The dorms are like mini hotels, with air & daily maid service—sweet! There’s a bar in the basement lounge along with a pop machine that sells cervesas (beer)!
First night out—we split into three groups because everyone kind of wanted to do something different. So me and 5 others headed over to the street festival in Gracia where it is permanently Unofficial! There were people from all over Europe, lots of pot, lots of sangria and Estrella, dancing on fake boxing rings, taking pics with polar bears and penguins, jess getting picked up and swung by singing Spaniards, talking in Spanish for the whole second half of the night, and meeting lots of funny people including some frenchies who were rolling joints, some dudes who sell beer there as well as at the university, & meeting up with the Californians, trying to convince some Spaniards that Charles barkley is funnier/cooler than Michael Jordan (23!!!!!!!!!!!!), figuring out how to use the sweet metro stations. Coolest night ever!
I had total insomnia last night. I woke up at 3:50 for some reason and then couldnt fall back asleep =( First day of classes was fine. We're all broken into smaller groups that we travel around with (carolyn's in mine). We've already gotten homework (booooooo) but hopefully it shouldnt be too bad!
After class we went and got pay as you go phones (like 15 of us at once...all the store's workers were out trying to help us), and then wandered up to Las Ramblas to find some lunch. As it turns out the Hotel Jazz is right next to the metro station I take to the University! So we got some lunch, wandered around, then went to the Corte de Ingles. I couldnt get everything I needed, but I did get another beach towel and a mini blow dryer. I didnt get a straightener yet because i thought they were too expensive. Oh well...I'll check again next week. I also wanted to get a small notebook for ILP, but we were all too tired and just decided to come back home.
SO I'M POOPED! I swear, once i'm about 20 feet out the door of the colegio, i am sweating like a pig! Its so hot here! I guess my body will just have to get used to it!’
22 Aug 2008
Excursion day! First we went to La Pedrera which was so freaking amazing. We got to go on a tour of the whole place, including going on the roof to see the chimineas and water reservoirs, and seeing how the apartments looked 100 years ago with all the old toys, maids quarters, etc. Gaudí was a genius. He literally thought of everything needed to create this masterpiece and figured the majority of it out by observing and copying structures (winding stairs like twisted tree trunk, arches like our legs or the swing of a pendulum). After La Pedrera, we went to La Sagrada Familia which was even more mind-boggling as last time since we had some back story. It was Gaudí’s first and last project. He had only constructed 4 towers when he died, but there will be 18 when it is finished. The church tells the entire story of the bible on the outside facades. He even put the words "Hosana en Excelsis," which I think means God in Heaven, on there so people were praying, whether intentionally or not, when they read it. He predicted that people wouldn’t go to church in the future and wanted this to be a way for them to know the story or to draw them in. You can follow the pictures left to right, top to bottom to see the story of his birth on one side, his death on the opposite (on the side the sun sets), the side facing the sea was being worked on, and he was buried in a tomb on the side facing the mountains. The tour guide told us that one of the statues actually has the profile of Gaudí. After La Sagrada Familia, we went to Parc Guell, which was a place Gaudí and Guell built away from the city in hopes that the richer families would move out there. In the end, their little community was unsuccessful since Gaudí bought the only house that was built. The two buildings in front were for the gardener and some other dude (I forgot), but they look like the houses from Hansel and Gretel. One is a witch house with teacups on the top of it, and the other house has a cross over it, since it belonged to the children. We quickly seeked out the place where the finale of America’s Next Top Model occurred and took a bunch of pictures. I got an ice cream cone there, which I should have never been entrusted with. I seriously got it all over my face and all down my leg and on my purse. I guess I’m 5 or something. Next we went over to Montjuïc to check out the Olympic area, get a sweet view of the port, and go the Joan Miró Foundation. Gaudí’s way cooler, but whatever. It started raining at the end of our trip so the majority of us just came back for a long siesta! That night we went to the local bar where some of the group was friends with the bartenders. So we went there and then they took us to Mojito, a discoteca, because the ones on Las Ramblas are “all tourists.” SO much fun! So hot and sweaty and gross, but SO fun! I noticed that Spanish guys dance very differently from los americanos / know how to dance…interesting change of pace. Some 29 year old and a guy from Senegal kept creeping on us, so we had to pretend we were each others novias a veces. But it was all good, no harm was done and we came home at 6 AM. Too bad I had to be up in 3 hours to go look at an apartment, haha!
Want to see more pictures? Check out these links!
Fiestas de Gracia
But yeah, I think I'm going to break this up more because that was a lot of reading/writing for everyone. More to come later! If you want to be notified of new posts, I think there's somewhere you can subscribe on the left side of the page...if not, just let me know and I'll figure something out! Off to do homework now =(