I’m very sorry for the delay on this post, however I had turkey to eat along with an awful essay to finish. But, the good new is that today was our last day of classes!!!!!! This means that I’m completely finished with two of my courses, and have an essay and an exam left on December 6th, then I’ll be completely done with all responsibilities for the last two weeks of my time in Ireland. And, believe me, I can’t wait til the school part of this semester is over with– I HATED the large lectures and the lack of learning that takes place there. But I don’t want to rant, I want to talk about beautiful Barcelona =)
Last Friday after an extremely short 3 hours of sleep, my friend Kim and I groggily boarded the bus to Dublin Airport. After arriving smoothly in Barcelona via Ryan Air and getting some more stamps in our passports, we began to make our way to our hostel. Unfortunately, we ran into some unhelpful people, and missed our stop on the train. Not to worry, we made it eventually and settled in! After doing some quick planning on the computers, we headed out to explore! After seeing some of the city, getting our bearings, and metro tickets, we decided it was time for dinner. Off a recommendation from Kim’s friend, we ate at a restaurant called Taller de Tapas. Tapas are pretty popular I guess, it’s basically getting small portions of a couple things you want, and it was delicious! It’s an ideal meal to me, because I love having a little bit of everything rather than one huge thing.
Saturday morning, I experimented with some Spanish as we grabbed some pastries from a little cafe. To be honest, we encountered a lot less English than I’d been expecting, simply based on my trip to Prague, but I ended up loving diving deep into my high school Spanish years and finding I was able to remember and communicate fairly well! Kim and I jumped on a free “RunnerBean” tour of some Gaudi buildings in the city, and I absolutely fell in love with his architecture!! Not only are many of his buildings absolutely gorgeous with amazing colors and details, but they’re crazy practical too! My favorite by far was Casa Batllo with its colorful mosaic pieces on the outside, and rainbow roof tiles.
Inside, Gaudi formed door handles, railings, and other furnishings by molding them first in clay to fit his hands, then casting/carving them in the metal or wood material required. This way, we learned, all of his furnishings fit perfectly, comfortably, and anatomically correct in your hand every time some grasps them. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a really smart idea, and all the handles felt so comfortable to maneuver! (Sounds super corny, but don’t knock it til you try it) He also invented one of the early efficient ways to control individual room temperatures through slanted wooden slats that could be angled to move hot or cool air from one room to another. While the luxurious practicalities (somewhat of an oxymoron, I suppose) were definitely a highlight of this huge house, the creative design placed into every room was amazing! It is speculated that this house has an underwater theme, and ceilings are created to look like the bottom of the ocean floor. Did I mention that there are no right angles in this entire house?! Stop and think about that for a second: every single window, door, wall, etc. are all curved and flow into one another, just like waves of the ocean!
We also got to see the incredible, larger-than-life Sagrada Familia!! I’m trying not to overwhelm my posts with too many pictures, so I really do encourage a glance through my albums pages, if you’re interested! That night we went to a flamenco show which was really cool, and enjoyed more tapas and Sangria with newly made friends :) It was a fun night with its own stories!
After Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo, we still hadn’t gotten our fill of Gaudi, so we ventured on to another one of his famous locations: Park Guell. It was beautiful and overlooking the city! It was so gorgeous out on Sunday: sunny and super warm and I enjoyed it soooo much after all the rain we get here in Ireland! That night we ate dinner on Las Ramblas a main popular street, checked out a craft fair and splurged on some yummy gelato! Our hostel was pretty nice and we had no problems with in-city transportation or Ryan Air. Got back to Limerick Monday afternoon after a great weekend =)