Monthly Archives: July 2012

best week ever

After writing two posts this week, you’re probably wondering where this consistent blogging was during the majority of June and the first half of July.  Well, this post is here to answer exactly that question… or at least attempt to.

Two weeks ago, I had the best week ever.  In fact, it was so great that it made my amazing friend Jackie decide to stay to finish her senior year in Spain.  Even though I will miss her incredibly this fall, I’m glad she made the decision to stay because I know it’s what she really wanted and I know she’s going to have one million more of these best weeks ever in the year to come.  Congrats, Jack!

And I digress… anyway, here’s a photo list of all of the reasons why two weeks ago was the best week ever.  Hopefully I’ll get around to a blog post each about these events, but for now… I hope this will suffice.  Buen finde, amores:)

 

No hay dos sin tres. Spain makes history by winning the Eurocup final, having won the previous Eurocup and World Cup (& remember where I was all day before the game?)

Most successful Fourth of July picnic, celebrated at the picnic tables in Parque Oeste with many American and European friends.

Celebrating Nadine’s birthday with 6 for 3€ beers and then a picnic in the park the next day.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Concert as part of Rock in Rio Madrid 2012. Life goal, check.

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NEU en Barcelona

When Jackie’s cousin Caroline and her boyfriend Brian were here visiting they had the opportunity to see Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona all in one fellow swoop across the country.  Upon their return to Madrid after visiting both of the cities I loved hearing all of their thoughts about the two very different Spanish cultures they had seen.  Since I lived in Sevilla for a month (over two years ago now!) and had already been to Barcelona during the fall semester, it was really fun with all of us already being familiar with the cities themselves.

But when we got to the topic of La Sagrada Familia, Caroline and Brian stared at us with shock and awe when we told them we had rented bikes, and thus not wanted to spend time waiting in the long line to go inside.  We had been contemplating the idea of heading back to Barcelona during the summer to experience La Barceloneta and the beach anyway, so when they told us it was the most beautiful thing that had seen in their entire life, we were sold on going back again.

I bought tickets online to enter inside the Sagrada Familia and we completely avoided waiting in any lines at all, definitely worth it.  I highly recommend purchasing tickets online here, since you have a one hour window in which you can enter, with unlimited time inside.  I thought the outside was impressive, but since it’s still under construction you can’t take in all of its beauty just yet.  On the other hand, the inside of the cathedral is absolutely incredible.  From the stained glass to the intricate ceilings and beautiful stone work, not one detail was left out.

Other than that reservation, we had no other plans for the weekend.  Since we had already had the opportunity to explore la Boqueria, las Ramblas, Camp Nou, Parque Guelle and the Guadi houses during our previous visit to Barcelona in October, we had a lot more freedom this time around.  We spent two long days at the beach and two long nights out experiencing the wonderful nightlife of the city.

    

We spent the first night at Shoko, a typical club of la Barceloneta neighborhood, located right on the beach with a terrace and the option to escape from the club to relax on the beach, which I of course took advantage of.  Since it closed early for our Madrid standards (3:30am), we slowly made it back to our hostel by walking along the beach and going for a late night swim.  We spent Saturday night at a huge festival/party/I’m not even sure what to call it at El Poble Espanyol.  El Poble is a village built during the Barcelona Olympics to showcase the unique cultures, architectures and foods of the different regions of Spain.  We didn’t get to explore the whole village, but we did see the huge Plaza Mayor and the Andalucian neighbourhood, which really did remind me so much of the small winding streets of Sevilla.

We ate amazing seafood, like garlic shrimp and seafood & chicken paella, vinegar mussels and fresh calamari, only fitting as we were finally near the ocean.  Before getting on our train back to Madrid on Sunday night we also enjoyed sandwiches from Bo d B, recommended by a friend of a friend who had previously studied in Barcelona.  For American tourists the sandwiches are nothing special, but I assure you that after a year without access to anything remotely resembling a deli, Panera, bagel shop, etc. it was the best sandwich I’ve had in a while.  Study-abroad students in Barcelona, I highly suggest visiting this place!

We returned to Madrid sunburned and exhausted, but so content with the wonderful weekend we had just had.  What made it even better is that we met up with friends from Northeastern, some that we hadn’t seen since we left Boston last year.  It was great to see you guys and I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration, Bridget!  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  Ciao, amores:)

{buenos días, barcelona}

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piscinas y barbacoas

Although we spent this past weekend on the beach in Barcelona (post to come about that later this week), we’ve had a pretty standard schedule every Sunday for the past few weeks now.  Its been so hot every weekend, that we’ve been forced out to one of our friends’ pools outside the city.  And of course, we can’t help but indulge in a hangover-induced, over-the-top, grilling feast while there.

The first week it was sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs at Dani’s house after being saved from the madness of the public pool.  After a few attempts to make it to the Canal Public Pool we finally made it through the hour-long waiting line just to get inside to the disappointment of a sunscreen flavored swimming pool.  Luckily for us, after a few short hours of tanning, Dani offered to come pick us up, and we spent the rest of the afternoon at his pool.

Next it was a more thought-out, pre-planned cook-out lunch and afternoon pool party before Spain’s Eurocup finale at Gabi’s house.  And the week after that it was an afternoon pool party followed by a Thai Curry dinner prepared by our friend Nadine.

  

Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying our weekends more than ever, making it crazy to think I only have a handful of weekends left in Madrid!!  Hope you guys have been escaping to the pool or beach during the crazy summer heat.  Plenty of posts to come this week!  Ciao, amores:)

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