Sunday, June 2, 2013

Barcelona Weekend

 The weekend after our tour of southern Spain, we had planned to travel to San Sebastian in the north to see the pretty beaches and soak up some sun. However, it was just our luck that that weekend was the one weekend it decided to rain in pretty much all of Spain. We couldn’t picture ourselves enjoying beaches and walking the streets amidst 55-degree wind and rain, so we sought out other options. Some of the group ventured to the sunnier island of Mallorca, but I decided to stay in Barcelona to see more of the city as well as figure some things out with my normal life back at Dartmouth (at home, with my computer and semi-functioning internet!).  Despite missing out on a tropical beach weekend, I still managed to have an amazing time in Barcelona.  Some other girls stayed along with me, and we explored the city.

One day that weekend, the sun peeked out from behind the rainclouds and my friend Hayley and I headed to Barceloneta for some beachin. Just when we thought we had outsmarted the rain and were about to set foot on the sand, it started pouring. However it was nothing that couldn’t be remedied with some gelato. My friend and I also met up with one of our intercambios (Spanish students learning English who we’re paired up with for the program). She invited us to her apartment, and we hung out at her rooftop pool (so cool!) and played with her PET PIG!!! Georgina, the intercambio, is very hipster and alternative, so it makes sense that and her and her boyfriend decided to purchase a pet pig. Apparently it’s going to be a growing trend in Spain…she told me of one other friend of hers with a pet pig. I have to say the pig was not as cuddly to hold as my golden retriever back home. After seeing Georgina’s pool and pig, she took us to lunch at a restaurant she had picked out. Upon arrival, I laughed to see that it was a Spanish version of Johnny Rockets. Of course she would pick the “American” restaurant just for us!

That night, Hayley and I decided to check some more Barcelona must-sees off our list, so we went to the famous Las Arenas shopping mall to get a view of the city from the top floor sky deck. Afterwards, we went to the popular Dow Jones Bar where the prices of drinks go up and down with supply and demand like the stock market– pretty interesting for two Economics majors! To finish the weekend off, Hayley, Georgina, another intercambio Elena, and I went to hear our favorite Barcelona DJ (called “Nasty Mondays”) at a club near the beach. It was a pretty ritzy club, particularly that night as the club was hosting an after party for the X-Games that Barcelona had hosted that weekend. The club sported tables of sushi as men and women chatted in cocktail attire– very classy. The best part about that night was meeting Joe Ingles, a 6’8” Euroleague basketball star who plays for the FC Barca basketball team! I’m putting that one down on my list of celebrity encounters for sure.

 Another highlight of the weekend was getting to see my friend Ashley from back home in Winnetka. She had studied in a Sevilla, Spain for the semester and was finishing her time abroad on a cruise with her mom! They both took my out to dinner and we caught up. It was a great to see a friend from home in Barcelona. 

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