Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hello Mediterranean...

Day 10: Down by the Boardwalk...

Today I woke up and headed down to the free breakfast in the hostel and I ran into people from Hope!  What a small small world.  It was fun chatting with them, one of the girls is studying in Liverpool and another in Rome.  Out of all of the places to meet up, Barcelona, and out of all of the hostels, the little Barcelona Dream hostel way out of the city.  Once again, small small world.

Today we went to find the Olympic stadium.  Little did we know that the "real" Olympic attractions were back in the city.  We found a stadium that looked semi-important but it was pretty abandoned and run down so it was a bit of a disappointment, seeing as we were expecting this grand stadium.  Haha.  So this is a picture of me and my friend Nicole, confused as to why the stadium looked better in our friend's pictures. Maybe because the real stadium is back on the other side of Barcelona?

After our Olympic stadium fail, we headed down to the beach.  Perfect weather: Sunny and not too hot and not cold.  Perfection.  We saw the cutest family, a dad and son playing soccer and get this, they even had color-coordinating outfits!  Perfect little Spanish family.  We sat and people watched for awhile and then headed down to a boardwalk.  I think this picture of Nina and I sums up our relationship nicely.  Lots and lots of laughs together and I'm going to miss her when I have to leave.  Luckily she lives in Iowa, which isn't too far from the great state of Michigan.

After the boardwalk, we stopped at a little restaurant to get lunch.  We wanted paella and actually had to search to find a restaurant that would serve paella and not just tapas.  But of course, where there's a will there's a way, and we ended up finding a small family owned restaurant and we all got seafood paella.  It was delicious!  When in Spain, one must eat paella.

After the day at the beach, we had to head back to the hostel to gather out stuff to head to Girona.  We decided to stay in Girona for the night because we wanted to be close to the airport the next morning.  And why not see one more city in Spain?  A lot of our friends made fun of us because we would be staying in Girona, but we didn't care too much since it was an opportunity to explore a new city.  So a little note to everyone:  Girona is not just the home of a Ryanair airport.  It is actually a charming Spanish city.  Quaint, overlooked city, a nice place to relax after the busyness of Barcelona.

For the night, we got ice cream and people watched.  If you can't tell, I love to people watch.  It's fun to see people going about their daily activities and imagining if you lived in the city as well.  Just something I think is fun to do.  After the ice cream, note after not before, we headed for some dinner.  We caved and got some Domino's pizza because we were all craving American pizza.  It was definitely worth it!

Later that night we were informed that there would be a procession (parade) going through town because it was Holy Week.  So we staked out spots on the bridge so that we would be able to see.  It was a rather strange event.  The people in the parade really did look like the KKK, and I was fascinated by all of the people in the parade.  I feel like all of the citizens of Girona were in the parade because it lasted over an hour!  The parade itself represents the different stages in Jesus' life and it was definitely different than celebrations in the United States.  I guess the hooded costumes freaked me out the most, but I'm glad that I was able to see it.  I thought that since I had left Spain for Semana Santa that I would be missing out on the processions, but who knew that in the little town of Girona, I would be able to witness one of Spain's most popular events.  Girona, you're awesome!

After the procession, we were feeling a little tired and we wanted to get enough sleep to be able to get up early and explore Girona a bit more.  Successful day.

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