Aly's Spain Adventure

Read about what I'm doing while in Spain so you can keep up with me!

Location: Des Moines, Iowa, United States

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 22
Friday-aka My Birthday
So my birthday started with me still being sleeping on a bus. As I said we made some friends behind us and we also made a friend named Charlotte who I think is also studying in Spain but she kind of ended up tagging along with us to our hostel because the one she had was far away and she thought she´d see if there were anymore rooms open in ours. We arrived to Barcelona around 7AM which is about an half and a half earlier than we figured but it was okay. We got ourselves a metro ticket and headed to our hostel which is in Las Ramblas which is basically the CENTER of downtown Barcelona. Awesome! So check in wasn´t until 12 in the afternoon so we stored our luggage at the hostel and headed out to do some stuff. It was Marina, Linda, Charlotte and myself and we first decided to wander a little. We found a HUGE market, even bigger and better than what we have in Madrid. There were piles of meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, and gummy candy/chocolate! I got a ¨smoothie¨which was literally fresh fruit but not with ice and stuff. Then we decided to kind of head for some sites such as the Picasso museum and the Catedral de Santa Maria del Mar. We ended up at the Catedral de Barcelona which was randomly found but very cool. It was done by Antonio Gaudi (an EXTREMELY famous architect who I actually wrote a paper about in my senior year in high school). I took tons of pictures. There were tons of altars, a mass going on, and a big pond area in the middle with a ¨drinking fountain.¨ After our lucky random find we saw a weird shaped room that was very colorful on a random building so we went to check it out and it ended up being another market. We then started looking for the Picasso museum and ended up getting lost. We ended up by the sea and that was really neat to see the whole area which we intend to visit again later. We almost found the Picasso museum when we saw Museu Xocolate (I think that´s how it´s spelled, it´s actually Catalan which is a very different dialect of Spanish). Basically we found a CHOCOLATE MUSEUM. Yea!!! For my birthday I HAD to check out the chocolate museum. There was information about how chocolate is made and it´s history as well as structures made completely of chocolate!!! I got many pictures. There was a class about how it´s made but unfortunately that was only for groups. We bought some chocolate though (apparently the chocolate in the US sucks because of the low cocoa content). Marina got regular chocolate but it had peices of cocoa beans in it (it was my favorite), Linda got really dark chocolate and I got a cup of chocolate. A cup of chocolate is really common here. It actual chocolate melted and then sometimes with sugar and milk and a lot of times people dip churros in it. It was WONDERFUL! We then went to the Picasso museum which has a permanent collection and also a temporary collection. Marina knows a LOT about art so she told me a lot about his works. Unfortunately I was feeling so sick and my back was hurting a lot that I couldn´t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. After that we went and got some food and then Linda and I went back to our hostel (Marina is staying with her sister´s friend) and planned on taking a nap. We mostly just showered and hung out and then around 7pm went shopping. In our hostel in our room there are 10 beds so it´s kind of like dorm living. We met 2 other Americans named Dan and Lauren and they decided to come shopping with us. Lauren had to finish her laundry so Linda, Dan and I went ahead and decided to meet her later. We found some shops and stumbled upon a parade! I forgot to mention that there is a big festival going on right now called Merce in Barcelona and it´s a big deal. So the parade was really neat with really huge statues that people wore (I will show pictures and it will make more sense) and some fire. So then we met up with Lauren and did a little shopping and then went back to get Marina. We all went to get some dinner and decided upon some Paella because Dan and Lauren hadn´t had any yet. 12euro for Paella, Sangria and a coffee is a pretty good deal (Paella is kind of expensive). We decided we needed to go out for my birthday especially since Dan and Lauren hadn´t been to a discoteca yet. We got a little sangria from the store and drank at the hostel for a bit (drinks are EXPENSIVE in the clubs). We then started walking and found a place with a free shot so we had that and then kept going. We found a little stage with a small concert going on and then we also found a ¨complex¨of clubs at the top of a mall and managed to get in for free (even though we had a boy). We danced for a while and had some fun. There are usually dancers just dancing at clubs but realized after a while that we were at somewhat of a stripclub! Didn´t expect that! Around 2AM we went home because we were just too exhausted. The mall we were at was at the end of a land strip on the sea and when we tried to go back home the bridge was up! We eventually found a different way to get back that worked but it was not cool! Anyway I should really get off the computer so I will write about today tomorrow! Love you all and thanks for the birthday salutations!


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