Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Week of Eating.

La Semana de Comiendo.

[I was able to practice my Spanish quite a bit! It was refreshing. And while their alcohol is much less expensive than Dublin's and they have not-surprisingly much cuter guys, I would not like the sketch night-life, always speaking Spanish, paying for the water, nor the smoking allowed everywhere for the former.]
When we arrived, it was past lunch time for us and, oye, were we famished. We walked around for awhile looking for a truly Spanish food place. We finally ran into this good-looking tapas restaurant.
Tapas happens to be a bunch of really small appetizers you order. The following is the first of MANY:
They also have delicious Sangria. Which seems to be the most popular drink in Spain, it seems like.
[This one is made with champagne.]
[This one is made with wine.]You all would be so proud of me. Because I was in a new country (that has different foods than from America) I tried so many new stuff. I tried calamari (which wasn't half bad) and I tried clams or something like it. I was not a fan.
We then started our trek along La Ramba (a famous street filled with vendors and living statues; pictures in the next day's section) and this was the statue at the very North point of the street:
We made it to the beach after quite a few stops and getting lost. At the end of La Ramba is not sand; it's a pier. So we had to do quite a bit of walking that day...
But it was so worth the beach. And the weather was beautiful. We got there around sunset so it was getting a little chilly. I won't lie though, when I stepped off that plane I got an uncontrollable giddiness from seeing the sun!
The next day was declared "Beach Day." So we set out early on our walk across La Ramba, of course making a few stops along the way (we are girls). The day was beautiful, no need for some silly thing called a jacket or sweater.
[Statues on the walk towards La Ramba.]
[The beginning of La Ramba.]
[One of the many souvenir shops on the street where you can get t-shirts, postcards, paintings, magnets, key chains; you know, the works.]
[The Living Statues.]
We stopped at La Marquet Boqueria for some fruit, cheese, and baguets. It was so crowded and filled with magnificant colors. However, my purse was in front of me, and I have a wristlet...
We made our way along the pier towards our destination of beach (this is about an hour long walk from our hostel to the ocean...)
[These are the girls I went with to Barcelona.]
[Look! Palm trees!]
[Story: So, we walk into this grocery store right next to the beach and it's beautiful and sunny out. We purchase our beach towels, wine, and food, walk outside and we were walking in what seems liked a cloud-covered wind tunnel.It was horrible. And we stayed out there for a good while...]
[So, at the beach we met this really cool Netherlands guy named Gijht (pronunciation is not available) and he took us out that night to this really cool bar off the side of a sketch alley way, called Sugar. It was beyond legit with friendly people and a cool owner/bartender.]
[One of the firsts things put up in the city made my Gaudi.]
[This is the owner, James. He made amazing Mojitos, let Maeve and I have a free shot each, gave me a discount for no reason on another shot and made a killer Long Island Ice Tea (and yes, I mean killlllllller).]
[The next day we went and saw La Sagrada Familia, the church that has been in the building process since 1882! And still isn't even close to being completed! There was some beautiful picture moments along the way!]
[La Sagrada Familia.]
[Me in front of La Sagrada Familia.]
[I thought this was beyond beautiful and enduring.]
[The massive blue print.]
[There were scooters everywhere. It was brilliant.]
[On our last night, we went to a restaurant that was delicious and made awesome margaritas! And quite possibly the most incredible pasta salad I've ever tasted!]

[A beautiful city as far as architecture goes! And the chocolate is to die for! However, the people were quite rude to us two American girls and I had no idea what anyone saying seeing how my French-speaking ability completely lacks. Plus, we were beyond exhausted still from the previous four days.]
[My first true Belgium Waffle. They actually originated from Brussels, so really, it should be called a Brussels Waffle. This one was the non-tourist kind, because it's only supposed to come with powdered sugar?!]
[The saving grace that helped us to find our hostel when we got lost in this french-speaking city.]
[Our first night we went to this famous bar called Delirium. It made the Guinness World record Book with the most beers. 24 on tap, 208 beers total. Maeve and I tried. The following are descriptions and the title of the beers I tried and the look of them to help my beer-loving family.]
[Some of the 24 Taps.]

[This is another Red, but I can't remember what it is. However, I've decided I like the reds...]
[Hilarious Irish couple we hung out with at the bar: Naivh and Ken from Cork.]
[American guys studying in Madrid we hung out with as well, Eric and Lawrence.]
[Delicious Chicken Kebab with feta and garlic sauce. I can't describe how amazing it was.]
[The famous La Grand Place.]
[Pretty flowers were being sold on the side of the street.]
[There were chocolate shops everywhere. But this colorful shop had chocolate and candy!]
[Menneken Pis: the famous statue of the little boy peeing. Yeah, he's like, a foot tall...]
[View of Brussels and a small part of the Musical Instrument Museum.]
[The MIM was awesome. They gave you head phones and you would stand in front of an instrument and music from that particular one would play! And they hade beautifully painted pianos!]
[View from the top.]
[We stopped at this famous chocolate shop: Mary Chocolatier. Expensively delactable.]
[My chocolates of choice.]
[Le Cirio: the oldest cafe in Brussels.]
[This is the really cool place mat they put in front of me.]
[The half and half: champagne and white wine. First originated at this very restaurant.]
[My last Brussels Waffle: the tourist way with chocolate syrup.]
[dad, I figured you would hate this: this cute cat hopped right up on the booth next to Maeve and started rolling around everywhere. I thought of you and wondered what you would do?]
[Sunday morning we almost missed out flight! We did not know about the time change that happened that morning, so we got there 45 minutes before the plane left; there were two security check points (where of course my bag had to be entirely searched through) and a passport check where the stamper was taking his sweet time. We got to the terminal with like ten minutes before they closed the doors. It was scary.]

And that was Barcelona and Brussels. Sorry it took so long to post. And sorry that the post is so long. :-)

This weekend we're taking a tour of the West of Ireland with my study abroad program. I wont lie, I'm quite glad I'm not going on a plane for quite a while (seeing as how I almost died on the flight back from Barcelona form the turbulence!).

I'll share that all next week!
Grandpa, get better. Te amo mucho.