|Hello everyone. I am actually in Zurich now (9/19) and couch surfing with a cool 30 something. I am hoping the FREE access to internet will allow me to catch up with my trip journal page. I have been keeping a personal journal, so just need to edit down for this page.
I flew out of Memphis on September 8th and arrived on the afternoon of September 9th in Barcelona.
After an easy (had an open seat next to me, so look full advantage of sprawling out) 8.5 hour flight from Memphis to Amsterdam, I quickly boarded the 2 hour flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival I collected my backpack, exchanged my existing 180 US Dollars for Euros, and connected with Brian.
A 10 minute Metro ride dropped us on La Rambla (the main drag full of shopping) in downtown Barcelona. Our guesthouse was just a 5 minute walk and would prove to be quiet despite the close proximity to the late night life of the city.
Yoshi, a Japanese cook/roommate, greeted us at the guesthouse and we set out to explore. Brian and I wondered around town a bit before settling for some tapas (fish tacos) and a couple of beers.
A scheduled house dinner of home made pasta, French bread, and great hummus from our Italian roommates brought us back around 9 pm. The house began to fill with Spanish, Israelis, and Italians as dinner was served. Following dinner a guitar was passed around the guesthouse as everyone played American songs as we drank into the early morning.
We slept late on Wedensday as Brian and I were the only ones in our room 4 person room. The sleep would be much needed because the nights seem to run late in Barcelona.
The first order of business was a great street kabob. Then it was off to Parc Guell that offers incredible panaromic views of all of Barcelona, the Mediterranean, and a close view of Gaudi's home. It is very cool roaming around the city and coming across all kinds of different architecture by Guadi. Next we set off for La Sagrada Familia, the famous church still under construction by Guadi's design. The church is very impressive with the exterior having a 'death' and 'life' theme on either side. We paid the 10 euro for entrance and were quite disappointed as it was a big construction zone inside.
After the church we picked up some fresh produce to take back to the guesthouse. After reading 'On The Road' a bit we connected with the two Israeli cousins, Elon and Rohan, that were running the guesthouse. They are very accomodating and took us to a great local restaurant. I had melon and jamon. After walking about a bit and grabbing some beers, we headed back for the guesthouse.
The next day we set off to set up our next travel plans to Paris or Nice. Nice was booked so we planned for Paris on Friday. That meant we had Thursday to hit the beaches in Barcelona and a few other places of interest. We wondered around the Gothic area (La Catedral and Eglesia de Santa Maria del Mar) in the city center while there was a big protest with people marching throughout the streets in black. This Thursday is national Catallon Day, so there are people everywhere. Next we laid low at the beach for a while as the sun was out.
I was able to make a random connection with a Georgetown exchange student, Rebecca, living in Barcelona. After messaging back and forth it appeared that our plans were not going to work for us to meet up. So we reconnected with some of our roommates, as well as, our Israeli hosts. Rohan has proved to be a great resource. I have really enjoyed his prospective on traveling, business and life in general. Elon, the other host, has a saying for everything he likes that I am sure not to stop reaping the entire trip (Its F"""ing Good, with an Israeli accent). Our last night ended late as a new Israeli houseguest entertained us with Janis Joplin on the guitar.
After just a few hours of sleep we were up and headed to the train station at 7 am. The cool breeze on the walk to the station was a nice break from the warm weather during the day.
After 3 nights we decided to move North to Paris since Brian had spent some time in Barcelona prior to my arrival. I feel like we may be leaving prematurely since we are starting to make some good connections and have a great place to stay.
I have managed to get some photos uploaded. I will try to get some from each location, but have taken tons of pics so will be able to share more later.
Paris was amazing and we met a lot of great people there. I look forward to getting those stories up soon.