Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cue the Denial

Hola chicos!
I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, I've been so busy with visitors and final projects and such. But my time abroad is quickly winding down. This friday I'll be getting on the plane and leaving Barcelona. Most of my friends are all ready to go home, but I'm struggling to accept that this is the end. I don't want it to be the end. I love the life I've created and the life I've discovered that I can have. My heart is breaking realizing I won't be walking the streets of  Barcelona every day. It's almost like going through a break up! Barcelona is breaking up with me.

So lets refresh on what I've been doing lately:

A couple weekends ago we toured Camp Nou -Barcelona's fútbol stadium. It was really cool! They have a massive room filled with all of their trophies and awards. I was in awe at just how many trophies they've won. We also go to see the press room, the away team's locker room and even got to set foot on the field!

Last week my Mom and two sisters came to see me. Hugging them in the airport after three and a half months was amazing. I was so excited to show them the little piece of paradise I've found. I took them to all of the hot spots of Barcelona such as Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Parc Ciutadella and others. While I was in class they spent their time relaxing out on the beach.

One afternoon Olga invited us all over for a nice lunch so she could meet my family. Since her parents own the penthouse above us, we had it there on their roof terrace. I'd never been up there but the view was amazing! We literally had a view of the entire city of Barcelona from the mountains all the way to the sea. Her parents were adorable and went out of their way to cook us home-made paella and calçots which are a Catalan tradition. Our lunch was delicious and they were all such good company. It was definitely the highlight of my week.
The amazing view from the terrace
I spy with my little eye The Sagrada Familia

The propper (and messy) way to eat calçots
Home-made chicken paella -SO good
Best host mom a girl could ask for! 
Exhibit A: Olga doing my laundry ;)
One day we went to the Barcelona zoo, since we're all huge animal lovers. I've heard mixed reviews about the zoo but was excited to see the animals. I'm glad we went though because it was a blast! There were so many exotic animals! We saw an elephant playing with a tire, where he would pick it up, put it between his front legs and then try to walk. We also saw a grizzly bear cooling off in the water and bathing himself. Finally, we saw a mother and baby orangoutang infatuated by an artist drawing them. They got off of their little bed and came right up to the window to get a closer look. The artist tilted his work so that they could see better and they just sat there and watched him. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen!

Artwork done by gorillas

Reminds me of Freckles :)


My favorite photo. Each monkey walked around holding a handkerchief. This one walked around with it on his head.
Karen trying to find the waving gorilla,

SO cool!

That night we went on a tour with my school and ended at a Flamenco dance show. It was really cool to see a flamenco performance because I'd never seen one before. I had no idea how intense it gets. The dancers are so talented. It's a bit like tap dancing, except for way more intense!

On thursday we headed over to Paris for a quick visit. My mom decided that we'd probably never all be in Europe together again and she really wanted a picture of all of her girls under the Eiffel Tower. We spent one night in Paris, and mom got all the pictures she wanted. It was a nice visit, but a lot colder than Barcelona. I was happy to go back to eating tons of crepes though!
Hanging up in our restaurant in Paris :P 
Finally got to see the arc!
View from the arc 

Highlight of the day: when a pigeon let loose on Karen
Mom made me dress up as Waldo...
She also made us wear bourées :P
Found my lock! and put a new one next to it!
Flying back into the Barcelona for the last time in while </3

The other day I woke up super early to catch the sunrise with my good friend Lyndsay. We're all kind of freaking out about the things we haven't checked off our lists yet.

Much needed coffee before class
Yesterday was San Jordi -a huge festival all over Catalonia. It's strictly a Catalan celebration that has now turned into a celebration of the Catalan culture. Supposedly a knight slayed a dragon to rescue a princess and from the dragons blood appeared roses. Rose vendors line the streets selling roses. They're literally on every street corner and every girl in sight has a rose in hand. Also, a bookseller years ago was concerned about the decreasing book sales and decided to make April 23 the day of books. It was one of the most strategic business moves in history. Now, April 23 is responsible for 10% of the year's book sales in Barcelona. The tradition for San Jordi is that the boy buys the girl a rose and the girl buys the boy a book. It is the Catalan Valentines Day. I was shocked at how many people were out on the streets. At times I literally couldn't move! The streets were lined with books, roses and people. It was such an exciting day!

Today I met up with my intercambio partner to say goodbye :( It was really sad but we had a good day walking around The Labyrinth Park. I really lucked out with my inter-cambio partner. I walked away with a wonderful friendship :)

Raquel with her thank you gift!

Tonight we have our final dinner with Olga since tomorrow we have a farewell dinner with the school. Since I'm still in denial that I'm leaving this place, I'll save the goodbyes for tomorrow :P