Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Spanish

What a week (or 10 days really). I got back from Spain, well it was supposed to be late Monday, but was really early Tuesday. It was a trip of ups and downs. Overall positive I'd say. I had been in a huge rush to get my data collected for my presentation, and in the end it all went to hell. Sometimes technology will turn on you. My presentation was cancelled in the end...they didn't mind, I was the last talk of the last session, so attendance wouldn't have been great anyway. But anyway, a recap of the whole trip:
Day 1: Fly to Spain. I got too see my parents in the morning. They had come into town for a dive trip to the Keys, so we met for breakfast and got to hang out for a little while, then they drove me to the airport while Russell went to work, and my adventure began. All of my flights were delayed...this was ok, because I had a long layover in Newark, and both flights were delayed. So after many hours in airports and alseep on planes, I landed in Barcelona around 11 am local time. I have been to Europe twice, but never to Spain. Getting through customs was a breeze (dear the TSA and US customs....). As I was getting my luggage I noted the pictures of ETA members posted all over the airport. Once out, I caught a cab to my Hotel. I was staying in the Barceloneta district, down by the beach, in a Student Residence. It is a pretty sweet setup, kind of a combination of a dormitory and a hostel. It was clean, pleasent, and unlike some Hostels, pretty quiet. Thanks to my sleep on the plane, once I had cleaned up, I was ready to go explore the city.
I flew in to Barcelona two days before the conference started so I could at least see a little. I wandered out from the hotel and out into the City. My first stop was the Barcelona Aquarium. I can't help it, whenever I am in a new city with an aquarium I have to go. The aquarium was nice, not huge but with relatively good displays. I really liked their Mediterranean stuff.

After the aquarium I headed up into the old Barri Gotic (the old Gothic District). Parts of this district have been in place since Roman times. It was my favorite neighboorhood, all narrow streets and winding alleys, too small for vehicles but full of cool shops.
I spent the rest of the day wandering this part of town before meeting my labmates for dinner.

Day Two: Barcelona is Famous for its architecture, and having done a report in my Spanish class about Gaudi, I was determined to to go see a lot of his stuff. So my labmate Amy and I set off first thing to go check out the Sagrada Familia.
This cathedras is every bit as cool as I expected. Not even the scaffolding detracts, because it is pretty cool to see what building a cathedral of this scale actually takes.I love how you can see what is new vs old construction, based on the color and weathering. I also love the contrasting art and architecture styles of the front and back...The pictures above were from the front, here is the back:The inside is super cool too (and also covered in scaffolding).
You can go up inside the towers too. So of course we did. From the top you can see the whole city.I love that the tops of some of the towers are fruit.You wind up and down through the towers, always kind of circling their structures, and occasionally get to see how far off the ground you really are.
And I loved this staircase.A very cool place. I'd love to go back years from now and see it again when it is finished (or even in a few years to see how it progresses).

Late now. Tomorrow (or Saturday) I'll post part II: More Gaudi, the Conference, and Montjuic.

1 comment:

Kat Offcourse said...

holy crap meredith. This totally kicks the pants off of switzerland!

How's hurricane season?

PS: have you seen my new bike? And I'm going to paris to see the end of le tour.......

kisses and pony nuzzles.