Irish Bars and Naked Bikers

Yeah, apparently Eugene isn´t the only city in the world that encourages naked biking. Saw this buck naked old guy on a bike going through downtown Barcelona. Lovely, and moreover, where does a guy wearing no pants have to go? He can´t go to the store–no place to put a wallet.

Things have been pretty low key for me this weekend. I made a yummy stirfry (dang it´s hard to find anything spicy in this country!) and then went out to an Irish bar with like 12 guys from my hostel. Andrew, your bright blue parasol will forever haunt my thoughts. So sad for them, they´re all looking for girls and can´t seem to find any in the bar. Watched Darius get slightly uncomfortable with my Irish boys´homoerotic jokes (apparently he didn´t really want to be hugged by dudes:) Did a little dancing and then headed in for the night, at about 3 am.

Woke up this morning about 10 feeling really bleh, not from my vino or cerveza, but simply due to a congested head which made my ear feel like a weight was sitting on it. I made the executive decision to go back to sleep, and was promptly woken up at 11:40 by the reception chick, informing me and my roomies that we had to either get another night or move our hungover asses out of the beds so they could be cleaned.

Got up and made food whilst hearing from Micheal the Second about how he couldn´t really remember the last night nor how he got home, but apparently he´d witnessed a car crash, and therefore had an aversion to the sigh tof ketchup. Watched some James Bond and then went wandering and listened to some music at the last day of the Merce festival. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Micheal and Micheal as they were going north to look for work. Can´t believe how fast this trip has gone by. Tomorrow I´m taking a bus to Oviedo; my wandering will be over, least for a little while.

A Shorty

Had a nice day in the Montjuic Park, saw the entire city from the top of the castle and napped in the park.

Went out with a bunch of cool people from the hostel, like Will the drunk American boy and Jessica my Aussie amiga. It’s a great example of how small the world really is. Me and Jessica met when I first got to Barcelona, and then met again at the next hostel! Then I just ran into her in the street, which is amazingly unlikely in BCN during the night.

Saw another great concert and drank beer in the square for a long time, though we had to keep waving away the beer vendors after a time. I decided to finish off the Smirnoff, which seemed to vastly impress the American boys. Sigh, frat-boy minded guys are so predictable. Made it back before the sun came up, so I guess it was an early night by Spanish standards 🙂

Moved hostels today, to a really nice one. I mean, this one has more than one cup! And then I proceeded to sleep for most of the day, and took advantage of the free internet. Not sure what’s in the works for the next couple days, though I gotta make it to the Dali museum, and then get to Oviedo somehow from here.

Let The Chaos Begin

Last night was characterized by irritating the grumpy Pakastani receptionist  (think old guy with nothing better to do with his time than make life miserable for lazy travelers) Seriously, all we were doing was hanging out on the roof, drinking, being loud, playing music, and the Europeans were hucking cigarettes over the edge of the roof. And he got all pissed off and storms up there demanding IDs and the like. Unfortunately, he had to deal with belligerant (read: under the influence of blueberry schnapps) Irish guys… Seriously, why must I always be the diplomatic one?

Went to the Modern Art museum in Barcelona today. it was okay and there were definitely some really cool exhibits, but not anywhere near as cool as the Prado or Reina Sofia. Though I did like the giant astronauts hovering in the air.

The Merce festival started tonight, and the streets were full of explosions, confetti, tons of people, and free Istanbul concerts. Went out with the Michaels (apparently they have the same name, which is spelled like the English one, yet sounds more like Meehull) some Slovenians, and this couple fropm Macedonia. After enjoying the concert, where I got to dance to bellydancing music, we meandered down to the beach area, where someone knew a bartender=cheaper drinks at the waterfront. Didnt get back to the hostel till 6a.m. and naturally the grumpy reception dude was there–gave us all a dirty look, which just made me giggle stupidly.

Now, last night was just the first day of a giant festival in Barcelona. Ergo, I must go to all these concerts, the as well as whatever other mischief I can find. Even though its not accurate for this country, I say PURA VIDA!!!

Lazy Monday

Yeah, I went to the beach and worked on my tan. Yep, that’s all I did.

Went to a Basque tapas bar for dinner—so cool cause it’s all self-serve and they just count the number of little tapas you eat. Found something with purple goop and anchovies on top of bread, so yummy!

Had a chill night, hanging on the roof with people, talking and drinking beer. Though I did feel enough guilt to help Mihial (how the hell do you spell Irish names?) procure some aloe vera. Dude, don’t emulate my sunscreen habits. I’m from somewhere where the sun actually shines. And my skin isn’t pasty pale. Poor boy looked like a lobster, so of course the kind sweet guys here were looking for every excuse to poke him.

BCN–When Will I Actually Sleep?

Seriously, how am I even functioning? Oh yeah, European coffee: be wide awake after only sleeping 7 hours over the course of 2 nights.

So was chilling in the Yellow Nest, which is a kick-ass hostel, if a little outside the mainstream chaos of Barcelona. This girl mentioned they were going out for drinks, so I joined the party (and got a chance to wear my pink dress, yeay!) Apparently this was a unofficial bar crawl, cause the one sponsored by the hostel sucked and cost 12 Euro.

With a group of approximately 15 Americans, Germans, and Aussies, we proceeded into the city and found this kickin’ bar where they let the customers be their own bartenders! Seriously, you fork over the price of your drink, say a rum and Coke, and they handed you the bottle and a can of Coke. Which translates of course to, dump as much alcohol as possible into the glass. Downside, I cannot for the life of me remember seeing the name of the bar—I’m thinking it was something like Les Cerano…

About 1:30 we headed for a nearby club, with free passes from the owner of the bar! Loud music, strobe lights, tons of people, and awesome to have a couple guys to fend off the creepos. Naturally, the drinks were over-priced, which is why I stayed away from the bar (I’m not paying 10 Euro for the same thing I bought for 3 at the bar).

About 4, people decided to continue the adventure by looking for another bar. Of course, that didn’t work as most bars close around 3, leaving the city to the clubs. So most everyone gave up and hopped the metro to the hostel, but a couple of us headed down to the beach cause someone had a hookup at another club.

How cool is it to get into an exclusive (think 30E cover) nightclub when you’re broke and wearing flip-flops? This one was even more expensive and the music wasn’t any better, but still had a cool time. Unfortunately, I lost my buddies at about 6 and decided, after searching fruitlessly, to hop the metro back alone.

Next day I moved hostels to my current location, which is right off La Rambla (touristville, I’ve never seen so many Burmudas). Spent the day at the beach, cause there’s nothing else to do on a Sunday in Barcelona. Nice and sunny, with many Asian women offering “massajahs.” On my way home, the skies opened up—and then the lightning started. I need to learn the Spanish words for “get lost dumbass, I won’t buy an umbrella when I’ve got a raincoat.”

Met a group of Irish and Germans drinking cheap beer and wine, right in front of the “No esta permitido el consume de alcohol en el hostel” sign. We hung out and went adventuring: I elected to not tell them they were headed up toward a park, which was not likely to have bars around. Lost tourists are good cheap entertainment.

Got up at 9 today, yet missed the crappy hostel breakfast cause I showered. Damn this place is annoying me—have to pay for internet too. And the receptionist is rude; one of the guys nicknamed her Ol’ Hotpants, for obvious reasons. Probably gonna hit up the beach again today.

Catalunya

Barcelona is awesome!

Yesterday I went city-exploring. Got a gorgeous view of the entire ciudad, and found Gaudi’s gingerbread houses 🙂 Had a great time hiking around, though flip-flops were a stupid idea considering I hiked like 8Ks. Found a partner-in-crime to explore with me: Igor from Israel…must…not…snicker…at…names… Since I can actually speak Spanish, I once again translated for the waitress at lunch. Dang, I’m getting a lot of practice with that. The cerveceria we went to had a bunch of international beers and guess which one was the cheapest? That’s right, the American.

Saw the Sagrada Familia too. It’s this awesome cathedral that’s been a work in progress since 1882 and looks fricking amazing (will try to upload a photo later). You can actually go up into the towers but I elected to spend my money on food instead.Went down the Barcelona beach, which is not very nice as the effing tourists dump their shit in the water and the sand is grainy. But this french guy at the hostel says there’s alot of really nice ones up north! Still, the water was deep turquoise and pretty (cold though).

So I met a fellow Oregonian at my hostel! Ariela from Corvallis of all places 🙂 We had a great time hanging and listening to her Catalan music. She’s here en route to southern France to teach English–and she can actually read the street signs! (Yeah, everything here is in Catalan, which looks like a mix between Spanish and French) Of course, I just found out that I left my jump drive in Portland–damn it! Now how am I supposed to get Castellano y Catalan music?

Today I went wandering, in spite of the pouring rain. So, apparently Barcelona is like Oregon; one minute it’s cold and wet, the next it’s hot and sunny. I blame the weather for kinking up my hair 😛 Found all sorts of cool shops, as well as Las Ramblas, which is a street market with lots of painted performers.Went shopping and got a cute dress, which will look totally gorgeous with my flip-flops…Next on the agenda, shoes.

Travelling…

So I got bored with Granada and decided to hop a train to Barcelona. And in my infinite intelligence, I elected to take an overnight and avoid paying for a place to stay that day.Yet, something interesting happened even before I started my journey. I went by the Cathedral in Granada to take a look (I’m not paying 3.50 to look inside an old church) and got accosted by this woman. Stupid American me thinks that she’s giving out little herb things for people going inside the church. Then she tried to read my palm, told me I would have babies and a good husband…Then she goes ‘pay me.’ At this point, I’m thinking okay, fine I’ll be nice and give her a Euro or something. But then she tries to get me to give her a bill, to change it 🙂 Yeah right, lady, look for some other stupid tourist. So I backed off, started saying no alot, which didn’t seem to penetrate her skull. So I walked away, which she didn’t like–she smacked my arm and started jabbing to her friend, probably about what a horrible person I was. Oh well, cultural misunderstandings and whatnot.

So, here is the odyssey of my trip to Barcelona: I took a city bus to the Estacion, in the middle of a rainstorm, naturally. Then I find out that the train station is 4 kilos down the road, so I  have to hop another bus, then walk 2 blocks in the deluge. I get there, find out I have to wait for 2 hours, AND that the train is having issues so I will take a bus to some middle-of-nowhere station before getting on the train to Barcelona. The train itself was an experience in uncomfortable nights: I was right next to the door and was repeatedly woken up by SLAM, SLAM. 😛

So now I’m in Barcelona, searching for fun. This hostel looks really nice, and the weather has cooled off enough so that I’m not drenched in a pool of sweat.