Monday, November 10, 2008


So I'm finally back from my two and a half week excursion, and I had a blast. I got to see more in that short period of time than most people will see in their entire life. It's definitely good to be back in Milan though, moving across Europe every couple of days starts to take its toll on you after awhile. Rather than put out a barrage of blog posts, I'm going to try and post a new one everyday for the next couple of days so be on the lookout.

Before I got to Barcelona, everyone told me how much I was going to love it there. Unfortunately for me, it rained two out of the three days that I was there. I'm still fairly confident that if I was there during the summer, I would have loved it. The night life there is supposed to be amazing and the city just had a fun feel to it. For example, the main street outside of our hostel was La Rambla. For a couple hundred meters on La Rambla were these really random pet shops on the street that sold everything from roosters, to turtles, to lizards, to porcupines, and so on. Also on La Rambla was this awesome open air market that was filled mostly with fruit stands (selling amazing fresh fruit juice!) and butchers. The butchers sold crazy meat that you would never find in the US, such as entire pig brains, whole skinned rabbits, and other stuff that would gross out a normal person.

Sadly, due to the rain, our sightseeing was minimal in Barcelona. We went to go see Familia Sagrada, which was one of the most unique looking churches I have ever seen. It almost looked like one of those dripping sand castles that you build at the beach. It cost money to go inside, so while some of our group went in, the rest of us relaxed in Starbucks for over an hour. Sounds boring, but it made our day because there are no Starbucks in Milan!

The last night we were there we all went to the coolest bar I've ever been to. It was a bar that ONLY sold shots (there were hundreds of them), each of which was presented in a different way. For example, for the boy scout shot you were given a marshmallow on a stick. Then, they lit the counter on fire, you roasted your marshmallow over it, dunked it in your shot and ate it, and then took the shot. Another shot did this crazy thing involving fire that created a vacuum that sucked the shot from a saucer into a shot glass. Another one, the "Rambo", involved me putting on a helmet and holding a fake assault rifle while the bartender put on a drill sergeant's fatigue and yelling at me, after which she shoved a shot down my throat that included spices and tabasco sauce. The shots weren't strong at all though, probably less than half the strength of a normal shot.

Probably the coolest part about Barcelona was just hanging out in the hostel. The hostel was my favorite that I've been to so far, but not because it was the nicest. The people staying there and the staff there were a lot of fun, and the hostel itself was just a cozy place to be. All of the furniture was wood and gave the lounge a really rustic look. The people staying there were awesome; one kid had come to Europe in the summer planning to stay for three weeks but he lost his passport. That was three months ago, he decided to just call off fall quarter of school and hang out until he was read to go home. Another guy I met had graduated from college already and worked as a bus boy on a small Greek island all summer. He wanted to make a career out of shaping acoustic guitars. Everyone there was just really free spirited and fun to be around. All of this was topped off by an excellent happy hour that was held at the hostel every night. If anyone is ever going to Barcelona, I highly recommend staying at "Kabul", you won't regret it.

That's about all I have for now, hopefully I'm productive enough tomorrow to write about what a great time I had in Dublin!

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