28 February 2011

Hola Barcelona (& a day of dirt)

We made it safe to Barcelona, yet it is extremely difficult to get comfortable on a night train (if you manage this task I will give you a prize). In the train station we were waiting in line to reserve our next ticket, as we were not talking in Spanish, a guy came up to us and asked where we were from. His name was Eric and he was from Loma Linda, CA...so good to meet another Californian! We ended up traveling the day with him in Barcelona. We saw the Sagrada Familia (which is the big chapel that Barcelona is famous for) and even took a walk on the playa (beach). There was a fun market at the beach and various musicians putting on a show. Then, we said adios to Eric and went to dinner. We sat at the bar and made new friends with the waitors and the people next to us. Henry & Lucky were serving us and they are amazing! We chatted for 2 hours and they brought us out a free appetizer and ice cream that was to die for! The girl next to us was our age, her name was Sloane and she´s from the states but has been in Barcelona as a free-lance writer. She took our map of Barcelona and circled EVERYTHING that we needed to see. We also met a family from the Netherlands that also gave us some traveling tips. Such a good first dinner!

On Sloane´s recommendation we went to a Flamanco show downtown. It was an amazing show that definitely ended too soon. We were standing at the bar and met the guy next to us, who´s friend was the bartender. Their names are Cristobal and Edu. After the show, we went out to the courtyard and talked to Cristobal for 45 minutes. He speaks very little English, so I got to practice my Spanish! I didn´t forget as much as I thought I had. Then we ended up walking around the downtown and he gave us an awesome walking tour of the city. Edu ended up joining us after he got off work. Edu speaks Catalans...so, we spent 4 hours trying to translate 3 different languages. What a blast!

Today, we got situated in a new hostel (better and less expensive) and then headed up the mountain for a BEAUTIFUL view of the city. We walked around, ended up in a Botanical Garden, and then a castle! We loved hiking, as we haven´t had a chance to do it yet on this trip, and ended up being very thankful for our ¨day of dirt¨.

I wish you all could join us for some Sangria tonight! We miss you very much, thank you for your prayers and love from afar!

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