Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In Search of Christopher Columbus: Barcelona, Part 3

And now, the thrilling conclusion of my four days in Barcelona...

Henceforth, the Saturday I was in BCN shall now be known as Wild Goose Chase Day as I spent the entire morning playing the most vicious game of “he said, she said” with cell phone carriers and train station employees.  For being an international city, everyone that you need to speak to about something important (like, changing train tickets and adding money to your pay-as-you-go phone) doesn’t speak English.  
But when you’re talking to anyone on the street or in a shop, and you ask them a question in Spanish, nothing says your handle on the language is not improving when they answer you in English.  In Barcelona, signs are written in at least three languages (Castellano (the official language of Spain), Catalan (a regional dialect of the Eastern coast of Spain), and English) and most people speak at least some English (except for EVERYONE I talked to on Wild Goose Chase Day).  Walking around, you hear many different languages spoken (mostly by the tourists of course, of which there are many).  Another great thing about the international nature of Barcelona, aside from meeting people from all corners of the globe, was that I didn’t feel quite so much like an Amazonian woman as I usually do in Alicante.  I got lots of comments from blog readers about the ‘average inches taller than most Spanish men I am’ statistic in Meet Me Halfway, but it’s true.  Being a beautiful, beachy city, Alicante has it’s fair share of tourists, but on the street, you encounter mostly Spanish people, and in general, they’re short.  This was not the case in the areas of BCN that I visited.  It felt more normal to have men taller than me, rather than face to face with my chin.  But alas, I only have 27 more days of feeling freakishly tall before I’m back in the States, surrounded by fellow tall people once more.  
With tickets changed and the hostel booked for another night, I ventured out with Anna and Ben to do a little sightseeing.  We headed back toward Las Ramblas and ended up walking through the Gothic quarter of the city, Barrí Gotic.  Just gorgeous.  

After more shopping (I just can’t stop) and tapas, we headed back to our respective hostels for quick siestas to prepare for the night ahead.  

The Nike store preparing for the game.
Geneseo Pride

That night, FCBarcelona played Manchester United in the Champions League Final, which is the final game of a tournament that includes soccer teams from all of Europe.  With the help of my Spanish family, I’ve been becoming a Barça fan since my arrival in Spain and to be in the city during the game was amazing.  Upon recommendations from friends who’ve traveled to Barcelona before, we ended up at a bar called L’Ovella Negra (The Black Sheep).  By the time the game started, the place was packed with men and women wearing FCBarcelona flags as capes, chanting, and drinking.  Barcelona scored first, followed by a goal from Man U, with Barça putting two more away by the end of the game.  

Inside L'Ovella Negra
After one of the three goals

It was absolutely insane.  Ben and Anna and I kept turning to each other and just reveling in how cool this was.  The energy in the room was palpable, but it was nothing compared with the streets outside. 

Here’s a video of people on Las Ramblas celebrating the win, and another one of the traffic on the Passeig de Gracía after the game.  
Aside from the amazing walk through the Barri Gotic, hanging out with my Geneseo buddies, and truly having a once in a lifetime experience watching the Barça game in Barcelona, Saturday was made complete when I found Christopher Columbus.
No, really.  I’d been looking for him since Thursday.
Aside from the thievery, shopping, and long-distance walking that Las Ramblas is known for, it’s also famous for it’s living statues.  While walking down the long street, every five minutes you encounter a living statue who will take some pictures with you if you drop a couple coins in their buckets.  On Thursday, I got a couple pictures with this lady:

And I also saw Christopher Columbus, but didn’t stop to take pics.  After I thought about it for a while, I decided that I should really get a couple good exploratory photos with him, but when I turned back, he was nowhere to be found.  I also looked for him Friday and Saturday morning, and finally stumbled upon him before heading to The Black Sheep for the game Saturday night.  Here are the results:

Just can’t help myself sometimes. 

Alright, kiddos, Barcelona has been officially blogged!  Hope you've enjoyed this little series of posts as much as I enjoyed my trip!  We are now officially in June, the month in which I return back to the States and am reunited with all of you from back home who've been following along on this journey!  As always, thanks for the continued support!  Christopher Columbus and I appreciate it more than you know!

And as always, thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. Love the finale to the Barcelona visit!!! And so glad you are less of an Amazon there. But it doesnt change the fact that you do a Xena Warrior Princess shout whenever you you.