Friday started out with a “good workout” for Cass and I – aka we walked from Petra’s to Gaudi’s Park Güell. That basically entailed us walking up San Francisco-style hills for a half hour or so, but it was nice to get to walk through the Gracia neighborhood and such. Like usual, we had planned on meeting up with Bri, Julian, Alice, and Dave once there, and the designated meeting spot was supposed to be the “front gates.” Also like usual, we didn’t arrive there at the same time so Cass and I were sitting up on the mosaic benches on top when thankfully Bri spotted my A-Phi tank top. We wandered around Gaudi’s famous park and took in the impressive columns, mosaic work, the lizard, and finally made our way towards the cross at the very top. While en route, we stumbled upon a live reggae performance with some crazy dreads and enthusiasm; it was a contagious atmosphere with everyone clapping their hands to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” We eventually found our way to the cross, and looked out over all of Barcelona; it is possibly the best view of the city.
To my and Cass’ surprise, Friday happened to be not only Alice’s birthday, but also Petra’s birthday! On our way back from the park we picked up some flowers for her big day and gave them to her later that night for our special dinner; Petra made vegetables, fish, and some delicious boiled shrimp for the occasion. We also toasted one another in her honor with cava and had a bit of some pastry for dessert; we were delighted to celebrate her day with her!
After one birthday celebration en casa, we met Alice, Dave, Bri, & Julian at Chupitos near Barceloneta to help the other birthday girl celebrate properly! I must say, I do not particularly recommend the Turbo, LSD, or Bob Marley shots there. Just a word to the wise! While we nearly melted in the indoor inferno that is that Chupitos location, we managed to make it out alive and headed to the W Hotel to get our groove on at their club there. We wiggled our way up to the 26th floor and proceeded to dance the night away to some legit throwback jams and top shelf cocktails. Julian would not let me forget when I went up to the DJ and asked “Do you have any Daft Punk?” to which he slowly looked up at me and responded, “…It’s playing right now…” HA- who knew!
For some reason, when Dave, Alice, Bri, and Julian had all decided to eventually retire their dancing shoes for bed, Cass and I meandered across Barceloneta on over to Olympic, one of the beach clubs with no cover. Our plan had been to “dance for an hour till the metro re-opens at 5 am”… next thing we knew it was 7, the sun was out, and people were going for early morning runs as we made our way home. Whoops! The only casualty of the night was sadly Cass’ go-to sandals. R.I.P.
After getting a little shuteye, Cass and I woke up on Saturday and walked from Petra’s to the W Hotel (an hour long walk, our longest yet). Once we eventually spotted Bri & Julian, we sunbathed groggily and chatted about the previous night’s shenanigans. It was like a little slice of heaven to get to lie down on an actual lounge chair (as opposed to our usual towel) and have ice water at one’s beck and call. Saturday night we met the crew at Plaza España; it was great to get to see a bit of PRIDE again there! We had dinner on top of the old plaza de toros en un restaurante se llama Cinco Jotas (5Js) and tried various tapas, paella, and wine. From there, we finished our night up at Alex’s bar in the Born neighborhood.
On Sunday Cass and I ran from Petra’s to Ciutadella Park, did a stairs circuit, and then back home; it was perfect weather! Slowly but surely, we are making more progress on backpacking plans. Sunday evening we took the tren to Sant Cugat for local festivities there. The boys met us at the station and showed us around a bit of their town as we made our way to Alex’s apartment. We hung out with Xavi, Coro, Mario, Josh, Alejandro and Marisol, listening to everyone’s favorite songs and attempting to teach one another games. Low and behold, we ended up accidentally missing the majority of the fireworks show, only catching the grand finale from a distance. Mario made a pasta dinner for us at midnight, and Cass and I caught the first train back to BCN at 4:45 am and yet again slept till noon. We are becoming too good at this.
Dad, Julie, and Alan arrive in BCN tomorrow!