Kate in Madrid
(although I am writing this from Madrid. . .it is about Barcelona so that is why I tagged it that way - same with the previous two entries). Vale, So how did your trip to Barcelona finish up? THUMBS UP! We went on Saturday morning to Cafe de la Opera, apparently one of the most famous cafes in Barcelona. I had "Xurros" (as they call it in Catalan) con Chocolata for the first time! It was soooo good. Then we walked over to Plaza Catalunya where we listened to a street band - Didgeridoo Barcelona Style. It was good - and I am listening to their CD right now. They were playing with an instrument called the "hang" which has only been around for about 5 years. It was developed by researchers in Switzerland and is a mix of steel drum and other similar instruments. One hemisphere is set to a scale and the other has notes, which are little dents in the metal. Than, we got attacked by pigeons (palomas) in Plaza Catalunya, and then we were off to Parque de Guell. It was really cool - a lot of the architecture focused on mosaic art. I guess the huge mosaic lizard fountain is really famous - I thought it was really cool. The park was complete with swings, winding paths, music, a panoramic view of the city, and self-cleaning aseos. Next stop was the Sagrada Familia. . . After walking for a good hour, FOLLOWING SIGNS to the metro, we somehow chose to trust our instincts instead and found a rail service that connected to the metro (by this point we were all cranky and hungry). The Sagrada Familiawas neat - old and a modern interprentation together as one. I could not help thinking about The DaVinci Code and the Holy Grail - but maybe that was the point? Especially with the triangle and chalice above the front entrance? After that we went to Hard Rock Cafe for a late lunch. I have decided that I am going to visit all the Hard Rock Cafes in the world if it takes my whole life. If there is a Hard Rock in any city I visit - it is a necessary stop. Dad used to always bring us there when we travelled. I have started him a collection of beer glasses and I decided I would start a shot glass collection for myself. After Hard Rock, we made a quick stop at the hostel (my ballin' bunkmate had moved out!! :( ) - and freakin' Tati's bunkmate wrote her a note with contact infor - he was really nice - his name was Shim and he was from Tokyo. Anyway, then it was off to Montjuic to the Plaza de la Font Magica to see the Fuentes Illuminosas - a gorgeous fountain show - with colorful lights and music. We got there a bit early so we played around taking pictures and getting into trouble. So tempting to climb, swim, and perch on ledges overlooking fountains and waterfalls. Once the show started we began a trend by taking our cafes con leche with us and actually sitting on the edge of the fountain itself with our legs dangling down. It was a good vantage point - though a little misty - but refreshing. Apparently, there had been a little sketchiness at the other group's hostel, so they ended up renting a hotel room right on Las Ramblas just around the corner from Catalunya and Hard Rock - Hotel Continental. It was basically an apartment. So after chatting it up with Alom - a med-student from Israel who had just moved into our Hostel - we headed over for a rendezvous on the other group's "veranda," "porch." "terrace," (balcony). Some funny stories and lines from this little event. Apparently Mr. Chris Mullins, when the other group was walking around that day, suddenly exlaimed, "Man, I LOVE Rome!" Apparently that became the thing of the day - "Rome," "Prague," "Paris," what have you. And then, we hear the story about Morgan having her wallet stolen right out of her purse. And then Chris pipes in - "So, I ran after the girls who did it, grabbed her around the neck, twisted," - and, no joke, putting his hands to the side of his face home-alone style - "I KILLED her!!" - gasp! With a shocked expression on his face hahahaha. Obviously, he was joking, and it is a Chris moment I will NEVER forget. So that was Saturday. Today (Sunday) I got up early for a stroll on the harbor and a look at the Christopher Columbus monument. I got some great photos. And then I headed back to Plaza de Espanya (where the fountains were) to try and get to Parque Juan Miro. There was a marathon going on! Ajuntamente de Barcelona. It was cool. I ended up walking to Poble Espanol because to buses went to Juan Miro on Sunday. It wasn't all that intriguing because #1 - It was early Sunday AM #2 - I only had about 20 minutes #3 - I have a lot of time in Spain and all the village sights are not all that new for me. I could walk for free down any Spanish street andstead of paying 5 Euros. It did have a good view of Barcelona, though. Then it was back to the hostel to check out :(. Then we ate at a place called MOKA - a little Frecnh cafe. The waitress wasn't very nice. THIS WAS HILARIOUS: So we saw Jesus in front of the Cathedral (see photo), and the devil came up from below the French cafe!!! NO JOKE. I wish I had a photo. The gate to hell is apparently underneath a French cafe in Barcelona (and this cafe is apparently a prime meeting point in Barci. After eating, we chilled in Catalunya, had some helado, and then made our way to the bus station. The 3:30 bus from hell was not too bad except for the pleasant girls behind us who kept taking obnoxious photos with a cell phone that made the loud shutter sound EVERY time. And each time Tati put her chair back, we hear - "Dios mio! Tengo piernas largas! Oh yea? Dios mio, yo tengo oidos sensitivos!! Anyway, at the rest stop I noticed someone wearing a Moondoggies t-shirt. I didn't think anything of it because everyone wears them in SLO - and then I remembered that i was ACROSS THE WORLD. He said he wasn't from SLO but he goes there a lot. His friend is from the OC and is studying in Madrid also, and he was visiting her. SMALL WORLD. And that is my trip in a nutshell. Oh, and on Sunday morning, some bum was eyeing Tati so she grabbed her purse closer to her (considering the robbery record on the trip), and the bum literally kicked her in the butt and yelled "Culo!" - wieeerd. But it was a fun weekend. And I stop here for now. "Dios mio, I killed her!!"