Saturday, April 5, 2008


Tiles at Park Guell

Place Espana from the top...this was definitely zoomed in!

Enjoying my paella in Barceloneta

Izzy, Josh, and I...Longhorns in Spain!

On a balcony of one of the towers at La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia...just one side...when it's finished it's going to be absolutely surreal!

Lookin out on BCN

amazing view!

Xus (Jesus), me and Izzy

Park Guell

Xus and I at Mojito, the salsa bar.
So, it's actually been nearly a week since I've gotten back from Barc, and I have failed to write this probably because I've been too exhausted from the was a great time---people don't lie when they say the party starts at 2am there!
Anyways, I stayed with Jesus, my Spanish friend who studied at UT last semester, for the whole weekend. He came picked me up at the airport and we met up with my friends Izzy and Josh a little later...I'm amazed that by taking an airplane for an hour will get you from still winter "foliage" to palm trees! Unfortunately the weather wasn't that great most of the weekend--cloudy and a bit chilly. Luckily though the last full day I was there it was a lot warmer and sunny--evidently the real Barcelona.

While I was there, though, we walked along Ramblas--this long, wide street with lots of shops/restaurants and street performers---tourist central. Also did some beach action but didn't get in of course because it was too cold--what a shame, too. I'd love to go back in the summertime. Barcelona seems to be a very nice, clean least the parts I went to. Other "guiri" things (spanish word for tourist) that we did were go La Sagrada Familia--a church partly designed by the famous architect, Gaudi, that has been under construction for over a 100 years's the COMPLETE opposite from any traditional cathedrale...honestly, quite weird, but amazing at the same time. Also went to the Museu Picasso, Place Espana--it's at the top of this hill called Montjuic and we watched this huge fountain show with lights and music, Park Guell--yet another crazy creation of Gaudi. It's this crazy looking park that overlooks Barcelona, and you can see the whole city nearly and the coastline from certain scenic outlooks.

Really though, a lot of my time spent there was spent eating...haha, perfect for me! I had the best tapas--potatoes bravadas were my favorite, but we also had octopus, squid, fried mussels, tortilla, and many, many more. We also had the most delicious paella in Barceloneta by the marina. Even tried arroz negre, which is black because of squid ink! Another very Spanish drink which I learned to like immediately was called clara--half limonade (carbonated lemon drink) half beer. It's a good thing I'm not living there---otherwise none of my clothes would fit me anymore!

One of the best parts of the weekend though was meeting lots of cool people---we hung out with Josh's exchange friends and his Spanish roommates a couple nights, and they were all really fun, nice people. There were actually lots of French people there, and it's possible that I spoke more French in the first couple of days there than I do on a daily basis here in Lyon---and what I mean by that is long conversations...The last night Jesus and I made it to a salsa club, too, and went dancing like we did back in Austin. Made friends with a nice girl from California and also saw some GREAT dancing! Anyways, I also really enjoyed being reunited with my friends from home, including Jesus. Just a good weekend. Even learned some Catalan! Even though everyone says I should be able to understand it pretty well since it's a mix of French and Spanish, that language is a bit too crazy-sounding to follow. I understood a lot of Spanish though, which was surprising.

Anyways, what's on the plate for the next few weeks? I'm heading out this Wednesday for our 2 week April break, and I'm going to Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Italy, and hopefully Nice! Sounds like a crazy amount, and I'm sure it will be. I'll have to really make an effort to take care of myself so I don't bottom out like last trip...Anyways, must go and study for a final exam I have on Monday. Ciao!

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