Archive for August, 2008

Vamanos

We decided to get a pretty early start and left our apartment around 9am. Our square looked like a ghost town compared to the night before but luckily the bakery across the street was open so we had a quick cafe and left to walk into downtown. We ended up at the Palau de la Musica Catalana where we booked a tour and then headed to the Church nearby to visit while we waited for our tour.

comfessing my sins

confessional

On the roof

On the roof

The off we went to the Palau de la Musica Catalana which had an excellent tour guide who told us all about the history and architecture while walking us through. I’ll give you the short version; it was designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in a modernista style in 1905. Funded entirely by society and their love of the arts, the Catalan Choir in particular it is now host to some of the most famous artists in the world. The inside was amazing, a perfect square that is lit entirely by natural light. With a steel frame hidden by beautiful and ornate columns each wall is covered in stain glass. If you head to Barcelona it is an absolute must, the only sad part is no picture taking aloud but I found some of the web to post.

The Palau has never been linked to a religion, which is pretty out of the ordinary, but it does have sculptures depicting the muses of Greek Mythology. The design doubles the story, instead of nine muses there are eighteen and then various famous composers works are also depicted in modernista sculpture style. And the ceiling is probably the most famous, a giant sun turning into a water drop which, all the flower sculptures lean towards.

And finally the outside, this photo is mine.

After the Palau we called the airport and found out my luggage was on it’s way so we raced back to the apartment hoping we wouldn’t miss it. Thankfully about an hour later someone buzzed, I ran down the four flights tripping over my feet in excitement only to see an elderly man that spoke no english trying to hand me a bag that clearly wasn’t mine. I showed him the tag said “Eduardo” not “Lucille” and after the usual few minutes of hand gestures and pointing we finally understood each other. He walked down the block and ten minutes later came huffing around the corner with my bag. Hooray!

After some unpacking and a quick change we were off to dinner around 9pm to place nearby with a delicious assortment of tapas…yum.

Dinner couldn’t have been better, the food was delicious, we couldn’t stop laughing and telling stories, and then after a perfect espresso we were ready for a night on the town.

After chatting with some Italians in what we found out later was the local Italian bar we ended up running into the waiter from our first night in Barcelona. He took us to an excellent little place that had some really fantastic mojitos.

After a couple drinks we danced home to our apartment and decided it was the perfect time to go up to our buildings community terrace. I took a lot of photos but since I was determined to do it without the flash some may be a bit dark.

Somewhere around 4am we said good night to the view and went to our futon with smiles on our faces.

Barcelona

I arrived at the Born Portal 3.3 (the apartment my Sister and I rented for our stay in Barcelona) around 6:30 and after a little freshing up and sharing travel stories with the Sister we were off.

our apartment

our apartment

Stairs, we were four flights up

Stairs, we were four flights up

View from Kitchen

View from Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Born is a pretty nice area, it’s right next to the Arc de Triomf, 20 minutes from the beach, and our apartment was around the corner from a square filled with bars and restaurants.

Portal, our apt street

Portal, our apt street

Square next to Apt.

Square next to Apt

It was way too early for dinner, no one eats dinner before 9 and most places stay open until 1am serving dinner, so we decided to stop for a drink in the square. There was live music and outdoor seating at each place. Unfortunately the first place we sat down turned out to be an English pub called the Black Pony but beer sounded great so we ordered some pints. They were gigantic.


Then around ten we went to a more authentic meal where a nice waiter taught us how to ask for red wine; “vino tinto” not roja like we expected. We ordered food off the menu that sounded nice but we had no idea what it was, turned out to be very delicious duck for me with in house made potato crisps and spinach for me and a beautifully cooked steak with grilled zucchini and creamy polenta for my Sister. Delicious first night in Barcelona.

Also important to mention; my smaller bag which I was forced to check last minute did not arrive in Barcelona, it was stuck in Copenhagen. Since I didn’t have a telephone number and all I could offer was an address to our apartment so I will put some in from my Sisters camera soon and tell you what happened with my luggage in the next post.

So Much Has Happened

I left Whidbey Island on the 19th of August and haven’t stopped yet. My Sister and I arrived in Barcelona on the 20th each with our own crazy travel stories to tell (more on those later) and I just got the wireless password for our apartment. There is quite a bit of catching up to do.

First of all, there is always a story to tell when traveling on a flight that lasts more than six hours and goes through countries where you don’t speak the language. I flew through Copenhagen.

Now I don’t know if any of you have the fantasy where you end up sitting next to your sole mate simply through fate putting you in 23C instead of 26A but I most certainly do; so much so, in fact, that I have troubles with changing/choosing my seat before my flight (what if I am missing my opportunity
simply for the window seat).

That said, when I saw a glimpse of the guy in the window seat that I would share the next 10 hours with I got excited that he was pretty good looking and about my age. Seat mates always looks better from far away
with extremely unreasonable expectations. Not only is this guy an awkwardly large 17-19 year old but he also doesn’t seem to speak much English. He cranked up his European Techno and I let go of my dream once again (by the way I have been right next to people that exchanged numbers after meeting each other on a plane and they seemed to make connections so it is possible).

Six hours later I slowly wake up to realize this guy and I are sort of spooning, as much as you can in airplane seats, and that he has just woken up also. The awkwardness was definitely there but the need for sleep overcame it and even though we both knew it was weird to be leaning in on a complete stranger we went back to bed. I slowly brought my head and shoulder back to my space and ordered a coffee but all in all it was a pretty funny experience.

Then I tried to get online in the Copenhagen airport and ended up taking pictures of myself at the gate instead (so many plants, at every gate).

Frank and Emma!

Frank and Emma!

The puppies at my parents house; we have been hanging out all summer and I will miss them so much!


I’m enjoying this light hearted summer read right now, as recommended by Dan Savage (one of the many authors) on the Savage Love Cast. I think it’s great to read about people reflecting on failed relationships as learning experiences they’re the better for and being really funny at the same time.


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