Mountain Climbing with Flip flops!

June 30, 2010
For anyone back home who was wondering and wants the super quick recap of the last several days…yes I am still alive, Spain was awesome, and I am on day 15 with no luggage!

Now for the slightly longer version for your reading pleasure!! We got to Spain early Thursday morning (the 24th for all those people on land who still keep track of days and dates!) ate a quick breakfast and went to a diplomat briefing that we have to do at every port. After our briefing the ship was cleared and we were aloud
onto dry land…unless you were lucky like me and got to go listen to several Spanish poets for your poetry class! Lol After the poetry discussion and lunch we headed out to explore downtown Barcelona and it was amazing!

We started with walking down Las Ramblas one of the busiest streets in Spain and after an hour or two veered off down one of the side street and it was like another world! There was instantly hardly any traffic and the few people that were there all seemed to be locals; away from all the tourists. We spent the next 6 hours walking through all the tiny streets through the city taking pictures, talking, and loving the views! On all sides there were winding roads with tall building with their balconies and flowers growing from them like in the movies, we loved it! After walking for so long we came back to the boat later for a quick power nap and headed out again around 10 for dinner (the payee was delicious!) and then walked around the city till about 1 when we headed back into port for the night.

Friday morning we woke up early again and went back into town to catch the Red Bus Tour. With this tour we were able to buy on bus ticket that went around the city explaining different buildings, histories, and things like that while stopping and allowing us to wonder and catch another red bus when it came through. We stopped and visited many places in Barcelona including several Gaudi homes and the Sagrada Familia church (also by Gaudi) which was absolutely beautiful! The stained glass inside as well as the facades on the outside were so awesome to see. For lunch we stopped on the side of the road to a small sidewalk cafe and I enjoyed my lunch of a salad with pineapple, grilled chicken, fresh bread with olive oil, my glass of red wine, and flan (I felt very sophisticated lol). After our late lunch we rode back to the main street in town and pretty much ran back to the ship to make it just in time for a set of free SAS tickets that we got for a "Barcelona at Night" tour. It was to be a tour of Barcelona, although it was very rushed and we revisited the Sagrada
Familia we also went to this huge fountain where they have a water/sound/light show every weekend night that was really neat to watch both the fountain and the mass of people! After a long day we finally decided we were hungary for dinner around midnight so we grabbed a bite to eat while walking around the city at night.

Saturday morning..waking up early again! (I’m noticing a not so fun trend starting here!) we got on the metro to the train station and from there rode the train to Monserrat. We had heard several people talking about it and decided to give it a try for ourselves and I am certainty glad we did! Once there we rode the cable cars up the mountain a bit till we reached sort of their town with a church in it. After walking around exploring for a bit we went inside the church which was beautiful before deciding we should climb the mountain as well! From where we were on the mountain we rode a funicluar farther up the mountain to a place where we thought at the time had fabulous views. While taking pictures a guy our age near us asked if we were speaking English and we found out that the 3 of them were currently studying abroad in Europe as well and after talking for a bit we decided to climb together. As we continued to climb we passed more and more people who were deciding to turn around but we were determined to read the top and once we did it was breathtaking. We had miles upon miles of hills and small towns spread out before us it was all we could do to stand there and stare. We climbed to the top of the second highest peak (you needed actual rock climbing equipment for the highest as well as something besides flip flops for shoes assuming!) After climbing back down the mountain we parted ways after exchanging emails and headed back to Barcelona after finding out
that rock climbing for 6 hours tends to make one tired! Once back in town we grabbed an early dinner and ran into some SAS students on the streets and headed back to the boat for an early night in.

Sunday, also waking up early!, wasn’t nearly as eventful, Kelsey went with me to the Barcelona airport and after nearly 5 hours in the airport here are the current stats on my luggage!
15 days….5 (yes 5!) countries….12 airports….3 airlines…and its still nowhere to be seen! (I’m sort of jealous of it!)

Well that’s about it for now hope I didn’t put anyone to sleep with all of this! And we are off to Italy tomorrow so wish me luck and I can’t wait to hear from everyone!