Thursday, August 30, 2007

The First Days and Tibidabo

View through the funicular window on the way up the mountain

I have a serious backlog of catching up to do--be prepared for backtracking aplenty via incomplete sentences galore. My English is regressing and my laziness......

Other than airport chaos, our first contact with Barcelona came as our taxi dumped us and our hefty bags on a random sidewalk. Two words: famished and CLUELESS. Fortunately, an old man popped out across the street, asked if we were from California (was it that obvious? haha), and led us to the Colegio Mayor Sant Jordi, our dorms for the next month. Sierra and I are roommates in a room even nicer than the ones we had in Cadiz, and the best part, aside from having a private porch, is probably the significantly larger shower. With doors. We are spoiled. The end.

On our first full day in Barcelona, we ventured out with a fellow UCSDer to see the sights. Relying on his unashamed willingness to refer to his tour book, we took a stroll through Sarria, came across Gaudi's Casa Bellesguard, and then trekked up the mountain for continued adventures. (And even though it was significantly hot when we arrived in Barca the afternoon before, Sunday brought us grey skies and several chilly downpours!) We rode the funicular, a monorail-type thing, to the top of Tibidabo harboring a magnificent church amusement park. Despite the gloom and doom, the view of Barcelona from the top was beautiful. It's very different from Cadiz, but I'm excited about the next few months and all the potential a major metropolitan city holds.

Bright and early Monday morning, we started classes for our next month-long language program. 1) Culture, History, and Literature of Contemporary Spain; 2) Catalan (Sierra hates it, I love it); 3) Spanish Grammar; 4) Lunch break (when we usually do our homework and I don't mean we work ahead...); 5) Composition and Commentary; 6) Conversation. Days are long as we also have a 40-minute roundtrip metro ride from the dorms to the University of Barcelona and back. With all our appointments and beckoning fans (we are SO popular here...), we often don't get back until 6 or 7 in the evening. Foof. But life is good. We're still settling in and familiarizing ourselves with the city, but almost all is well. (And by 'almost' I mean, ask us how we've been eating here...and you thought croissants & tap water and Cheetos & Fanta were as gourmet as they get. Another entry coming on the nutritious delights of Barcelona...)

Por mientras, aqui les mando algunas fotos:

More to come!

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