Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thursday 6/29 - My last day in Spain

Off to Sevilla after a great time in Barcelona!

I woke up before 6am to get to the airport for my flight at 9. While in the plane waiting for take-off, I was so sleepy I fell asleep before the plane even took off! It also left 30 minutes late - I don't know what the problem was since I fell asleep but I made it to Sevilla safely!

I got to my hostel and it was very nice - for only €20, I had my own room with a large bed, and I think I paid €35 a night in Barcelona to share a room with 6 girls, small bed, and many problems. Definitely recommend Pensión Virgen de la Luz for a great hostel in Sevilla!

I then went to SAIIE to get my luggage that they let me leave their during my trip to Barcelona. It was great to see the staff one last time before leaving. They are so great! I stopped at a bakery before going back to the hostel, and it was super yummy. If only I had found it sooner! I will miss bakery's all over and yummy jelly filled muffins!

I took my suitcase back to my hostel, showered, then I was off to walk around Sevilla for the last time. I of course had to go by the river and see my bridge again! It was great to walk around Sevilla for the last time after studying and spending amazing time there, and it reminded me of it all and how thankful I am for the time spent. I absoltely loved my time and I am so sad it is over, but I will definitely return!

I had patatas bravas and paella for dinner with tinto de verano - of course, the patatas weren't as good as La Cava in Barcelona and no paella will ever beat Fina's, but they were both still a good last Spanish meal. I returned to my hostel after dinner, got things packed up for the morning, and was off to bed.

Tomorrow I will take off to go home to the States, which I am very excited to do and see family, but I will miss Sevilla and all of Spain very much.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wednesday 6/28

It was a slower and more relaxed day, since we had no plan for the day. 

I ate breakfast and got my plane ticket printed for tomorrow to fly to Sevilla, showered, packed up my suitcase, and had to move to my 3rd room at the Hipstel. The wifi problem was annoying and having to move rooms twice because of "renovations" was annoying, but otherwise I'd say the Hipstel is a great place to stay with a great location!

Marissa and I planned to meet at a McDonald's between out hostels, and when I arrived there it was closed for actual renovations, so I had no idea how to contact her besides to go a McDonald's near my hostel to get food and wifi and then plan where to meet her. Luckily while I was walking there we miraculously found each other and could go together! 

McDonald's definitely did not disappoint - it was my first time eating a meal of it here in Spain! People told me things tasted really different, but I didn't really notice. I had my first ever BigMac and it was good, but I think I prefer McDoubles because the BigMac has too much bread. 
We went shopping after eating, mostly just window shopping besides at the Pop-Up shops where we each got a couple things. 

After we stopped at some stores, she left to go home and I went to the Gothic Cathedral, the Cathedral of Barcelona, to tour it since visits are free after 5:45 and in the mornings. So I'm actually glad the line cut off the other day before I could tour it! I had to buy a scarf to wrap around myself before entering, since you weren't allowed to enter showing shoulders or wearing shorts. It was very pretty inside and reminded me a lot of the cathedral in Sevilla. Sevilla's is much larger and, in my opinion, much more beautiful! 

They have 13 white geese in the courtyard of the Cathedral to remember Saint Eulalia, who was crucified by the Romans at the age of 13 for refusing to give up her Christianity, and also suffered 13 tortures. 

I went back to the hostel for a little bit to write this and get a couple things ready to go in the morning, then went to dinner at Maestró with Marissa and Lincoln. We had wine, patatas bravas, calamari, cod, cheese, and potato/tuna salad.  

They had gone to La Cava the night before where they said their patatas bravas were to die for, so we went there afterward too! They were right, the patatas were delicious!! The restaurant also has it's visitors write their names on the wall, so we couldn't pass up that opportunity either :) 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tuesday 6/27

This morning I went on a walking tour to start the day. It was really cool to hear about the history of the places within the Gothic parts of Barcelona, Catalunya's strive for Independence, and more! 

In the bottom center "tile" of stained glass is FC Barcelona! 

"Street of the Cheesemakers" - couldn't not take a picture of something Wisconsin-y!

Old Roman Columns

Where Isabel and Ferdinand welcomed Columbus after coming back from the New World!

After the 3.5 hour tour I was very sleeping especially after not having coffee with breakfast, and decided I deserved a Starbuck's Frappuchino before finding a lunch spot

I then stopped at my hostel quick before meeting Marissa & Claire at Park Güell. Along the way I asked a couple for directions (which is a daily thing, at least) and they were also heading to Park Güell so it worked out perfect. The park is another design by Gaudí. It was beautiul and so neat! 

We hiked up to Bunkers del Carmen after to see a 360 degree view of the city. Along the way we bought a couple bottles of chapagne and snacks. It was SO beautiful to see the entire city and the sunset! A friend from their hostel, Lincoln, also met us there.

On my way home, I stopped at Tapa Tapa for a light dinner. I ordered a small beer and moreno kebabs, only knowing that they were pork kebabs - when I got them, I was happily surprised they tasted just like pork Fina would make :) They had a lot of other amazing and inexpensive tapas to choose from, too!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday 6/26

Happy Monday!
As much as Monday's sometimes stink as we go back to work and school, and lucky for me I didn't have to do either today, but I like to appreciate the "happy" in Sundays' and Mondays'. The Lord's day and a day to celebrate getting back in the swing of things!

When I woke up wifi still wasn't working, so I ate breakfast for cheap here, got ready, and found a café near La Sagrada Familia to get wifi and get in contact with Marissa. After she met me there, we made our way to the Cathedral!! We did an audioguide tour (which I made notes of) so we got to know a lot about the history of it all, and we went up the towers to see beautiful views of the city!

In 1883, Antoni Guadí made the design and started work on the Cathedral. In 1926, after knowing he was getting old and would not be able to finish his masterpiece, he spent his last 8 months on site and contracted others to finish his work, saying "I will get old but others will come after me." Every single part of the Cathedral represents part of Christ's life. The top of the four main towers that represent the disciples are the closest heaven, and the tallest tower will be almost the height of a nearby hill, but Gaudí believed that "the work of man should never rise above that of Christ." The floor plan of the Cathedral is in the shape of a cross, like many cathedrals. Each column inside of the Cathedral represents trees in the forests, made of different stone to represent the different types of trees, and the vaulted ceilings represent the canopy of forests. The windows have stained glass which illuminate the entire inside, because Gaudí believed "the sun is the finest painter." The hardest part for Gaudí was the facade with the crucifixion, as it should "convey the truth of life."
In 2026, Gaudí's masterpiece is set to be finished.

After touring the Cathedral, we went to Subway which we both had been craving - it did not disappoint!! Subway is definitely my fav fast-food sub shop!

We parted ways and I went back home to my hostel, so after resting and showering, I found a cafe to get wifi :)  After, I came back to working wifi at the hostel! So nice to have it working again. Not that having wifi is a necessity, but just knowing I have it in case is reassuring. At home
I feel like I was on my phone 24/7 compared to the little amount I use it in Spain!

Thursday 6/29 - My last day in Spain

Off to Sevilla after a great time in Barcelona! I woke up before 6am to get to the airport for my flight at 9. While in the plane waiting ...