We departed Thursday night at 8:20 PM from Pisa, headed for the Girona Airport. After landing, we took a bus into the city of Barcelona, where we had relatively little trouble finding our enormous hostel. It as a decent place to stay; definitely what I think of as a typical hostel, meaning less customer service, tiny rooms, and crappy food. Either way, we didn't see any bugs or mold or creepsters, so we were satisfied.
La Rambla, a street famous for its street performers and beautiful shade-providing trees. We meandered down this way, where I encountered Starbucks, which I hadn't seen since London. Of course, we were obligated to stop quickly for an iced coffee.
There were also a lot of stands selling birds and other random pets on La Rambla...in this case, turtles! From Florida! I'm not going to lie, spending a weekend in Spain did a number on my Italian. I kept speaking a mixture of the two languages that my roommate dubbed "Spatalian" and since we have been back, I keep saying "Gracias!" instead of "Grazie!" *facepalm* I was surprised, though, how much Spanish I have retained after not speaking it for almost 2 years.
Also on La Rambla is Barcelona's funnest food market, La Boqueria!
We found a little place by the harbor to eat lunch and enjoy our first pitcher of sangria...
We didn't finish dinner until past 11 PM; the Spaniards eat even later than the Italians, which I didn't actually think was possible. After dinner, we went out to a large bar, which I don't know the name of. It was HUGE, reminding me of a warehouse with long cafeteria tables inside. The pitchers of sangria were only 5 euro, so we had...a few.
We wanted to try another traditional Spanish dinner that night: tapas! To do a tapas style dinner, usually a group of people will each order between two and four small plates of food, and then the table generally shares, eating off each other's plates. It's kind of the Spanish version of aperitivo: a lighter dinner in which you sample multiple dishes. The place that Monica wanted to take us ended up being closed because Saturday was some sort of holiday, so we went to a place down the street. I enjoyed the tapas experience, but the food there was definitely not high quality.
Again, dinner wasn't over until around 10:30 PM, so we headed back to Monica's to touch up our makeup before heading out to the clubs again.
Our first stop was Ryan's Pub, which is one of Monica's favorite little hole-in-the-wall bars. We had a drink there, and just sat talking and watching rugby for awhile before we went to Chupito.
We also did a "Florencia" shot in honor of Florence, a "Finding Nemo" shot in which you have to dig through whipped cream to find an M&M before you can take it, and Sam and I each did a "Willy Wonka" which was just chocolate alcohol with whipped cream. Yummmm.
After Chupito, we went to Apolo, another one of Barcelona's big clubs. It was pretty empty when we arrived, but we waited around and by 3 AM it had filled up. I was pretty bored by 4:30 AM or so, so when I couldn't find my friends, I just took the metro back to the hostel and passed out. Apparently the others didn't get back until past 6 AM! Nuts.
We had to get up early to check out on Sunday morning, so we headed to Starbucks on La Rambla to caffeinate and grab some breakfast.
We had been talking about going to the beach all weekend, so when Sunday dawned sunny and warm, we decided to take advantage.
Me and Gillian on the bus on the way to the beach...
It was a little windy down by the water, but it warmed up a lot after about an hour.
After a couple of hours, we decided to get a late lunch. We searched for awhile but had a difficult time finding a restaurant, so we eventually just settled for the first one that looked decent. Again, the food wasn't the best quality, but when you're eating on the beach in Barcelona, it's hard to feel sad about that.