pakistan, lebanon, syria, iran...). We settled on the lebanese restaurant, and it was gross (sorry Lebanon). I'm not even going to post a picture it was that bad. Anyway, we went out to a cool club on the beach Friday night, and unfortunately my phone was stolen. Nothing else. Just my phone. Which is weird, because everyone has a blackberry. My 10 year old cousin has a blackberry (hi Gigi!). Just such a pain, but a new phone is already making its way across the ocean to me (unless that gets stolen before it makes it here, gotta love Europe). 

(Sagrada Familia, it's just so big)

Saturday we got up and out as early as we could (so 1:00 p.m.) and took the metro to Sagrada Familia. It is so gorgeous and so big and detailed and I just don't understand why they can't finish it already. Gaudi died almost a hundred years ago. The lack-of-work-effort would just never fly in the US. Afterwards we trekked on over to Park Guell. And I literally mean trekked - I've never climbed more stairs in my life (except maybe for when I visited Lehigh).

(Gaudi lizard)

Saturday night we went to a Syrian restaurant and then to a bar called Dow Jones. It was stock market themed, obviously, so the more one drink was bought, the more that price went up, and then other drink prices dropped. Quirky idea. Sunday we (finally!) ate real food at this place called Milk, which is essentially an upscale American diner. I've never been so happy to see pancakes and sriracha in my whole entire life. We walked around by the water and went to this unreal mall (I'm just so american) and then headed over to the gothic quarter and La Rambla (huge shopping street).

Then we packed up our backpacks (literally, you could only travel with one teeny bag when you fly Ryanair), took the train to the airport and kissed the ground when we landed in Roma. It was weird that I felt homesick for Rome when I was away. The saying's just so true, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Even though I speak the language (kind of) in barc, and they have big malls and everyone speaks english and they take credit cards (!!!), I wouldn't trade my city for all the pancakes and ocean front malls in the world.

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