Friday, April 15, 2011

Biking in Barcelona (The map is totally wrong!)

"Hallo, Bon JOUUURRRRR, Hola, Hi!!" This is how Shelly likes to walk up and down the crowded streets of Barcelona. We already stick out like a sore thumb and then with this…people just think we have gone crazy! The spanish culture is a lot different than any other. Ty gives us a heads up about that. It really doesn't process or stop we think. We get up at 7..everyone in the other bunks are still sleeping, so we roll out of bed very quietly (in the same train outfits) and head downstairs to our free breakfast..which is more carbs..aka 3 slices of toast and a white muffin. All carbed up we head out to rent some bikes..the city is dead and all we find is the trash men cleaning the streets..aka their 7am is our 4am..We find the bike shop and it doesn't open until 10am! So we end up walking around and heading down to the famous beaches until we can grab a bike. We then head out on our excursion to see the historic museums and cathedrals. Barcelona is very bike friendly and you get to bike on the road as long as you follow the rules..At first, every time I looked up the phrase ""$#!T Shelly" was coming out of my mouth because she would be in the middle of lane..looking all over the city, "slowly but surely". Cars would be behind her or swarming around..let's just say I'm blessed to still have a traveling buddy! We then get the memo we stay to the right of the lane and when on the streets peddle fast, otherwise move over to the sidewalks. We go by a few museums that are swarming with tourist. Lunch time..we head to a super market and each buy a big bag of chips..Shelly gets a water and Laura gets a 4 pack of Coca Cola. We sit in front of the super market until we our full. Our next journey is off to the "La Segrada Familia", a historic Cathedral that took over 100 years to build…we take the typical tourist pictures of it and then decide to head back. We are looking at the map to see the streets where we are. We find that we are on Mallorca street and according to our map the church is on a different street…We are both a little confused but just conclude the map is wrong and the famous church is just misplaced on the map.  Eventually make it back to La Rambla street. It gets a little chilly and we didn't pack warm..(Dad-I should have listened!!) so we buy the "touristy" Barcelona sweatshirts and head to the market. It's beautiful in here, full of beautiful fruits, veggies and a gorgeous layout of chocolates…setup about the size of a convention center. We then head to buy and mail a few postcards.. All the post cards have gorgeous pictures of "La Segrada Familia" and we see a fountain that is on the backside of it..we then start to think…where was this fountain of water and why does this picture look so different?? It then clicks that maybe the map wasn't so wrong after all..maybe Shelly & Laura were just taking pictures of another pretty church and thats why it wasn't crowded as well. Its in the evening now but we bike ride back about 20 minutes and "TAA DAAA" we arrive at the correct Cathedral that is super crowded! It was breath taking (minus the STUPID construction being done on it!) After that we head down to Olympic park where the olympics had taken place..(we have now seen the Atlanta Olympics, Barcelona and we saw the future olympics in London!- pretty cool!) We bike ride along the beach and head over to the new "W" hotel they just put up because of the view right over the ocean. Our bikes were due to be turned in so we drop them off then go grab dinner. Once again we end up at a pizza parlor and grab a few slices and beer. There were 2 guys working that came from Argentina and one had a Johnny Depp look to him, muy caliente:):):). They were very friendly and spoke some english. I don't know if it was the inhaling of our food or what, but they "bought" us another slice of the giant pizza and a brownie :/ …we are stuffed but definitely don't turn down free food! As we roll our selfs back to our hostel, from being so full, we still manage to(accidentally)stop at a super market where Laura buys her roll of cremes and chocolate dinosaur cookies..and yes, eats them all! We head back to the hostel where we immediately just pass out after this 10 miles of walking & 20 miles of biking day! 

"Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe…Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all' I ask only to share the wonder of it all." By Abraham Joshua Heschel

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