Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To Amsterdam, Or So We Thought

Yesterday was our last day in Barcelona. The city definitely grew on us with its architectural beauty and numerous sights to see, but remained dirty and frequently smelling of urine. We went on the free walking tour of the Gothic quarter in the morning. It was a nice and leisurely tour around the Gothic neighborhood. After the previous day´s lengthy walking adventure, a relaxing pace and shorter distance was much appreciated. We also became friendly with a few more people from our hostel and one hot limey in town for a soccer game (although Brian and I had a major disagreement on how attractive this British bloke was, with me giving him a definite ¨hot¨, while apparently he made the ´gross, barf´category for Brian).

After the tour, we took the metro up to Labyrinth Park, where we enjoyed a lovely picnic consisting of bread, cheese, Spanish meats, and Sangria. Apparently, eating in the park was not allowed (we learned when we got there), so we ate our food while looking over out shoulders to avoid getting caught. Once we finished our meal, we headed into the hedge labyrinth, where we found our way to the center pretty quickly. The rest of the park was beautiful and we strolled around for a bit before trying to locate the city´s giant phallux, visible from all over.

We found the the phallux, but it was somewhat disappointing. It was just an office building, and we weren´t allowed to go to the top to enjoy the view. But, we did get lots of photos from outside that will show you its distinct shape (once I can upload the pics).

Then we hoofed it back to the hostel along the beach, where we met up with the rest of group that we had chatted with on the tour, to go for dinner and drinks. They were a nice group of people and we had fun hanging out, drinking beer and eating dinner. After dinner, all 12 of us went for ice cream, but not just any ice cream. This place had some unconventional flavors: curry, bacon & spinach, black olives, gorgonzola & nuts, and a whole host of other odd and random flavors. I sampled the curry flavor and it honestly wasn´t bad. A little strange to taste that flavor in ice cream form, but actually pretty tasty.

This a.m. we were supposed to take the metro to the bus station to get up to Girona airport for our flight to Eindhoven, en route to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, it didn´t quite work out that way. We missed the bus to Girona Airport by 10-15 mins, and the next one didn´t leave until 1.5 hrs later (thank you crappy hostel directions)! Apparently, a cab would be about 100 euros and there were no other viable options to get there efficiently. We were able to catch a bus to Girona city where we then grabbed a cab and high tailed it over to the airport for about 20 euros. But, no luck. We missed our flight. No more flights to Eindhoven today and no other cheap flights anywhere near there today. So, we´re stuck in Girona for the day. Not that Girona is a bad place to be stuck. It´s a beautiful and sunny day outside. I´m sure there are nice sights to see here, but we got two gianormous backpacks to lug around, and that doesn´t make for easy sightseeing.

Well, actually, we got one gianormous backpack (mine) and Brian´s manageable backpack. I´m eternally grateful to my awesome world traveling buddy David who so generously loaned me his travel backpack. It´s outstanding. Big. Sturdy. Roomy. Lots of great compartments. When Brian and I were packing before we left, Brian was astounded at how much stuff I was bringing. He hadn´t seen my backpack and was wondering how I could possibly fit all that stuff in my bag. 'I got a nice pack, world class' I told him. I could hear the jealousy in his voice at how much I was able to bring, while he had to skimp. Well, there comes a time in every backpacker´s life when skimping is a concept to revere. Today, is that day. My pack´s so heavy from all the junk I´m lugging around that I´m almost toppling over. And, to top it all off, there are no lockers here in Girona, not at the airport and not at the bus station. I know they´ve pretty much done away with lockers in airports for security reasons. But, I´ve seen them around train stations still. We definitely saw them in Madrid. If Madrid of all places had them, why in the world not Girona? And that, my friend, is the big question of the day. Why not Girona?

1 comment:

Pete Eriksson said...

Wow, holy detailed blogs! Keep up the good work.

I can't wait to hear about Amsterdam and all the decadence you partake in! :0