Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This past weekend we had an Emory trip to Barcelona and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite city of all the ones we've visited so far. We took our bus to Madrid and then took the AVE (the high speed train to Barcelona) which was nice because it reduced a trip across the country to only 4.5ish hours.

Our first day there we got there in the afternoon so we just went to see the Sagrada Familia which is the giant church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It was completely planned out by Gaudi down to the very last detail and he did the initial construction (1882), but it is still being worked on and is not expected to be finished for another 30 or 40 years. Gaudi expected the project to take so long that he included things in his design that the technology of his time could not possibly do with the expectation that someone would figure out how to do it eventually. It was cool to see the little museum, but because it's under construction it was kind of hard to get the whole picture and see the whole thing.

Sagrada Familia

The next day we visited Casa Mila which is an apartment building also designed by Gaudi. It was amazing and if I had a ton of money I would live there haha. Some people still live there, but parts of the building have been set up as they would have looked like in the early 1900s. Basically it looked like a giant fun house, it was awesome. After Casa Mila we walked down Las Ramblas where you can basically find any street performer you want and buy basically anything. They even have pet store stand things, it's very odd. We also visited the big market which was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen that much food in one place in my entire life. Oh P.S. next to the market was a Dunkin Donuts!! Too bad they don't know how to make real iced coffee in Spain...major bummer. After all of that we took a walk down to the beach (Playa Barceloneta) where we met a very enthusiastic 2 year old boy that fell in love with us all ("chica, chica, chica, chica, guapa, guapa, guapa, guapa").

Casa Mila

Market (all that seafood was alive and moving by the way)

Playa Barceloneta

On Saturday we saw the Picasso museum in the morning (who knew that Picasso actually painted like a normal artist for most of his life?!) Then we headed to Parc Guell, the gigantic park designed by Gaudi as well. It was really cool, there were great views of the city and lots of crazy benches, sculptures, and houses. After Parc Guell we headed to Plaza Espana to see the giant light up fountain show which was really pretty. Basically it was a very packed weekend, but I had a great time and I definitely want to go back to explore another time. Only complaint: the metro is not very well designed, but I can deal with that haha.

Parc Guell

Plaza Espana/Fountain

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mike visited, yay!!

Last weekend Mike got to come and visit which was really exciting. He was here Thursday-Tuesday and we had a really good time. Basically we saw the usual Salamanca sites (that takes all of a day), hung out with my friends here, and Marisol cooked a special lunch one day. And I wish I lived in the apartment-hotel thing that we stayed in because it was so close to everything! Oh well... Here's an unattractive picture of both of us, but I think it sums up the weekend haha.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nice Melons Chiky-Monkey?- Tenerife, Canary Islands

We had monday off of school so we decided to take advantage of the weekend and go to the Canary Islands :). We left friday night on the last bus to Madrid (around 9) and got to the station at about 11. Then we took the metro to the airport and slept on the floor there until 4:15am when we were able to check in for our 6am flight. We aren't crazy, it's just that there are no morning buses that would get us there on time so we really had no other choice haha. Anyway our flight was good and we got to Tenerife (one of the 7 Canary Islands) around 8am because they're an hour behind Spain. After checking into our hotel and talking to a really helpful tourism lady we decided to spend Saturday on the beach at Playa de las Americas. It was really touristy and full of flabby topless ladies, but was really fun overall. For a Spanish territory in Africa it was a lot more British than I expected. And everyone spoke english even though Spanish is the official language. Their spanish was also funny because it is a lot more like latin american spanish than Spain spanish (i.e. we took the guagua instead of the autobus).

View from the plane
Hopefully there are no visible naked ladies in this one

The next day we woke up early again to take the only bus up to Teide, the volcano in the middle of the island. It's the highest point in Spain and the 3rd largest volcano in the world at 12, 198 feet. When we got up into the mountains we took a little walk/hike for about an hour and a half (not too difficult since I was doing it in flip flops) to the giant gondala that takes you up only 300m shy of the crater (you need a license to go all the way up). It was really really beautiful, but I learned that I don't do well at high altitudes. At all.

View from the top of Teide

The top of the volcano

After our all day volcano adventure we went home and went to bed early again before our 9am flight Monday morning. It was a really short trip but I'm definitely glad that we went!