20 November 2009

spanish nights

okay, tonight was the best vaca night EVER!

after walking 400 miles today, i was pretty sure there was no way i was getting out of siesta mode to go out. i mean, i was beat all to hell, but one of my roomies pointed out that i'm not in barcelona often enough to turn down an invite out. so i rallied.

and how glad i am that she convinced me i'd be a fool to stay in.

kbd-little´s friend picked me up at 22:00, and we walked maybe a half mile to meet up with his friends for dinner. and can i please tell you, dinner tonight was one of the most delightful of my life.

it was an interesting experience being the only foreign speaker at the table. though two of the three spoke perfect english, spanish is clearly their language, and whilst i can hold my own, i cannot speak the language here and they spent a lot of time speaking in their own tongue.

and what i learned tonight is that it´s not the words, but the body language, facial expressions, and the chemistry between compadres that speaks so much more effectively. it was beautiful. the whole night.

and now i´m off to bed to sleep for a few hours before walking another 400 miles tomorrow.


without a donkey

first things first, i'm pretty sure i've walked 400 miles today. and if, in fact, i have not, i sure as shit feel like i have. while all of y'all are just getting your days started, on your side of the world, i've been on my feet and all over barcelona these past seven hours.

and life would've been a lot easier today had i a donkey.

i took the metro from my hood up to gaudi's parc guell. where i exited the metro, i was standing at the bottom of a mt. whitney-esque hill that looked super easy to climb, thanks to the escalators all the way to the top. or so i thought.

escalators for _most_ of the way, save the couple hundred yards of steep-as-a-mountain brick streets. awesome. under my breath i was motivating myself with the age old adage, "i think i can, i think i can". and when i made it to the top, i found that i had now to climb down the mountainous terrain of the parc.

a few hours later, i made it to the bottom and found an amazing art-deco entryway. seems as though i did the parc backwards. but thank god, cuz if i´d´ve had to climb up that mountain (fer reals, the terrain was a bitch!), i really don´t know that i would have made it.

from there, i got back on the metro and made my way to the next antonio gaudi stop of the day, la padrera. amazing.

the terrace was definitely the highlight of la padrera. and this is where i most wished i wasn´t traveling alone (another post). because you see, i am petrified of heights. when looking down from atop a place on high, i feel like i´m falling. my stomach flips over, i sweat, and i actually feel the sensation of falling. eventually, that can spin into a mini anxiety attack, and sometimes does.

today it didn´t because i fought through it pretty hard. but i was really scared, and there were a couple of places i didn´t think i could take another step. but i got myself through it, without anyone there to hold my hand (fuck you, friends, for not coming with me!)

and the best part about la padrera is that it´s only about six blocks from home, where i now sit drinking a glass of wine in anticipation of my imminent siesta.


planes, tubes, trains, a car and a bus

i'm not sure what day this is, but i know it's my first day without a plane or trains. my first day in europe was spent traveling from heathrow airport (see inefficient use of entirely too much space) to woodbridge, in suffolk.

to get from heathrow to woodbridge required two tubes to get to the big train station at liverpool street, and then two trains out to the boonies. took about four hours, after a ten hour flight (of which i slept eight). though this may seem like a wee bit of a hassle, my girl kelkelbell was waiting at the end, and seeing her, and spending the night, and the next morning with her was well worth the effort.

the fact that the english were so kind and helpful (i never carried my bag up or down any stairs, or onto of off of any train), made it all the better.

and speaking of the kindness of brits, my dearest kbd-little set me up with one of her friends in barcelona, who took me to dinner last night. his love of this city radiates from him and every word he speaks of this beautiful place. he took me out for some paella, wouldn´t let me pay, and had the knowledge and smarts to engage in a serious conversation about middle east politics and american foreign policy.

needless to say, i´m having a fabby time.

and because i´ve been able to get myself from point a to points b, c, d, e, f, and g, all by myself, is the awesomest thing EVER! cuz i´m a bad ass like that...


15 November 2009

if it's sunday...

and not my birthday, i would be right where i need to be to leave the country in two days. but because it is my birthday, i've done everything but (which surprisingly includes cooking a hot dog on a stick over an open fire).

to help get things into perspective, a hot assed good friend gave me his top ten travel tips:

"Really, all you need are the following items: (From "A Girl's Guide to Packing")

1. Tampons and Pads
2. Map to American Embassy in London, Barcelona and Paris.
3. Four angora sweaters in pastel colors
4. Two pairs of khaki pedal pushers
5. A cropped navy pea coat
6. One black dress. In case you need to attend a funeral.
7. White gloves. It's dirty there
8. Four bars of rosewater soap. Coco Chanel did what she could do with had to work with, but could not eradicate the awful stench of the French.
9. Black flats
10. Two bras"

and yeah, it pretty much is that simple.