Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fun times in Barcelona =]

I’m eating a Chirimoya as I write this (it’s an exotic fruit, well, exotic to the US, has a taste similar to yogurt with a gritty and slimy texture. Its good, though it doesn’t sound like it.) So yesterday (4/31) we woke up at about 12 and we met at Café Zuric in Plaza Catalunya to be on our way down Las Ramblas for the girls and Francesca. As Francesca and I got there, we were on the other side of the plaza so we had to walk around to the other side. We made it on time and managed to find them after about 10 minutes and started on our way. First they dragged me along to a shop that Christina had to exchange a jacket that was slightly too big. After that, we walked shop to shop to shop and looked at all kinds of girly things. Yay. But we were walking around in El Gotic which is the gothic quarter of Barcelona, so it was really cool! All the architecture there is so very old and amazing looking. One point of interest I want to say before I move out of the Gothic center is that we stopped at a store (I had stopped going inside at that point haha) that had a pad for girls that you insert in the back of your pants that gives you more butt, for those of you who lack it. It was the funniest thing hanging there in the window! It literally looked like a butt xD Here’s a picture! 

We wandered the streets for a while, taking pictures of awesome garage art, painters and people doing random street performances. As we continued on in our path, we wondered through a cathedral that I can’t seem to remember the name of at the moment, but I probably will later. Anyway, this cathedral was just like the other one I described, amazing stained glass, fantastic craftsmanship, and lots of holy people. I brought Fra through the church with Ele and they were in awe. As this was not my first one, I was not in such awe, but it was still amazing work. After we were finished with that, we went back out and walked around some more, went in some more stores and ended up splitting off with the group and Fra and I went to La Bocaria so she could see it in all its glory: and it was pretty awesome still. As we walked by the first station, I saw the tempting dragon fruits and needed to pick one up. So we did just that and also bought a chirimoya (the one I am eating at the moment) and a coconut! Let’s see if I can crack this thing and get to the goods inside haha. Anyway, we got some good pictures and here are a few of them:
After going to La Bocaria (which is like the Saturday market, for those of you who don’t know what that is either: it’s a like an open air warehouse that houses sellers with all kinds of goods but this one is mostly food) we went back home and got ready for our next adventure: paella. We made our way over to the stop Drassanus (dr-as-uh-nus) and waited there while the others traveled there. As we were waiting, I watched the Packies trying to sell their things to the passers-by and with no avail, they kept playing with their toys and tried to sell it to the next person. Their toys at night are these (really cool actually) things that they launch up in the air with a rubber band and they light up as they helicopter back down to the ground.
So they finally arrived and we went over to the restaurant and waited in line for our turn. I took a couple pictures of the lights and markets that were open on the street because it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. We (Ele and I) went back to the line because our friends got a table and we ordered. Paella is only available for two people or more, but at 8 bucks, it’s really not that bad of a price, especially for paella in a fancy, sit-down restaurant. We all order the paella and it arrives about 20 minutes later. It was the most interesting looking dish I can say I have eaten before. I thought it was awesome looking though:
Yes that “shrimp” in the middle is gigantic. It’s probably about 8 inches long! The shrimp here are not prepared in any for eating (other than cooking of course). You have to de-shell, de-head, de-leg, and finally de-poop the things! That’s a lot of work for someone who just wants to pop it and eat it. Oh well, the huge one too much longer to do too. Overall though, I thought that paella was very good tasting! Also, I was able to try a dish that I had not expected to be trying that night: squid ink. It was interesting; they had me mix it with a spicy garlic butter which pretty-well masked the flavor of the ink. It was tasty enough though. After we all get about done, all of the sudden we hear Sara (sitting closest to the wall) scream and the whole line of people gets smashed towards each other. Everyone looks to what she is screaming about and there is a huge cockroach on the wall! All the rest of the girls scream and yell for me to come kill it. I laughed and watched them squirm for a bit while it crawled around on the wall. We waved a waitress over because she was closest; she took one look and did a 180 heel-turn and ran to get a waiter. He sauntered over and took one look and turned and high-tailed it outta there. They all kept telling me to “Get it, Get it!” so finally I got on the floor and started crawling after it! I took with me a napkin and my agent and my fist as a weapon. I first blinded it by throwing the napkin on it (a nice cloth napkin) and tried to smash it with a fist, but to no avail because it out smarted me and ran out from the napkin. I saw this and re-tried my tactic of blind-and-smash. This time it was a success because I managed to get the back-end of it and it was still crawling around. At that point all the girls were freaking out and moving away from the table as I walked around to the other side to get my prize. I bent down to get it and it was still trying to crawl away! Oh my goodness, the resilience of the cockroach. I decided it had had enough for a night and just picked it up in the napkin and gave it to the 4th waiter who came by to take it for the next day’s “Menu del Día”. After I hand over my prey to the chef, I get a round of applause from the whole restaurant, to my surprise. We finished eating and they didn’t offer us any sort of consolation (to everyone’s surprise) and we walked out with over a €100 bill.
Next on our list of things we did was to head over to a place called El gato negro which is a sports bar that happened to be PACKED. So packed, in fact, it was hard to get to the bathroom. We hung out there for a while and I tried a drink that was from Italy that was a lemon flavor. It was pretty tasty. After that we made our way to a different bar that was definitely a “native” bar. This one you had to ring the big city apartment style bell to get in, and go up to the 3rd floor to get in. Once you got in, it was such an experience! They had low lighting, and all over the walls they had pipes from different ages. They had the whole history of the pipe on their walls, pipes included! The whole place was such an experience to talk about. It was just a whole different feel than that of the regular bar.
When we finished there, we went to Apollo (now about 1 or 2 am) and stood in line for a good ten minutes before getting in. The guys who check the bags at the door pulled my water bottle out of Francessa’s bag and asked what this was. She said it was just water, and he threw the water out anyway. I thought it was funny. So we get inside and dance around for the whole rest of the night, until about 5:45 and take off. (That’s when the metros open up again).
Well I think I will sign off for this one, I hope this experience was an interesting one! Haha I sure thought it was. It’s such a different life that I am living here. I think it is definitely an experience to remember! OK, until next time!

Hasta Luego!

1 comment:

  1. Hola Denver, Whew! when on earth do you have a chance to get any shut-eye? Sounds like the bunch of you wander around at all hours of the night. Also, sounds like the local bars are definitely the favorite spots to see and check in with friends. Regular "HUBS!"

    Hope you're enjoying school,over there. Such a great experience to study in a completely different atmosphere than what we have here in the US,I imagine. You sure do sound proficient in the Spanish language, that's for sure.

    I thought your friend, Alexandra is really a lovely young woman. Actually, from her photo, she's beautiful with a really wholesome look about her. It's so refreshing to see a lovely face without tons of makeup obscuring it. Plus, it sounds like you both have so much in common. Hopefully, you two will meet in the immediate future. : )

    In the meantime, my sweet Grandson, I wish you continued joyful days as you explore the lovely area around you meeting and enjoying new and delightful relationships with people you meet there. Sounds like so much fun.

    So happy you are keeping up this "Journal." You'll be sooooo happy you did,someday as you look back on this memorable part of your life. Can't always trust the old memory-bank to remember so many details. But,the "written word," is there to remember it for you. : )

    Your photos are just superb and so much fun to check out. Really helps to give us a good idea of what it's like over there....Well, sort of, anyway.

    Okay, will sign off for now. As always, sending you lots of hugs as you continue on this ever-so-fun adventure. Take care of yourself and know you are ib our thoughts, all the time.

    Luv ya lots,
    Grandma Betty XXOO