Sunday, November 18, 2007

Beware the old ladies

Hi all,

I got back this morning from Barcelona. It was a good trip, but I'm glad I chose to study in Granada. We became very familiar with the metro, as our hostel was about as far out as Haverford is from Philadelphia (15-20 minutes on the train). I like riding the metro, but one of the girls got her wallet picked right out of her bag while riding during rush hour. I was almost picked too; I felt something and looked down and the zipper of my bag was open, so I felt around and everything was there. I zipped it back up and kept my hand on it, and stared suspiciously at the old woman who was standing on that side of me with this big shawl over her arm so I couldn't see her hands. She got off at the next stop and two minutes later Alex realized her wallet was missing. I wish she would have gotten mine too, because then I would have confronted her and maybe gotten both back.

We were on our feet in the city all day Friday and Saturday, which got to be a pain. But we saw some cool stuff: the Goudi park, his museum, some houses he designed, the Sagrada Familia (which he also designed), the Gothic quarter and the waterfront, as well as a whole bunch of shops and booths.

Sagrada Familia (which is a cathedral) was really cool. It's still under construction. The style breaks so obviously with traditional architecture that it's really fun to see; instead of gargoyles there are these weird fruits, and the columns branch like trees. We rode the elevator to the top of a spire and walked down another with a spiral staircase that was truly dizzying. I counted 350 steps. Most of all, I like the tile that he does. It's all very colorful and imaginative.

Aside from the pickpocket paranoia (there were signs EVERYwhere advising us to take care), the people were cool. We ate at an Indian restaurant which was more exciting than I ever would have imagined. I miss Asian food! I had these vegetable "meatballs" that were mostly chickpeas I think, in this tomato sauce and there was paneer and I "mmm"ed all through lunch.

Our flight out was at 5:30am, and the bus to the airport had peculiar hours, so we slept at the airport. We got there at about 11pm and bought some wine and kiwis and goofed around. At about 1am we put on all the clothes we had and lay down on the floor with our heads on our bags and went to sleep. It was so cold it was sort of horrendous, but there were people sleeping all over the airport (apparently that's how it works around there). I also slept on the flight and on the bus ride from the airport, and when I got home. And now I'm in Granada again, and there are only four weeks left! I've got to start buying souvenirs.

With love,