The way to Barcelona didn´t start out so swell. I think I wrote last time about Alvin´s singing permeating my sleep. But really, I couldn´t sleep at all on the train because I have a pretty bad sunburn on my legs and couldn´t get comfortable. I made the mistake of borrowing Rachel's shorts when we lounged on the beach in Nice...so my entire legs are bright red. Then on the train to Barcelona, we were asked for our passport three times...at the same stop.
I used some Spanish in the train station, but once we used the Metro we began to realize that no one told us the primary language in Barcelona is not Spanish. It´s Catalan, a mix between all the Spanish words I don´t know, and the French nuances I´ve never understood...Okay, I´m exaggerating, but it was a little frustrating as I had been looking forward to finally knowing a language.
And then, as we (6 of us now, because Brittany met her parents in Spain: Lexie, Rachel, Kathy, Amanda, Kaitlyn, and me) walked to our hostel, the skies, still sunny, parted to bombard us with eggs of hail. We scurried around trying to find the hostel and once we did, I took off my shoes and saw that my ankles had swollen to twice their size because of the sunburn plus all of the walking. [warning, gross picture follows....]
Not to be thwarted, we journeyed out to Parque Guell, which my tour book called a twisted Disney world.
It had some interesting, curved structures and we would have explored more but it started to rain again, horribly. So, next stop, Picasso Museum, which did a great job focusing on his earlier works though the museum wasn´t organized too clearly- we were confused about the order of the rooms, which probably should have been chronological. This is a view from outside since cameras weren't allowed inside. Oh, yes, and I was officially sun poisoned at this point...my friends actually tried to get a wheelchair for my hugely swollen ankles!!
Food adventures were also quite interesting. For lunch we learned about tapas, appetizers that Spain is known for. You can make a meal with tapas, but I think a little more elegantly than we did that time. Oh well! For dinner, we had some tasty tapas and paella along La Rambla, Barcelona´s main walking and shopping street.
I feel like I may have written this in a slightly frustrated mood, but it´s the truth. So far, Spain has been completely different from my expectations. Barcelona is a cool city, with lots of curvy stone architecture, and mainly seafood based comida.