Buenos Dias, Barcelona
Trip Start Jan 10, 2010
20Trip End Apr 30, 2010
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Ok…without the accents that should be there…it says, Hello! How are you all? I am very happy to be in Barcelona. I like very much the culture of Spain, you too?
This Spanish would have been fantastic to use in Spain..one would think, however, in Barcelona, they don't speak Spanish as the main language…they use Catlian. It's all ok though, we were able to some of the Spanish that we know. It took 24 hours of training through Austria, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain to get to Barcelona. We left at 8 pm, and got there around…8 pm, if not a little later from having to ride the metro in Barcelona to get to the hostel.
The first night we got there, we checked into the hostel and immediately headed to the beach, a five or so minute walk from the hostel. The moon was bright, the breeze was crisp, yet tolerable, and the water was FREEZING. And all I did was dip my foot in, and then I couldn't walk, the water was SO COLD.
Our first day was Palm Sunday. The local neighborhood church was about a 15 minute walk from the hostel, and Mass was a noon. This was, apparently, the family mass. Take a look at the videos and the pictures. They don't just have palms in the back of Church to be blessed and taken…no, their style is more B.Y.O.P….bring your own palm. And boy do they bring them. Some of them bring palms with scepter looking things on them..some with scepter things and candy and bows, I mean, these things are freaking elaborate. Or, they bring in the mega-palms. These are palms that are 7 feet tall, if not taller. You'll see them in the pictures, and they certainly are a sight to see. Now, the Spanish are not a people concerned with what seat they will get at Mass, so when Mass starts at noon, they'll be there at noon, but not much sooner than that. We were 5 of maybe 15 sitting in the Church about 10 til Mass was supposed to start
The rest of the day we hung out on the beach picnic-ed and had fun. We found this fruit store on our way that sold fruit and other produce for cheap, and it was a blessing all week…not to mention fantastic! AND they had Granny Smith Apples! And strawberries! Do you realize how long it's been since we've SEEN either of these fruits, let alone been able to EAT them???? YUM! *heaven*
On the second day, we went to Las Ramblas, which is the famous 2 mile long shopping strip in Barcelona
We ate lunch at the Hard Rock on Las Ramblas, which was amazing food, as Hard Rock normally is. We finished the day shopping still on Las Ramblas…there is a lot there! And went back exhausted to the hostel.
Zoo! I found a 2 euro off flyer for the zoo at the hostel, and I thought it would be a cool thing to do, and Lyndsay had never been to a zoo, so I suggested we go, and it was a hit
Wednesday had a slow start because we were waiting on a friend to join us at the hostel we were staying at so he could check in and get settled before we headed out for the day
That night we got on the guest list for an exclusive club in Barcelona (Barcelona is known for the night life) called the Bikini Club. We got all dressed up and made the long trip on the Metro to get to the club…only to be rejected because Michael's shoes weren't formal enough
Thursday was a quiet, lazy day. It was supposed to be our designated beach day, but the weather was cloudy, cold and windy. We hung around the hostel for a good part of the day (they had a TV and a Wii room, which the boys were all over) and then went to explore some of the side streets of Las Ramblas…and that's pretty much all we did on Thursday.
Day 6- Good Friday
Good Friday Service was at noon, instead of at night. Again, it was a bit hard to follow because of the language barrier, but we still were able to keep up with what was going on, and the service was beautiful in it's own right, even when you don't understand what is said.
We spent Friday on the beach…we made Michael into a Mermaid and Lyndsay had a bucket-list event to complete "swimming in the Mediterranean." I stayed on shore with the towel for the moment she came running out of the freezing water, which happened
After the show, we went to see Sagrada Familia, the famous, incomplete Church in Barcelona. It's taken over 100 years to build and it's still not done. It was the brain-child of the famous architect Gaudi, who also built the dragon house, the building with the wavy floors. It's quite the Church to take in, but you have to pay to get inside, since it's not finished yet, and all it's masses are held outside. We wondered around this area for a bit, stopped for ice cream, and settled at a cocktail bar, and then headed back to the hostel.
Saturday we headed to Park Gruell, which was also built by the guy who built Sagrada Familia
The Saturday Vigil was at 9:30, and it was a rather small service. Our guess is that the family mass was on Sunday. They didn't have any catecuminates, our guess for that one is that they have them all gather at the Cathedral (we didn't go there because it costs 9 euro to ride up the mountain that it sits on). It was pretty short too. Although, I must tell you, the Spanish have an interesting way of leading the congregation in song. This happened for every song, but the Litany of the Saints was the most…sorry if this offends anyone, but funny. The deacon was leading the names of the Saints on one side and conducting the parish, completely off beat and out of tune, and on the other side of the Church, the cantor was also conducting the congregation in the responses, on a completely different off-beat and out of tune manner…it was a rather interesting phenomenon to witness
36 hours of traveling back to Gaming...From bus to metro to broken bus to new bus to airport to security to flying to waiting in airport for 6 hours to bus to train station to overnight train to train to train to train to hitching a ride to the Kartause. Ahhh, the joys of traveling in Europe.