Tuesday, April 20, 2010

7 miles of Spain!

April 7th, 2010

We got up early to go into Barcelona. We were exhausted so we didn't get up as early as we wanted but we still got everything done we wanted to do. We started out at the Picasso museum and I learned a ton about Picasso I didn't know. Then we headed up to the cathedral built by Gaudi. It's pretty but there was a lot of construction going on on the outside so it was hard to enjoy fully. There was a live band playing outside with a piano on wheels. I wonder if they wheel that thing out everyday.

It started to rain so we decided to get lunch in the plaza outside the cathedral. It was a cute little sandwich place and we got sandwiches, fries and a drink for only 5 euro. After lunch we headed over to Barri Gòtic - the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona. It was really quiet but very beautiful. Everyone had their laundry out drying on their patios and the architecture of the buildings was just beautiful. We walked to the end of the street which took us back to the Arc de Triomf. We realized that if you stand in the front of it and put your hands out it looks like you're holding it about your head.
We then walked down another street to Plaça de Catalunya. This was a beautiful square with fountains and statues, and more pigeons that anyone could count. Val and I ran though them and made them fly everywhere. At one point some guy threw seeds out and every pigeon in the square flew to the feast. A gypsy was running through them and the sky was filled with pigeons. When they settled again I told Val to go run through them so I could take pictures. Once Val was in the middle of all these birds with the gypsy, they were flying everywhere and all of the sudden the gypsy picks one up and chucks it at Valeria. It hit her on the back and feathers went everywhere! She did that twice! Crazy Gypsy! We spent a good hour there and it was so much fun!

We continued up the road to some crazy looking old buildings called Casa Batilló and Casa Amatller. They were like mosaic buildings and were nothing like I've ever seen before. Up the road was another place that Celia told us we should go. It said "entrada gratuït" so we thought it was free since "gratis" is free in Spanish and "gratuit" is free in French. Well, turns out it doesn't mean free...so we didn't go inside.

It was only mid-afternoon and we had already seen everything Celia told us to see that day. So we decided to go that big cathedral I saw when we drove in, called Sagrada Familia. It has 6 huge spires towering in the sky and it looks like something from the Little Mermaid movie. It's the biggest thing I've ever seen. It cost 12 euro to go in and Celia said it wasn't worth it so we walked around outside instead. It's not like a normal cathedral. Instead of gargoyles it had lizards and in big letter on the side in Catalán it said, "What is the Truth?" We met some Italian boys that asked us to take their picture and then they took ours. It was our first picture together in Spain.

From there we just did a straight shot to the beach. It started to rain so we stopped in a little shop for xocolata caliente and the best chocolate donut I've ever eaten in my life. We waited for the rain to stop but we weren't that lucky so we kept walking anyway down to the beach. When we got there the rains stopped and the clouds started to clear. We tried to take some jumping pictures on the beach with the self timer on my camera but that proved to be harder than we thought, so we walked down the beach instead. The wind was sat our backs so it wasn't too cold, but it was so much fun to finally see the sea. We walked almost all the way down to the end when it started to rain again so we headed up towards the Mirador de Colom, a huge pillar with a statue of Christopher Columbus on tip pointing over the see. We walked past that and bought some postcards on the street behind that. I also got my Spain flag there. We ate at a place called the Pita house. It was so good, and cheap, but we didn't realize how large the ice teas were and they cost just as much as our pitas. We could have shared one and been fine. Too bad.

We had seen online the night before some picture for these huge fountains called the Font Mágica de Montjuïc. We thought we'd go see that so we hopped on a metro and stopped at the stop I thought would be closest. We ended up being in a really sketchy part of town but luckily I'm really good at reading maps so I got us there walking without a problem. The fountain wasn't going off when we got there so we were confused, but there was a sigh with the times. We had the summer times and not the winter times since April is still considered winter so we were an hour late. We checked the winter times and decided to come back earlier tomorrow. We then walked to the metro in Plaça Espanya which was a lot closer and very pretty at night and we took the metro to the train station where we took a train back to Celia's. We fell into bed when we got home. It was an exhausting day. We had walked over 7 miles!!

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