Sunday, April 5th 2015
Monday, April 6th 2015
For the first time in my life I truly feel like my Spanish is really useful. I felt very excited to be able to use it and pleased that after all these years it was coming back to me. I found throughout these five days that I can comprehend quite well although have a much more difficult although not impossible time speaking. I also found that I really felt like needed the Spanish. Compared to everywhere else that I’ve travelled throughout Europe, I feel like I would have been somewhat lost and had issues if I didn’t know some Spanish. I used it so much and talked to so many people where knowing Spanish was the only option. One example is this morning to Casa Milá, I asked a man for directions. He explained it all to me, and in the middle he asked if I understood. I instinctively responded with yo comprendo (I understand) because the Spanish didn’t even phase me, I was understanding mostly everything he said perfectly. It gave me a good confidence boost!
By ten pm, I finally made it back to Hannah's apartment to enjoy dinner with her.
Tuesday, April 7th 2015
We climbed up the mountain to get the amazing view from the top. I have to say, I have never more appreciated traveling alone before this experience. Their company was great and I really got along with them but listening to them try to plan and figure out how they will all meet or what they will do was hilarious to me who has been travelling completely by myself. I am certainly proud of this new independence.
So, we hiked up to the top and had an amazing view over the city and the sea. I went into the castle with two of the girls. I really enjoyed their company, so much so that we got distracted from looking at the castle. When we realized that we’d been distracted, we got up from our great view to explore the rest of the castle. We went up onto the roof and then into the museum. The museum actually had alot of translations in Hebrew, which really surprised me. I mean we were on the Mountain of the Jews, but it was very surprising to see the Hebrew. I then noticed the time and raced down the mountain to meet Hannah at the Olympic Museum.
Wednesday, April 8th 2015
That afternoon, Hannah and I went shopping. It was fun to wander in and out of stores. I found a fun colorful dress that I would never be able to find anywhere else. I also found a artist’s market, which are my favorite. This is when the jewelers or artists are there selling the things that they made, some of them making more behind the counter. I love talking to them and getting to know them, because it makes buying their jewelry so much more meaningful. I met one lady who was fun to chat with and made beautiful things.
Thursday, April 9th 2015
After lunch, I went with the two girls to relax on the dock. We walked across the water and found a nice place to sit on the dock, right under where Christopher Columbus was pointing. I think I fell asleep for a little, because I had a nice tan line from my pocket book across my chest when I came back to Hannah’s a long while later. As we were sitting there, I saw/heard a marching band and lots of balloons. I decided to go find out what was going on. I went over and got my own balloon. There is a ship sailing across the world, and today they were stopping in Barcelona, so the band was celebrating that. The band was excellent. They were dancing and singing and having a great time with their music. I followed them around for quite a bit, enjoying the music and the fun. After awhile, I said bye to my new friends and walked to La boqueria to enjoy some strawberries (and save some for later!). I did some shopping for gifts and then headed back to Hannah’s apartment.
Sephardic synagogues are much different from Ashkenazi, so I decided that I wanted to visit one while in Barcelona. Hannah and I went to an Orthodox synagogue for the evening service. I of course had to sit on the balcony, which I hate so much, but that is part of the culture. The first part was very chanty and the second was much more songy. Every passionately stated AMEN when it was time. Hearing the prayers and hymns that I knew so well but in totally different tunes was fun. I could decently keep track of the page even though the books were in Spanish and Hebrew. It was nice to know that wherever I go in the world, I will always be able to find some Jewish community and have a feeling of home and be welcomed in. Hannah didn’t like it so much, but I thought it was a nice cultural experience. We went home and changed before heading to Gracia for dinner. Hannah and I enjoyed a delicious tapas dinner. We got the Spanish peppers (pimientos padronea), fried artichokes, spinach croquettes, salad with warm goat cheese and my favorite of the meal prawn sewers. Hannah said it was her favorite meal in Spain, so I was so glad to spend it with her.
Kate joined us and we enjoyed a delicious pitcher of Sangria. It has been great staying with Hannah! I treasure our friendship since we’ve been friends for so long, since preschool. It was amazing to spend time with her and I can’t wait to see her back in the states.