Well, life got in the way again and this blog has been on the back burner lately... sorry about that! These last few weeks have been filled with work, class, battling sickness and exhaustion, and traveling. Good news is, I have lots of blog posts in the works to catch you up, so stay tuned. We´ll start with my trip to Barcelona for my birthday weekend in October...
The view from Park Guelle
Before arriving in Madrid, a few other auxiliar ladies and I planned the trip to Barcelona for Sensation White, a big house music rave. There were originally 6 of us planning to stay in a hostel together and a few other girls who were planning to meet up with us there. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, and 3 of the 6 girls backed out at the last minute. Miss Jessica had the brilliant idea of couchsurfing for the weekend, so we cancelled our hostel reservation and within 20 minutes of posting on facebook, we found an auxiliar in Barcelona to host us... win!
Since we procrastinated on booking a flight to Barcelona before the prices rose, we settled on taking the Alsa bus from Madrid to Barcelona. The bus is approximately 8 hours each way and only costs 53 euros round trip! We took the midnight bus on Thursday so we could sleep on the bus and have all of Friday to explore Barcelona.
Port of Barcelona
On Friday, we met with a couple other auxiliar friends to explore the city. We walked through Las Ramblas and the amazing Boqueria market to shop and eat. Next, we headed to the Port of Barcelona and to the beach. The beach was gorgeous, but the weather was kind of crappy and poor Jess was picked up by some macho douchebag guy and got hit by a wave up to her waist. We also explored the Gothic area... love!
Saturday, we went to Park Guelle to picnic and see some of Gaudi´s work... it's pretty amazing and has the most incredible view of the city. But the highlight of the weekend was Sensation... the event was at Palau St. Jordi (the olympic stadium) and everyone wears all white! I kind of expected a little more from the event, but it was great nonetheless. Our whole group got split up after about 20 minutes, but I stuck with my friend Christina the whole time and from what we remember we had a blast. Andddd it was my birthday!! Thanks to Christina telling everyone and their moms it was my birthday, I got a free drink or two. Luckily we all made it home safely and had a good time and even better stories to share the next morning. We ended the weekend with a glorious siesta in a park before taking the bus back to Madrid.
Siesta in the Park
All in all, Barcelona was great... I´d say it´s a must-see city for anyone visiting Spain or Europe. There are still a ton of things I didn´t see, so luckily my dear Aunt Katy and I will be going back in May! As much as I loved Barcelona, it also made me appreciate living in Madrid. The primary language in Barcelona is Catalon... while everyone speaks both Spanish and Catalon, all of the signs and menus are in Catalon. Spanish alone is challenging enough for me! Barcelona also has quite a touristy feel... we heard much more English being spoken than in Madrid.
Oh, and thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes! It was weird not being with family for my birthday, but my friends in Spain helped me celebrate. We went out for a great dinner at this restaurant Segun Emma in Madrid. It was recommended by another auxiliar, and if you´re living in Madrid you should check it out!