Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saturday: In Which Karin Becomes Very Excited About Benches

After an…eventful Friday in Barcelona, Karin and I were excited to get on with the rest of our weekend, which was, thankfully, much less accident-filled than the first day.

I can now honestly say I have toured Barcelona in three ways, all of which begin with the letter ‘B’: bicycle, boat, and bus (in that order, in fact). Bicycle and boat tours were on Saturday, and then the bus was Sunday.

So, to recap, Saturday started when Karin and I woke up in the the most comfortable beds we’ve slept in a long time. We did not want to get up in the least. However, we had to, and by 10:45 we were waiting at the metro stop for the others so we could get to our bike tour.

This tour was going to last three hours, and I was nervous as mess. I hadn’t been on a bike in at least three years, and now I was going to ride around a city on one for three hours? What was I getting myself into?

Our tour guide showed up, and we were all a bit shocked. I wish I had a picture. He had the LONGEST dreads ever, tied back in a ponytail. He spoke English, but with a very thick Catalonian accent. After our initial shock, however, we discovered he was very cool (he came from Barcelona, so how could he not be cool? *sideways peace sign*…yeah, don’t worry about that. It’s an inside joke…haha). We also found out that he travels whenever and wherever he wants, and when he works, he’s a tour guide by day and a DJ by night (like Batman, only much more Marley-esque).

Turns out I shouldn’t have been worried about the tour. It was the best thing about the trip. The weather was perfect for cruising on bikes around Barcelona, and it was definitely better than walking. We saw so many awesome things, and I wish I had gotten even more pictures than the 200 I did take, but I was not as coordinated as Allison at taking pictures while riding. I waited until I stopped moving before trying that.

My one attempt at a moving shot...yeah, not so good

After the tour, we walked down to the old port to look at the times and prices for the Catamaran tours. Caitlin, Karin, and I knew we wanted to go, but the others took a bit of convincing. Thankfully, Karin is a very skilled saleswoman and all seven of us got on the boat together.

This is where both my camera died and I got sunburned. I will say no more on the topics (except that I got a Silly Band line from the burn…and it’s quite comical to look at).

After the boat, we all took the metro to Karin’s and my hotel so that Karin, Morgan, and I could get into our bathing suits because we were headed for the beach! (Yes, I just got sunburned and was headed straight for the beach. Don’t judge. I stopped and paid 17 bucks for sunscreen before going…yes, no lie, 17 bucks. They price gouge for sunscreen in Spain).

The others went to find the beach while we changed, and once we did (and found notes from the hotel wanting the passport and credit card info of Karin’s dad. We then called her dad and had him call the hotel to tell them to stop harassing us. Go Karin’s Dad!), we started out toward the beach.

This is where we got lost again. Karin and I got lost a lot, apparently. They had been on the beach almost an hour before we got there.

Side note: Yes, this is Europe. Yes, women were sunbathing topless. Yes, one of the girls in the group went topless for ten seconds because it was on her bucket list. No, I will not put her name in my blog. Yes, we did sit beside three obnoxiously drunk German guys, and yes, I did decide that I dislike the German language because it is not pretty. Oh, and yes, the water was cold…or freezing, whichever you please.

After the beach, we threw on our coverups and headed toward the Park Guell, where a lot of Gaudi’s architecture and his house is. This involved a lengthy metro ride.

It is at this time that my blood sugar decided it no longer liked me and dropped like a 15 ton bowling ball. That, combined with the horrid jerky movements of the Barcelona metro, resulted in me almost fainting in the metro system.

Cross that off the list of things to do before I die.

I was all better once I got some food and water in me (we had been so busy all day, I hadn’t eaten properly and the sun had just drained me), but I still wasn’t the happiest camper when I saw the giant hill we had to climb to get to the park. However, Karin was insistent that we see Gaudi’s benches (this is where the title comes into play), so I went.

So glad I did. Otherwise, I’d never have seen as many Jamaican-wannabes all in one place as I did that day. Yes, we walked straight through the International European Reggae Festival.

Courtney Connell: “I think I just smoked marijuana for the first time without realizing it.”

After passing through the Caribbean and searching for our tour guide (we concluded that he was the DJ for the shindig), we finally made it to the benches.

Imagine a three-year-old boy hyped up on seven packs of Pixi Stix, a Mountain Dew, and a dozen donuts. Can you picture it? Now multiply it by five. Add two. Then twenty.

Karin was more excited than that. I literally though she was going to kiss them, no lie. I was very sad my camera was dead and I could not get a picture of her face. So you’ll just have to make do with your imagination.

After seeing the park and taking a million pictures (well, everyone else taking a million pictures, anyway), Karin and I headed back toward our hotel. We were intending to freshen up then meet everyone for dinner, but I was feeling pretty awful by this time with my sunburn and all, and Karin was tired, so we grabbed something quick, took it to our hotel room, and went to bed.

Be Jealous of My Silly Band Line

Have I mentioned that I loved-loved-loved those beds? Because I did. I want them back.

Hasta luego!

Faith. Trust. Pixie Dust.