Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Ultimate 36 Hours.

Soooo I guess later is better than never right?

April 8-10 (I know.)  Exactly a month ago today, I left one of the most amazing cities that I have ever been too.  Carly, Katelyn, Travis, Travis's friend Jake whose studying in Madrid, and I all had one heck of a 36 hours that I think all of us will remember as the best and the worst trip of our lives.  Barcelona has been my favorite trip since I've been in Spain, even if there were a few obstacles in the journey. 

We decided to gamble a bit and went to Barcelona without any hotel/hostel/pension/couch surfing reservations.  I mean, whats the worse that could happen?  Well, I'll tell you.  We end up at least 20 miles outside of Barcelona in the mountains in a secluded hostel with only one night open for all of us.  That's what happens.  We spent most of the first day trying to find the hostel.

This picture pretty much sums up our first day in Barcelona.

After FINALLY finding the hostel, we ditched our luggage and mad our way to the beach.  It was the first time that I had ever really been to an actual beach and have been in the ocean.  The lazy afternoon at the beach pretty much made up for the day.

That night we met up with Jake and went to a nightclub.  It was one of the best nights that I had out in Spain.  It was soooo much fun!  The five of us danced the entire night, mostly on the stage, until the club closed.  We had to split up in cabs so Katelyn, Carly, and Travis took one while Jake and I took the other.  Well, our hostel was seriously in the middle of nowhere. Even our cab driver couldn't find it (even though he had a GPS, a map, and directions).  Eventually he decided to just drop Jake and I off in a random location.  He kept saying that our hostel was "right there" and more or less forced us to get out.  Well, with a map in hand we decided to just start making the hike back.  When a car drove by, Jake quickly flagged them down.  Sorry Mom and Dad, buuuuut I may or may not have hitchhiked.  But no worries, apparently its very common in Europe.  The three kids in the car were super nice and drove us the 15 minutes back to our hostel! 
Travis, Jake, and I at the club.

The next morning we went to eat at McDonalds, where every traveler's worst fear happened.  We all set our luggage next to the table and when we went to leave Travis noticed his backpack was gone.  It was seriously right next to us and then the next moment was pickpocketed.  Inside the bag was his ipod, laptop, passport, camera, and clothes.  Needless to say it put quite a damper on our morning.  But, I am very surprised at how well Travis took it.  He stayed pretty upbeat regardless and encouraged us not to let it ruin the rest of our trip.  So, the quest for a hostel for that night started.  Katelyn and I spent about 3 hours on the phone, with no success.  Literally every single hostel and hotel were booked solid for the night.  We decided to finish our plans for the day and then catch the night bus home a day early.

We all started off going to Sagrada Familia Cathedral, where Katelyn was almost victim to yet another disaster  She signed a petition and then was begged for money.  She said no and walked away, but as a watched I noticed three other women begin to come towards her and a man with a headset in the background watching her and making signals to the woman talking to her.  Needless to say, Katelyn and I didn't stay around much longer. 

Katelyn, Carly, and I in front of Sagrada Familia.

After the cathedral we decided to go our separate ways so that we could each do what we really wanted to do before we had to leave.  Carly went to the Barcelona soccer game, Jake and Travis hit up the beach and Katelyn and I went to Guell Park.  Which was another hike and a half, but soooo worth it.

Me at Guell Park with Barcelona in the background.

The 36 hours spent in Barcelona had quite a few challenges that we had to overcome along the way, but I think that all of us would agree that it was a weekend none of us will ever forget.  And I have to say, Barcelona stole my heart in that miniscule 36 hours!


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