Well, participation went well. Turns out I was in the company of 9 Irish guys who were on basically a winter break binge trip. We went to the clubs last night and the night before and both nights, I wasn't in bed until after 7 AM. It's been very fun, but I'm getting a tad tired. My 9 Irish body guards have definitely been nice because Barcelona is a pretty scary place. I actually caught a guy undoing my purse trying to steal my phone today on my way to dinner. The boys were telling me that 2 of them got mugged by a group of like 5 prostitues who like surrounded them and then started just grabbing for wallets. One of the other guys got €40 taken out of his pocket too. I guess I've been lucky that I only had one encounter and I caught him... Ha Ha!! Don't mess with me.
Barcelona the city is absolutely beautiful. It's really a strange place and everything seems out of place individually but it all comes together nicely. There are statues everywhere. Any entrance to a building, small square, statues. And not like normal carved statues, but like really strang ethings. Like a lobster on top of a bus stop; a huge freaking lobster with this big grin on its face. So random. The architecture of the entire city is also extremely unique. Every building is different and it's very interesting. All of Gaudi's buildings are incredible, of course. I didn't really know how important this guy is, but I'm a HUGE fan now. All of his work is so modern and different. Each building is completely different from the one before.
The Sagrada Familia is the most famous. It's this huge church that he started building somewhere in the 1880 range and it's still not done. He died in the 20's but the building is still being built according to his plans. It is absolutely breathtaking and my pictures are not even going to kind of do this place justice. It has 8 towers built so far, with 4 more coming each for one of the 12 apostles. Then, there is going to be a huge tower in the middle that's Jesus' tower. Only one façade of the church was built before he died and it's darker and a little more traditional. It has the most amazing carvings of the birth of Jesus and all these happy people and it's wonderful. You can't fit the thing in a picture and there's no clear division so it was really hard to frame a picture of this. The other side of the church is much more modern and is more recent. All of the characters on this side are crying or screaming and it's dedicated to Jesus' death. It's horrible and beautiful all at the same time. The inside of the church is mostly empty, but you can see where they're doing a lot of work on the ceiling and the columns. There is also a lot of scaffolding where the middle bell towers are going to be located. The place is amazing.
I spent a decent amount of time there today. I also did another bus tour... I know it's pathetic, but I'm addicted. I started by going up to the Parc de Montjuic which is this amazing park that overlooks the whole city. It's gorgeous. Then we went down by Port Vell and Port Olympico, which is where we were at the clubs last night. Then we went to Plaza Catalunya which is basically just this huge plaza with shops and restaurants all around. There is also the most pigeons I've ever seen in my life in the middle. From here we went up through Gràcia which is an old town that used to be separated from Barcelona (which was an old Roman city with a wall surrounding it and everything). Here we went up to Parc Guell which is where a bunch more of Gaudi's work is. It's some sort of old English neighborhood where he lived for a certain amount of time. At this point, it was getting pretty dark, so we headed quickly to go look at the Futbol stadium which is absolutely HUGE. It holds just under 100,000 people and I was sad that I didn't get to go see a game :(
Today, I had to get up early and move hostels because they screwed up my reservations some how. I didn't do much though as a result of last nights activities. I just went to the church and walked around the Gothic section of town and down to the beach. I also just screwed up my train reservatioin (when I looked at the schedule I assumed it was a daily train, but in the winter, they don't run on Friday or Saturday for maintenance) so I was somewhat confused as to how I was going to get to Florence. I just found a Ryan Air flight though for €50 so I'm booked. It leaves at 8:20 in the morning. YIKES!! Looks like someone is not going to bed tonight!! Ha!!
Ok well, off for now. I'll be in Italy tomorrow if all goes as planned.