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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hola Espanol | Day 1 and 2 of Spain

Plenty more to blog about random outings and daytrips, but I think I better blog about the trip to Spain and Portugal first! So it was workshop week. Being typical exchange students, we didn't sign up for any workshop and instead packed our bags and off to Barcelona we went.

DAY 1: 24 September, SPAIN

Set out early in the morning and reaching Barcelona after lunch. It was a challenge to find our hostel because it was pretty far from Place Catalunya where the aerobus dropped us, but we soon got used to walking that distance back and forth due to the sheer frequency. Our hostel, the Hipstel is pretty awesome. Really close to the Passeig de la Gracia metro station and really, really near the Casa Batllo. So upon reaching Barcelona, we immediately checked out the food prices around the place. We found a place near our hostel that was having buffet lunch so in we went to sample all the Spanish fare!

Hipster decoration in the Hipstel. I loved this calendar.
So lunch was good. I distinctly remember eating an incredible amount of rockmelon before it was all cleared out and it was replaced with plebeian orange. I was not pleased. So then we just walked around the place, surveying our surroundings and familiarizing ourselves with the area. So we went all the way down Passieg de Gracia and on to Placa Catalunya before finding ourselves in La Ramblas. I really enjoyed shopping in Spain because of the markets there. After Amsterdam and Paris I was starting to get sick of H&M and was pleased to find some Spanish shops selling affordable apparel. After walking around the place, we noticed that the main pavement had barriers on both sides and crowds were starting to gather around. Being the inquisitive (read: nosy) and patient (read: bored) people that we are, we decided to hang around and see what was going on. Little did we know that it was the day of the La Merce festival and we were about to see the Gigantes (Giants parade)! Some of the gigantes were really hilarious, and it was plenty fun to see them bobbing down the street, spinning and jumping as they paraded. But it got stale and we'd realised that we had been standing there for really really long and it was already dark, so we headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

DAY 2: 25 September, SPAIN

So the sun was ablaze this morning and we decided to go to the beach. I woke up early and went to the grocer's to get some food for the picnic and ended up buying many types of ham.We walked around from grocery shop to grocery shop for way too long and emerged with more food every time :D But the sun was way too hot and I had to purchase a beach towel to protect our asses from the heat of the sand. And so, it was just a lot of picnicking and camwhoring, and trying extremely hard to take successful jumpshots on self-timer. We tried so many times that the old couple sitting nearby were starting to treat us as entertainment. After that we went to Tibidabo, supposedly for an amusement park that was there and afforded us a great view of Barcelona, but overall it was pretty disappointing. Firstly we had trouble finding the bus that would take us up the Tibidabo hill. After that, the furnacular left without us because we were the last to buy our tickets and we had to wait for the next batch of people for the next tram to take us up. Then when we reached the hill, we found that the amusement park was deserted and honestly quite lame, so we stood around taking pictures of the panoramic view of Barcelona, and exploring the church that stood on the hill, but it wasn't before long that we grew tired of the place and returned to the city centre. So we chanced upon the famous meat market in Barcelona and promptly went in to take a look, and of course, buy food to satiate our greed. After which, we strolled the streets of La Ramblas and went shopping. The best thing about Spain is that there are many affordable small Spanish boutiques that broke the monotony of H&M. It was there that I bought my (current) favourite article of clothing, a wine-red chiffon dress that will probably be seen in the photos that are yet to come.

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