As the title suggests, I did a lot of walking this week from three miles around the city Wednesday to a little over six miles today (It felt like more). Tuesday was a pretty relaxing day other than taking a walk around Marc’s campus. He attends the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which is known for its physics department. For an idea, Marc currently works at CERN.
So, after resting for the afternoon, I headed out to Barcelona the next morning with a couple things to see in mind. Number one was La Pedrera, a work by Gaudi that was originally hated and said to look like a stone quarry before eventually being praised as ahead of its time. The walk there wasn’t much of a problem. The steep admission fee was. I decided that for a two hour wait and twenty euros, the building wasn’t worth it. My next stop was a little farther: La Sagrada Familia. Luckily for me, this other Gaudi masterpiece offers plenty of touristy excitement outside as well as in. While the admission fee was pretty good (I’m young=I’m cheap), I still would have had a five-hour wait to see the inside. Once again, not really worth it. In other words, Wednesday was good for sightseeing, exercise, and picture-taking, but not touring.
Thursday included another long walk. It took a few hours for me to get motivated enough to even move. Once I did, I returned to Barcelona and did a thing most tourists don’t do: walk up Montjuïc from Plaça Catalunya. The walk wouldn’t be so bad at only two miles either way. It only gets bad when you start going up the unshaded, poorly-marked road. Halfway up the mountain, I gave in and paid for the lift. This was actually a good investment as I was able to talk to my fellow riders in a mix of Spanish, English, and French. Dutch would also have been available for me to practice if I’d known it. Once at the castle on the hill, I took a few pictures before riding back down and getting lost on my way along the embarrassingly straight road to Plaça Catalunya. I’m not entirely sure how this happened as my phone (unreliable as it is) said that I simply needed to “continue straight for 0.7 miles.” I got lost after 0.3 and had to ask for directions. Thursday evening was also interesting as it was the start of a week-long course on International Relations at the local (I kid you not) Peace University. The opening ceremony included an enjoyable play based off Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.”
Friday morning (surprise, surprise) I showed up at the university for the first lecture of the course. I won’t bore anyone with the details though the lectures themselves were interesting. Basically, it was a normal school day: I arrived at 9:00 with “class” beginning at 9:30. At 11:30 there was a coffee break until the second lecture at noon, which let out around two for lunch. The third lecture began at 16:30 (4:30 pm) and went a little late so that the fourth lecture of the day began at 18:10. This one also ran late and it was nearly 20:00 by the time I got back to the house. Still, a very enjoyable and educational day.
I didn’t attend the lectures today though they sounded pretty interesting. Where was I? That’s actually the subject of Tuesday’s blog, so instead, I’ll leave you with a picture at the bottom of the post and we’ll see if anyone can guess.