Bar-shlelelelele-lona

We need to talk, you say? I know I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been so busy, with work, with ….. What’s that? I know, I know, that’s not a good excuse. You deserve better. You deserve the best. And I want to give you the best. So I’m going to make it up to you. How you ask? WITH PICS FROM EUROPE THAT’S HOW.

View of Barcelona - we'll miss you!

Last Friday, just after turning in a final paper and finishing classes, Cara and I took no heed of the implications of the name “revision” week and flew off to Europe for ten days! We had a bunch of budget airline flights, had booked a bunch of hostels, and printed out a bunch of stuff we could probably need – we had a plan. And it miraculously didn’t go wrong! I’m still crossing my fingers – something will just have to go wrong later in my life to make up for our success.

Tree-lined street in the extensionFirst stop: Barcelona, capital of Catalunya (yes, that weird place in Spain that doesn’t speak Spanish). Everyone raves about Barcelona, and after 3 days there, I completely knew what they were talking about. The people, when they’re not trying to pickpocket you, are so friendly and generous. The architecture is ah-mazing, even beyond Gaudi’s melting buildings. And the real kicker for us: it was sunny and warm. It was like the frickin’ Bahamas after suffering through -3C here in Scotland.

We did so much in short time while we were there – I’ll fill you in on the highlights. We took several free tours, which are all the rage in Europe. One was a walking tour through the Gothic quarter of the city, where you see all the old buildings and walk down streets definitely not built wide enough for cars (or so I thought). We saw a lot of awesome stuff we would have completely missed otherwise – gotta love those walking tours! We also did a bike tour in the extension area of the city to some of the main Gaudi buildings – it was the perfect day! So sunny and warm, and biking was so fun. Not quite as stressful as Amsterdam…

Cool buildingsWe signed up for this “cooking experience” (hold on, let me explain) where we got to learn how to make paella, tapas, and sangria – and eat/drink as much as any of them as we wanted! So fun. We hung out with a bunch of the other young people there at the bar after, and Cara convinced the entire place to sing me Happy Birthday when it hit midnight! I’ll never forget two very drunk Spaniards singing me Happy Birthday in French. I don’t even know.

We spent a fair amount of time wandering through Christmas markets and parks, including Park Guell, designed by Gaudi. It had some trippy buildings! And a great view. Otherwise, we touched the Med, saw some Roman ruins, met up with a couple of Cara’s friends studying there, and met a whole bunch of amazing people. It didn’t take me long to realize that’s the best part about traveling – you meet so many cool people doing the same thing (particularly a lot of Aussies – they’re everywhere, like rats . . . what. Watch out, I think they’ve got a world domination plan in the works…).

Next stop: Paris. Coming soon!

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