Posted by: jackterrett | May 3, 2010

Week Nine: Barcelona!

What a weekend!  I got back yesterday from a tremendous (and mostly sunny) weekend in Barcelona with Donny and Fay.  Much Spanish was learnt, Catalan culture was experienced, and friends with street vendors were made, among many other great things!

Donny and I arrived in Barcelona on Thursday and promptly checked into our hostel – the Barcelona Urbany.  We had a cozy private twin room with ensuite bathroom on the twelfth floor, with great views across the city and out to the ocean.  We began our exploring with a run along the beach (sun’s out guns out, of course), marveling at the old naked men on the beach and the similarities in warmth and sights to San Diego.  We then met up with my sister, Fay, who’s been studying abroad in Barcelona with the Dartmouth program for the past several weeks and she took us on a short tour around the city, which included the Sagrada Familia cathedral (designed by Antoni Gaudi and still under construction!) and gelato!  As Fay had a ‘Flamenco’ concert to attend, Donny and I continued to wander through the city streets, ending up on the habour with our two new best friends – San Miguel and Estrella Damm!  Trying to save money, we chose to walk everywhere, rather than take the Metro (even despite it’s very reasonable price) and returned to the hostel exhausted after walking several miles.  However, unbeknownst to us, our night was far from over.  As we exited the elevator on floor #12 of our hostel, we were faced with the most incredible and unlikely occurrence I’ve ever experienced – four Midd students (3 from my very close-knit Freshmen hall) were right in front of us!  After an awkward few seconds of double takes, we rejoiced in the realization of what had just happened and quickly began to explain our situations.  Drew Harasimowicz, Lauryn Torch, Ben Benson, and Litsey Corona are currently all studying abroad in Prague and had decided to take a week’s vacation in Barcelona…in the same hostel as us…on the same floor…three doors down.  What are the chances?!?  And they were just heading out to hit up the Barcelona club scene, and despite our exhaustion, Donny and I couldn’t exactly say no to hanging out with them.  Fortunately, the hostel provided free entry to the clubs and we all went in taxi convoy to Shoku, a club on the beachfront (we found to our chagrin that we were back where we’d started an hour ago, over a mile from the hostel…).  We hanged out there in a little Midd pack for a while before heading our separate ways – us via foot, back to bed!

The next day we did the beach!  It was another hot and sunny day on the Mediterranean and we lounged on the beach (next to an old fat man smoking a cigar) and time to time, tentatively dipped our feet in the cold water (Donny however insisted on going for a very brief swim!).  Later on, Donny and I took to Las Ramblas (the famous street of street performers, shops, and restaurants) to search for team outfits to look like true Spaniards for our game of beer pong (with the Dartmouth kids) later that night.  Lots of the parks in Barcelona have permanent ping pong tables in them – perfect for setting up a game of beer pong and confusing the locals.  The sound of pong seemed to attract every Dartmouth student in the surrounding area until we had about 15 people grouped around the two tables (two of which went to the same high school as Schmidty, so we had a New Trier photo-shoot to prove it).  Due to lack of experience, Donny and I were shamefully outclassed (even by the girls!) – next time we’ll insist on a more Middlebury friendly game of stump or wizard staff!

Saturday we played tourists and along with Fay’s friend Steph, visited the 1992 Olympic Stadium and two famous houses designed by Gaudi.  We then went to Park Güell (also designed by Gaudi) to get stunning views over the city and saw the famous Gecko statue.  That night, Donny and I pregamed in the hostel with Drew and Ben before going out to get dinner with Fay on Las Ramblas.  We couldn’t decide where to go for ages until we saw a restaurant called “Colon” and knew it was destiny (apparently it’s Colon, which is Columbus’s real name, but details details…).  After a dinner of Tapas and Bikini (just a fancy name for a sandwich), we took to the street where we were inundated with offers to go on pub crawls and go to clubs for only 15 Euro (a typical exchange would involve “Are you guys looking for a good night?”, “Why, YES WE ARE!” Donny would reply and grab as many leaflets as possible).  We also met some genius entrepreneurs who were selling cans of beer out of bags on the street – unfortunately we weren’t able to haggle them down from their 1 euro per can pricetag.  Unquestionably, the highlight of the night was visiting the flaming shots bar called ‘Chupitos’.  They had over 200 choices of shots, with very imaginative names.  Of those we sampled, there was Bin Laden, Sadam, Harry Potter, Titty Twister, Viagra, Animal Balls, Semen Up (we didn’t try this one…), and the mother of all drinks, the Monica Lewinsky!  The bar was tiny but it got extremely crowded and we met up with Ben, Drew, Litsey, and Lauryn there too.  Naturally, with the bar on fire half the time, it got very hot!  This was a fantastic way to cap off the great weekend – if you’re ever in Barcelona, definitely go to Chupito’s…and don’t order the Monica Lewinsky…Donny learnt that the hard way.




    No monica lewinsky. check.

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