Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happiness hit her like a train on a track

Hola friends!

It was difficult for me to update this week because we were very busy and then we had a weekend excursion to Zaragoza. On Wednesday we had a little tour of the Arc de Triomf, The Parc de la Ciutadella, and the Born neighborhood.

Yes, Barcelona has it's own Arc de Triomf. It is unrelated to the one in Paris; it celebrates Barcelona's own triumphs. Also, I learned that The Eiffel Tower was originally offered to Barcelona but they rejected it because they thought it was ugly!

We then continued into the Parc where we learned that it used to be a military base where the cannons and guns pointed TOWARDS the city of Barcelona because they didn't want to Catalonians to rebel. Now the military base is gone and all but 3 buildings remain. It is now one of the most beautiful parks in Barcelona. It also houses the most beautiful fountain I have ever seen.

There is also a zoo in the park that is very very famous because it used to be the only zoo in the world to have an albino gorilla in captivity. He was very famous; his name was Snowflake. Unfortunately he died about 6 years ago.
Snowflake -what a stud!

Here are some amusing things I have stumbled across in my travels so far:
Spanish Red bull -still just as unhealthy in Spanish 
Its easier and more common to drink these GIANT water bottles. The one of the left is  the normal size of water. Restaurants also make you pay for water because they give it to you out of a bottle. Sometimes its even cheaper to get soda.
This one's for Jeff!
There are random "pet stores" where the turtles eat pickles.
The wild parrots that make a lot of noise.
Barcelona is ALL about the ham. Ham flavored everything.  Every market has these lovely pig legs hanging in them.
Everyone has a dog. Dogs are an accessory in this town. They are often times unleashed and just follow their owner around town.
Pigeons like to land on monuments. 
Roman ruins everywhere. This market is closed because they were renovating it and  stumbled across and entire abandoned Roman city under it. No big deal... 
There are A LOT of pigeons. People like to feed them...
There are random pet stores on the street that sell bunnies, guinea pigs, turtles and birds.
So far I've seen Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, KFC and Dominos
Restaurants love to play old school American music videos. As in 90's and before. This  one is "Oops I did it again"!
Barcelona is all about cleanliness. Every night they sweep and wash the streets.
There are more mopeds and motorcycles than cars. I liked this one ;)
A lot of people smoke here. They have cigarette vending machines.

If you don't have a dog, then you probably have a baby. And you probably  push it around in this strange sleeping bag contraption.
This week I feel more like a local. I've given people directions, I've successfully asked for directions in Spanish. I know how to get to and from places. I'm so happy to be here and have this experience. Every day I think to myself, I'm so happy to be here!!

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