Sunday, July 17, 2011


It feels like I've been here forever. It's actually only been about a week. But a week kind of feels like forever as I've been whirlwind-ing my way through the country.

Since getting to Spain my Spanish has improved greatly. And by that I mean that I've picked up enough new stuff to have destroyed my ability to make a sentence that is either fully Spanish or fully Portuguese. My roommates for the first few nights here at the HelloBCN Hostel were from Switzerland, but their parents are Portuguese, so we were able to roll in the tongue I know (want to see something hilarious, watch me try communicating in French. Pretty sure I can ask for apple juice and say "your mother is a hippopotamus." Then again, that's about all I need to be happy in France. I digress.). However, as I tried speaking in Portuguese I kept slipping into Spanish, especially when I needed the conjunction "but." I had beaten "mais" out of my head since "mas" means "more," (well, it means "but" in some types of Spanish, but nobody uses it here) so once I wanted to say "mais" it came out "pero" and then I lost myself. Hooray language barriers.

Like I mentioned before, here in Barcelona there is a lot of Catalan. The other night I went to a little pizzeria and it turned out that the menu was all in Catalan, which was an adventure since my waiter spoke about as much Spanish as I do. Other than fooling myself into thinking I was going to get pizza and pasta (yeah right, Calvin) it went off without much of a hitch.

After a little research I also discovered I that Catalan is the only official language of Andorra, where I will be heading early tomorrow morning, so maybe that'll come in handy. I don't have a place to stay yet (not a first this trip), but I'll get there. Looks like I may hit some stormy weather, which I'm hoping passes so I can get a sweet hike in. It may be a little cold for sleeping on a park bench, but I have a hoodie. All I know about Andorra is that it's tiny, there are no import taxes, and the mountains are to die for. Whether I'll be near those mountains, I'm not sure, but if nothing else I can mess up all of my language skills once and for all.

Picture story time. In Barcelona...

I discovered Columbus (the world has come full circle).
He’s supposed to be pointing at the Americas, but he’s not.
He is, however, pointing at McDonald’s.

I found a ping-pong park. And you thought skaters were dorks.

I looked at scary fish at the St. Josep Market.

I walked La Rambla about 20 times.

I wrote poems in La Plaza da Catalunya on three separate occasions.

I touched a large chunk of the Roman wall.

I accidentally participated in a protest.
I dunno what we wanted, but we had scissors on our flags.

I took this sweet picture.

I wondered why on earth I don't open a gelato shop.

I visited the Sagrada Família.
It is my new favorite cathedral.
It deserves (and may just get) its own post.

I fell in love with the Peter's Denial carving on the Passion Facade.

I found the thinnest street in Barcelona.
It is called "The Street of the Flies."

I found an Arc de Triomphe. This one's red.

I found where I am going to live when I grow up.

I made friends with the seagulls and ate chocolate-covered waffles at the waterfront.

So, Barcelona has been good to me. It's been a nice break from the always-moving itinerary that I've made for myself (which is about to go nuts), and I'm looking forward to Andorra.


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