Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gaudi and How Not to Get a Train Ticket

It's been a couple days since I've posted so here's the rundown:

Friday we went to la Sagrada Familia and waited in a painfully long line to get in. My mother has thinks that we refuse to pay for anything so I would like to point out that we paid 10.50to get in and 2.50 to take the lift to the top. It was completely worth it since the interior of the building is just as amazing as the outside, with so many details and tons to look at. There was a museum that showed a bunch of the original models and some of Gaudi's early work, as well as other artists' drawings and interpretations of the building. There was also an exhibit that explained Gaudi's love of nature and how it inspired his work. We had a scheduled time to go up into one of the towers but our elevator broke (we seem to have that affect on them) so we had to wait in line for the other elevator. After an hour of listening to the couple in line behind us make out loudy (I guess their mothers never taught them how to act in church/public. Don't worry mom, I know better), we got out chance to ride to the top. The view was amazing! We decided to walk down the stairs to get out instead of taking the elevator back down, which meant we got lots of great views of the city and cool photos of different details on the building.

That afternoon we went to Guell Park, another of Gaudi's creation. There were a bunch of paths that all lead to the main features of the park, which include a lot of mosaics and a lizard fountain. There were also two buildings, one which is now a gift shop and the otherwhich is an exhibit of some kind, that are made of stone with mosaic roofs and window panes. The park in general was amazing in spite of the fact that it was really crowded and I'm glad we made it.

Friday night we did the pub crawl that Travel Bar, the company that does the free tour and cooking class, which was fun. We met some Canadians and Australians and a Swiss nurse who applauded Michelle for her obsession with hand sanitizer. My favorite bar of the night was called Chupitos (Spanish for shots) a bar that, clearly, specializes in shots. A lot of the shots featured fire including one where the bar tender lights the bar on fire and you roast a marshmallow which you eat before doing the shot.

Yesterday we mostly just relaxed. We had our new go to cheap meal, cheese and tomato sandwiches, and bummed around a lot. We did try to go to the train station to get our reservations for Paris. After dealing with the broken number machine (the one that gives you a number that you wait to be called) and a lot of confusing instructions from various people, we found an information guy who told us there were 500 people in line ahead of us and said we should leave and come back at 9. Cut to 9 (ok maybe a little after 9), we arrived back at the station and waited in line only to find that the ticket office closes at 10 and we were not going to make it through the line in time. Guess we're going back today.

That night we met our friend Pablo, from the bar Trece, at Plaza de Espanya to see the fountain light show they have on weekend nights. The plaza was really cool, with a bunch of fountains and stairs leading up to a museum that looks over it. Strangely enough, there was a Harley Davidson festival that night, complete with fringed leather vests and carnival rides. It was weirdly American and kind of took away from such a cool Plaza but we got some delicious falafel wraps so that's something.

Today we had scheduled a kayaking and cave snorkeling trip but when we got to the bar where it was supposed to start, we discovered that our reservation paperwork had gotten lost in the schuffle and they couldn't get buses for us to take. We were disappointed but rescheduled for tomorrow. Hopefully I will have a great story for you tomorrow.

After our false start we tried to check out the Picasso museum but the line was insane and it was hot so we just wandered around for a bit. It was a cool area with a lot to see, which was nice. We went home and siesta-ed and now it's time to head back to the train station. Third time's the charm (I hope)!

Statue on la Sagrada Familia, taken on our way down from the tower.
Me in front of la Sagrada Familia
Interior of la Sagrada Familia. Gaudi was really inspired by trees and wanted the church to feel like a forest.
Guell Park
Michelle in this cool, cave-y walkway at Guell Park.

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