Monday, October 11, 2004

Roses and Barcelona, Spain--Days 250-254

After several weeks on the job, Elizabeth and I decided to reward ourselves for our success in the hippo business (basically we had zipped through Germany and had extra time on our hands). We decided to jet off to Barcelona for a few days vacation. My grandparents have a small apartment in the costly town of Roses and would be there for the next few days before leaving back to England. It was the perfect time to go and so we did.

We spent three days in Roses with my grandparents--what could have been better. Days lying on the beach, drinking wine (lots of it!) and spending time with my family proved the best remedy for our weary feet. We drove out to an amazing lighthouse at the most eastern point of Spain, visited the surrealist Salvador Dali's home and spent much of our time eating and showing Elizabeth just how good cheese fondue really is.

We then said goodbye to my grandparents and took the early bus down to Barcelona, spending just one full day there. We walked down Las Ramblas, stopping at the Monument a Colom by the harbor, walked back through the Old City visiting the Esglesia Catedral de la Santa Creu and watching locals dance the sardana in the square in front of the cathedral. We then spent the rest of the afternoon on a Gaudi hunt (the infamous modern architecture by Antoni Gaudi) and visited his unfinished La Sagrada Familia--a church that has been under construction for over a century, La Manzana de la Discordia where we visited Gaudi's Casa Batillo and hiked up the escalator to the famous Park Guell. It was quite a day and we rested our feet eating tapas and drinking beer for dinner. We then went back to our hostel (a far cry from the hotel life we are used to) and spent the night amongst thirty-five others in one huge communal room. Quite an experience when you are waking up at 5 a.m. to catch your bus back to the airport and people are still coming in from the night before!

We got up and headed to the bus stop and caught our bus to the Girona airport and soon were heading back to Frankfurt. The pilot informed us that the temperature in Frankfurt was 5 degrees Celsius, much to our shock and horror. He was not kidding. We touched down and Elizabeth and I got off the plane in dismay both of us cursing ourselves for not dressing more warmly!

We got the bus back to Mainz where we met Tommy again for lunch and went back to his apartment to gather our things (mostly our fall clothing that we did not bring to Barcelona!) and got the bus back to the train station. We then boarded the train to Munich and set off towards our last and final hippo stop in Germany.