Monday, November 29, 2010
We slept in and thus decided the two day public pass to the various museums would not work out until tomorrow. Instead we walk around with the end goal of hitting up the Eiffel Tower. The architecture here is awesome. Definitely different then the Spanish.
French architecture just seems more zealous and showy. Walking around France gives you more of a hustle and bustle feel than Spain. The here are generally friendly everyone just seems to be busy, very similar to New York.
The Eiffel tower is amazing. Though I don't know if it's just me, but the sheer number of tourists and souvenir hawkers water down the experience. After wading through the masses I enjoy viewing it from several hundred yards away. A truly great monument.
Walking around we also saw Mary of the Fountain and tons of other monuments. I feel like the French commemorate everything. We eat at a casual restaurant recommended to us by the hotel concierge. I love being in the birth place of modern cooking. We split fried escargot that was creamy and buttery, and a crab cake with avocado and tomatoes which was phenomenal.
For the entrees we had duck which cooked perfectly and had that fantastic fatty flavor. The other was beef in a veloute sauce with morrel mushrooms. I originally mistakenly thought they were truffles due to the fantastic flavor. Dessert was a souffle and I can't recall what else. The souffle was ok. I've given up on that dessert I think. It's too eggy for me.
Wake up in the morning not too tired. It will be 8 hours 'til we are in Paris. Sleep and read on the plane. Wow the hostesses on this flight speak three, but I suspect four languages.
Our hotel my dad has acquired for us the Park Hyatt is retarded. When you arrive you are greeted and walked to the check in desk. The hotel clerk then walks you to your room and shows you all the amenities. The shower has two heads and a sink inside. The bath tub is a sit down jacuzzi. IT IS AWESOME. We head down to the gym and do a few maintenance sets as the weight room is seriously lacking. I'm disappointed since I can tell I've gotten weaker since starting this vacation.
We meet up with some girls we met in Sevilla. One of them lives in Paris and offers her place to stay. We decide to stay there the last two nights after our hotel stay runs out. We go out to eat, the Company is excellent, but the food leaves much to be desired. Dessert is delicious though. We go for drinks and talk til 1:30 and call it a night.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
written in Paris
Thorugh the day people tell us our songs (My Humps and Don't Stop Believing
We eat again at the same tapas place as before. The food was good, the waitress mean. Not sure why exactly though in Spain waiters and waitresses are not tipped so there is less incentive. We head to Park Gruell a park constructed over 15 years by Antonio Gaudi.
O ya it was raining HARD. My feet are soaked but I still thoroughly enjoy the park taking in the curved lines and natural features of his work. Upon our return we whip up some homemade pizza. The first one is a disaster, but the second turns out great. Both taste good. We also decide to teach some Brits danger ball. They are terrible. We blame this on their lack of hand-eye coordination due to soccer being their countries sport. They become more mad, and lose two more times. AMERICA F*** YA!
David and I prepare to go out partying for one last night and as we step out into the heavy rain head back. It's already 1am and we have a flight around 9:30. Not worth it.
We started the day with some tapas and then took to seeing the Gaudi houses just north of our hostel. They're awesome and memorable because they are so different. They are lots of other great buildings, beautiful buildings, but these are the pride of Spain. I wonder how hard making the first house was? When no one wanted to test the boundaries. It was too different, too risky. These are the type of thoughts that go through my mind when I see things like this.
We hit up karaoke at night. It was badass. We didn't get sing as much as we would like but Kelli and I nailed "My Humps". This is after lots of Orange Fanta and Vodka. Apparently if you can sing with an American accent you are a god. Luckily, I barely had to try. We tear the house down and become superstars in our own right. After leaving the stage I immediately get pulled into a gaggle of german girls. They laugh at anything I say and I make fun of them for their accents (I'm drunk what can I say). They insist I attend brunch with them the next morning. I tell them most likely I will be asleep, but I will try. Lots of internationals there. I love this place.
written day after in hostel
We woke up brutally late. I got up at 12:30 and David got up at 1:30. It was only after much effort on my part that this happened. It's labor day in Spain therefore all the stores and shops are closed. Restaurants are the only things open. As there isn't much to do we decide to cook for lunch. As things are cooking we decide to watch Lord of War. After the movie and lunch it's too late to do anything as Gary and Kelli arrive today between 4 and 5:30.
It's exciting to see them. Nice to have friends to party with you. We decide to all walk to to the shore for some dinner. At the cathedral a very large group of Socialist have gathered. They want more labor rights. The unemployment rate in Spain is around 20% compared to about 10% for the US.
We end up finding our way to Pizza Del Born again after searching for La Champarepo. Great food again. As we're heading back down the street protesters have spray painted the walls. Sickles and hammers as well as crossed out Euro symbols line the streets in red ink. I've never been in the midst of a political protest before. It seemed well controlled when we walked by on our way to eat; though there are rumors that it could get violent. With the rampant graffiti I wouldn't be surprised.
At night we head to a club called Opium. Another club on thebeack. The doorman doesn't like my sweet Grade A rain pants. I get kicked out of the line we have been waiting almost 10 minutes in. It then ominously begins to rain on us. My pants are dry, +1 rain pants. We head to the backdoor of the club along the beach and sneak in under darkness and poor lighting. Rain pants are now ready to rage. After a couple of drinks we head outside and talk to Aimee and Naomi two girls from Barcelona. It's hilarious to see Kelli spastically trying to communicate in broken Spanish. The girls stay with us the rest of the night. We get our dance on 'til 5 am and head home.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Woke up at 11:30. We got back last night at 3:30, which is early night by Barcelona standards. We got up and headed to this giant pita place. Great food. I've enjoyed the food here more than any of our previous stops. The plan was to cook dinner to save some funds, but we found ourselves along the coast and ended up trying fresh paella. This one was strictly seafood. I'm not a huge fan of it to be honest. With clams, mussels, prawns, shrimp, and scallops it tasted too briny to me. There is nothing else to balance out the flavor. We won't eat it again. Our appetizer of fried squid was excellent. Tonight we head to this place called Otto's which has three floors. We show up at midnight to an empty club. It's 1am and people start slowly coming in; by 2 am the place is packed. I love dancing and we do that 'til 5am. By the time we head home I've broken into a sweat. AWESOME NIGHT.
written day after in hostel
The bus ride here sucked, real bad. The bus shook back and forth for the entire trip. The bus from Granada to Madrid was the exact opposite. We got in around 7:15 and got some breakfast before checking in. I slept for another 4 hours and we checked in at 1:30. On a recommendation of a friend in Houston we went to Pizza Del Born; really good. They use local fresh ingredients. I have a long list of places to try before we leave here. Dinner we head to a nicer restaurant we passed on our way down to the beach. We eat a lot of good food, my favorite being a paquillo pepper stuffed with apricot and mascerpone cheese. The coffee and fresh ham are also memorable.
At night we headed to a local club. The drinks there were expensive at 9 Euros each, but had about 3-4 shots of liquor. The club was mostly foreigners and the music was an odd mix of obscure 90's, new age, and house. Still the club was rocking and we had a blast. Barcelona is going to be crazy.