Monday, November 12, 2007

Barcelona So many Sights so Little Time!

Well i just got back today from Barcelona! My first real experience in a HUGE city. I know i have been to Los Angeles, but im always with family and we dont really act like tourists when I visit. We stay in the valley and at the very most we go to Disney Land. Anyways, I had my first experience on a train. Going home i enjoyed it a lot more then going there, but i will explain that later! I also had my first experience taking the metro or subway. I liked it! There were several lines in Barcelona and it was the best and quickest way to get places when it was too far to walk!

The train ride was 14 hrs! However, we only took the train for 12 hrs and then we were bused from a train station outside of Barcelona to Barcelona. Apparently i dont watch the news enough here because I didnt know about this huge collapse of the tracks that lead into Barcelona. I learned from someone on the train though that they are reconsctruction a newer set of tracks in that area or maybe altogether im not sure, but they are afraid to complete it because it has to go around or under La Sagrada Familia which is the amazing building that Gaudi constructed but didnt finish (more on that later) Anyways, the construction people are afraid that another collapse or mishap will occur, so for now the tracks END and you must be bused into Oviedo. I think its just if you are coming from the North or maybe even the exact direction I came from, because going back to Oviedo we took the train the whole way because the tracks are not derailed! Sorry if that is complicated, it actually doesnt make perfect sense to me either, but everything worked out for the best.

Our train ride to Barcelona made me wish i was on a bus. And i dont even like the buses here that much, but atleast the seats reclined. Yes there was a cafe area to eat and stretch and what not, but when i was in my seat it was horrid! My seat didnt lean back and i had less room then on the bus. Thats because we were in the lowest car because its the cheapest. We made a bunch of friends in the cafe area. All of them claimed they knew little english when they knew a lot! So it was embaressing at first because they had understood all of our lame girly conversations because we knew they could understand us.

Thats one thing about this past weekend! I got frustrated a lot because I couldnt use my spanish for anything! Since barcelona is such a big city, no everyone speaks english. Spanish isnt even the language in Barcelona. Its Cattalan which has a lot of similar words but its a different language. Nonetheless, just like a big city in America where there is a lot of diversity and tourism, its the same in Spain. If someone thinks you are American they wont even give u the chance to try to speak spanish, immediately they interrupt you and use english. Thats why im happy im studying in a smaller city because no one knows english, or the percentage is a lot less, and I can practice spanish a lot more. The people we met on the train were all friendly and we spoke spanglish, english and spanish here and there. They gave us a lot of good advice about the places we were going to see and we chatted about Spain and other sorts. One of our new friends suggested that we go sleep in one of the empty sleeper cars where there were nicer seats that reclined completely to make a flat bed futon type thing. We went in there, got situated, got super excited that we were so comfortable and could possibly get five hours of good sleep, and then 10 mins later one of the train men came by and asked to see our tickets. Luckily he was really nice and didnt get mad, but we had to go back to our horrific seats! I was cranky after that. I tried to sleep until we had to get on the bus at 730am but it was so uncomfortable. Finally we got on the bus, took that for 1.5 hrs and then we arrived in Barcelona!

Literally we dropped off our stuff at our hostel and were off site seeing. We planned to see the most exciting things the first day because even if we were tired we would be extra excited and could plow through the exhaustion. Our first stop was La Sagrada Familia. It is a church that Guadi constructed but never finished because he died. Construction is still going on, but who knows when or if it will ever be finished because Gaudi was so crazy and amazing that no one can really determine what his true vision was. The building is incredible, with so much detail and he had a reason for little dimension. You will have to check out the pictures, even though they dont do it any justice.

Our next stop was The Picasso Museum. It had paintings from all of his times including the blue era, pink era, Menina, and more, but Picasso lived in Barcelona during part of his teenage years so the exhibit focused on pieces from that time in his life. There are pieces dating back to when he was 12 yrs old. I learned so much about Picasso at the museum and found myself thoroughly enthralled!

That was day 1.

The hostel was nice and cheap, but there were strings attached. You got a sheet to cover the matress and a sheet to cover the pillow for free. THATS IT! i paid 2 euro for a towel which is strandard but if you wanted a blanket you had to pay 2 euro too! WHAT A RIP! i stole another set that had a sheet and pillow cover and used that as my blanket with extra clothes the first night! Somehow a few of my friends found/stole a few blankets. For the next night i stole another set of sheets so i had 2 sheets to keep me warm plus my jacket, luckily there are 10 people in a room so i think all that body heat was enough to keep me warm the second night, the first night was a different story, i was frozen!

Ok i need to go have dinner. ill write more soon! hopefully tonight!


my mom said that the link to the gijon pics does not work! here it is again! let me know if you have any problems seeing any of the other pics! I just got back from Barcelona! ill try to update you all on everything ASAP!
Gijon and San Sebastian Pics!