Y’ALL. How the time has FLOWN. A few countries crossed and many cities visited, I finally have the time (and WiFi connection) to update you on the crazy escapades I’ve been up to lately! I’m currently lying down in a quaint little one-bedroom apartment in the suburbs of Naples (but don’t worry, we’ll get to that later), stuffed with Neapolitan pizza and sfogliatelle, so what better time to reflect on my time in Barcelona, why don’t we?

So I should probably prepare you of the entity that is Me by saying that I am quite the embodiment of the old banal saying “When it rains it pours,” and often also Murphy’s Law (I blame my mom for this random bad luck), so traveling can be a wholly new adventure; this day was no exception. If you can tell from my last blog, I didn’t exactly go to bed in time for an early morning, and my body acted in revenge when I woke up 10 minutes after my departure time (my mom is probably wincing right now). I had to quickly buy the next cheapest flight out, which would be a few hours later – all’s well that ends well, right? Wrong.

I was still new to the neighborhood at this time, so I didn’t quite know the bus route. In my attempting to figure out my stop, I forgot to buy a ticket and, by the Luck of the Irish (I’m German, but just roll with it) one of the ticket checkers that almost never comes around happened to tap me on the shoulder that day. 60 euros later, I really regretted not buying that ticket.

After I ended up back at our office (I was not trying to go to our office), I called a taxi and made it easier on myself (but not on my bank account). After a feeling-sorry-for-myself impulse purchase (sorry again, mom), I was able to get to my flight and, with a quick layover in Amsterdam and the beginning of an awesome book (Eat, Pray, Love changes lives y’all…read it!), I successfully landed in Barcelona.

But the troubles didn’t end there.

I only have phone service in Italy, so my phone was just about worthless in Barca, just like their “Free City Wifi” (more like Free City FULL OF LIES!!!). Not being able to contact the host for my AirBnB, I had to just take a guess of what bus to take and where to get off at, and of course I chose the wrong stop. But good thing taxis were ON STRIKE that day!!! Yay! I was able to find a hotel that let me use their internet to contact my host, and as I was an hour walk away, she advised me to take a bus to X piazza and walk to X street. Ahh, but the majority of buses shut down at midnight, so I just took in the views. Finally, I was able to find a last-round bus that I got on not so legally (you think I would’ve learned), but the moment I got on, my host had to leave and I ended up without a home for the night. YAY! Three hotels later, I finally found an overly-priced one to stay in (where I ended up having to stay the rest of the time as I lost the AirBnB reservation along with all of my money!!!). The only restaurant open at this time was McDonald’s, and I braved myself for the storm coming upon me, and boy that stuff was nasty, y’all. But in the end, as 3 am hit and my sleep deprivation kicked in, I bonded with the front desk over my sorrows, and I got this funny story to tell. So, I hope you can laugh at my pain and enjoy this montage of my weird night.

At least the street looked cool?

Mental exhaustion aside, my body was in dire need of some R&R. I slept in the next day and decided to look nice as a treat to myself (only to sweat off the majority of my makeup a few hours later).

My favorite way to learn a city is walking with no end goal, and that’s exactly what I did. I stumbled upon Las Ramblas, a parliamentary building, the Barcelona Cathedral, the beach, and more street performers and vendors than I could count.

A previous blog feature, Hannah Midkiff sent me this awesome to-do list for Barca (sorry Hannah, I missed a whole ton of it…but yah girl was tired!), so obviously the food was my first checked off.

After about an hour of walking, I headed towards Taperia Princesa, indulged in some nice tapas and my first ever sangria (and from Spain, nonetheless…the tastebuds have been spoiled!). I had so much fun eating, drinking, reading, and mingling with the awesome workers, I needed another helping hand of snacks, so I headed to her other recommendation, Sensi Tapas! Neither let me down (and I already miss that giant-sized wine bottle).

Still tired from my previous day’s antics (and maybe some of the sangria and prosecco), I headed home for an early night. On my way back, I swear it was the voice of an ANGEL that beckoned to me to a little side street where I found a singer that literally brought me to TEARS y’all! I ended up staying for an hour, bought her CD, hugged her a few times, and cried some more. By far my favorite random find during this crazy semester I call my life. Listen for yourself!

If y’all want to listen to her CD hmu because you KNOW I’m going to be bumping it this summer (and told you I wasn’t kidding about the tears).

Thursday I had planned to meet up with some Notre Dame kids (they were on a post-graduation European vacation) to go to this music festival called Primavera Sound. Of course I had to present myself well before the tears came flowing during Bon Iver’s performance (and so I looked a little less savage taking down this paella with them).

The festival took place at Parc Del Forum, and I can’t really sum up how cool it was, but if you want to read more about it check out their page here! https://www.primaverasound.com

But to give you some idea, here are some videos of the event.

I didn’t sleep until the wee ours of Friday morning (you can guess my adrenaline was pumping), so I spent most of Friday recuperating and getting packed up to go home the next day. I did treat myself, however, to a nice solo meal in the hotel restaurant fit with my lovely little book. Ending the night with a bubble bath, I’d say it was a pretty good Friday night.

So you would think my Saturday return to Bologna would go easy, huh?

Wrong.

Don’t forget my intro, y’all.

Turns out, my flight was cancelled, along with a vast majority of the rest of the flights to Italy (for the entire night…). So, after a few hours waiting around trying to get refunded, I decided to start my Amsterdam trip two days early and head straight to the Netherlands. Did I only have clothes and belongings for a five-day trip? Yes. Was I at all prepared to go to another city without a stop home? No. But you know what? That’s exactly what I did anyway.

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On to the next one.

 

Ciao,

 

– Alex