Thursday, July 16, 2009

barcelona!

good evening to you all!

i am in barcelona, and having a grand old time. but before we get too carried away here, lets finish up with madrid.

our last day in madrid, we packed up our stuff and checked out, leaving our bags at the hostel until we could come back for them later on- so we didn´t have to haul them around all day with us. we walked over to la reiña sofia museum and spent a good 4 or so hours there. there´s some pretty incredible artwork there, most notably, picasso´s Guernica. it´s HUGE. like it takes up the whole wall. and in the rooms leading up to it, there are all his sketches and practice guernica´s, so you can really see how much work went into it. the final painting took 1 month to complete and most art critics say it is representative of spain under franco- the bull (Spain) is mangled and there´s a mother holding her dead child, but there is hope for new growth in the dove and the flower. (i did some background reading...). guernica was living at the MOMA in NYC but was returned to spain once peace and democracy returned (as per picasso´s request).
my favourite exhibit was a series of 11 or 12 small b&w photos taken by a man in the Atlas groupd- a group working to document the wars in lebanon- of his trip to rome and paris. they were all self-takes and he just looked so excited to be there.

after the museum, we found a thai restaurant nearby and thouroughly enjoyed our pad thai before heading across the street to the botanical gardens, where we wandered and sat in the shade (the heat is totally bearable if you´re in the shade- in the sun you fry).

we headed over to el corte inglés- a big chain department store like the bay at home, only bigger-. and wandered the store because it was air conditioned. then we grabbed some dinner and our bags and headed up to the bus station, where we read for an hour and hopped on the bus to barcelona.

and now.. barcelona.
day one was exhausting. we got off the bus at 8am- its an 8 hour bus ride from madrid, and taking the overnight bus means you don´t have to pay for a place to stay for that night. we waited in line to get the schedule to valencia- our next destination, all the while being yelled at in italian by an unhappy customer who didn´t want us to use this bus line because his bus was late and he has a dog and he missed his connection and blah blah blah. then we got on to the metro and went all the way up almost to camp nou (where FC Barcelona plays) and got to what we thought was our hostel...only to discover that the map i had looked at was to another hostel owned by the same people.. so we took another bunch of metros (one going the wrong way, one station that we needed was closed....it went like that). we finally got to the right stop and took the longer route to the hostel- weaving back and forth up and down streets.. but we did make it eventually. and it was a really great place. the rooms were apartment style- meagan and i shared a 2 bed room and aj was sharing a 2-bed room 3 floors above us. i think there were 4 bedrooms in our place and a shared living room, 2 bathrooms and a full kitchen and laundry. we cleaned ourselves up and had a little siesta, then met up with aj and headed down to the water. because obviously the first thing we had to see was where our boat lived. it looks exactly the same- imagine that- except that our home, the MV Oceanic II, wasn´t there waiting for us. and that was kind of sad. it would be like going back to a place and expecting your very favourite place or person to be there, and its not.
after some sitting and soaking up the mediterranean breeze, we wandered up las ramblas- THE biggest tourist street i´ve ever seen, full of street performers and souvenirs and restaurants and tourists. we grabbed the most delicious orange juice i´ve ever had at the fruit market then went back up to our hostel where we had another siesta.
that night we met up with aj and a couple of his roommates from brazil and ireland and hung out. we ended up going to the black sheep- the bar we went to on our last night in town with TSS- and meagan and i spent the whole night waiting to see our boat friends and remembering them.

we didn´t getmuch sleep that night- we didn´t get home until 3ish am then i made soime cheese bread in the oven and we woke up at 9 the next morning because we were moving to a different hostel and had to check out.

so yesterday we got to our new place- where we´´re staying now. its a 6 bed room with a giant bathroom. we couldnt check in until 1 so we wandered the gothic quarter and then made our way home and showered then headed out to harry potter- because meagan is obssessed. haha we saw the english version at a theatre just off the beach and honestly, the movie wasn´t as bad as i was expecting. post- movie, we grabbed some delish doner kebap and sat looking over the beach and ate dinner. last night we went to bed early, woke uop for breakfast then slept until 2 today. oopps. we walked up to gaudi´s park guell and looked around, walked back down here to las ramblas.
and now my internet is almost out of time.
i love you-

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