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Murphey’s Law (oh yeah and Chatsworth)

This post is going to be about my trip to Barcelona.  For those of you who don’t know it, Murphey’s Law states that everything which can go wrong will go wrong sooner or later, and that was certainly true for this trip.  Still, I had a good time and I’m very glad I went.

The first problem was the flight from London.  We got on the plane at a normal time and everything, but they didn’t shut the cabin doors until about two hours after the plane was supposed to take off.  Since my flight was already at 5:40pm, this meant that I didn’t get into Barcelona until after 11:00pm.  We ate dinner at 1:30am.  Also, Asiyla’s flatmates adopted this evil cat.  They found her on the streets when she was a kitten, so now she’s really mean to new people, i.e. me.  She was especially protective of one of the bathrooms, so every time I needed to pee I had to back into a corner with her hissing at me.  She even managed to get through TWO CLOSED DOORS to find her way into the room where I slept the second two nights.  HOW DID SHE DO THAT?  Terrifying!

The next day went normally enough.  I walked around the old part of the city a bit in afternoon with Asiyla, and we went to this museum about the Roman ruins underneath the city.  It was interesting and beautiful with the kind of windy streets that I always love.  After we ate lunch Asiyla had to go teach a class, so I went to the waterfront to read.  It wasn’t a beach – it was the built-up part of the waterfront – but it was really sunny and it felt great to lie on a weird metal bench-thing and relax for a while.  Then I wandered over to Las Ramblas, the touristy street with older roads branching off from it.  I decided to take one of the tiny winding streets, and I think that was my favorite part of the city.  I found so many interesting stores there, and the general setting was really cool.  I also went to La Boqueria, the famous market off Las Ramblas.  Most of the stands had fruit, though some had sweets or fish.  I got a DELICIOUS fruit juice thing.  After that I went to a cafe to wait for Asiyla to get out of her class, and then we went to a seafood restaurant where the food was alive like fifteen minutes before we ate it.  At the time, this seemed cool and it was SO GOOD.  However, it was not cool for very long…

…which leads me to the next problem of the trip.  That night we just watched an interesting movie and all seemed well, but by 9:00am the next morning Asiyla was sick.  It seems that she got some sort of food poisoning from the fish, which was quite undercooked.  We’d planned to go into the Pyrennees that day for a short hike, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen anymore.  Asiyla suggested that I go to this hill/park area. I walked around for a long time up there – the weather was beautiful and there was lots to see.  I saw an old Olympic stadium and pool, an enormous art museum that looked like a castle (which overlooked some realllllyyyyyy long, grand steps leading to a huge fountain that was sadly not on), a bunch of gardens, a castle where Franco imprisoned his enemies during the civil war, and generally beautiful views of the city and surrounding mountains.  That night I basically did nothing, since Asiyla was sick and everything.

The next day Asiyla was still sick so she couldn’t spend time with me.  I went to the Sagrada Familia, which I assume everyone knows.  Then I went to the beach.  It wasn’t REALLY warm enough to hang out on the beach in a sweatshirt – I got a bit cold sitting there finishing my book – but it was sunny and I still enjoyed it a lot.  Plus, the walk there was really nice – most of it was down a long street with a pedestrian walkway in the middle.  I still regret not getting ice cream on that walk.  Then I had another quiet night.

The final problem of this trip was the most potentially problematic, in a way: when I set my alarm for 7:30 on Sunday so that I could catch my flight, I forgot that my phone was still on UK time.  This meant that when I woke up, it was actually 8:30 – and I didn’t realize this until 9:00 when Asiyla pointed out the time. I panicked, packed as fast as possible and barely managed to make the next train to the airport.  I was supposed to arrive in time for boarding, but my ticket said that the baggage check desk would close an hour before – which was 10:00, exactly when the train was supposed to arrive at the airport.  I panicked again, assuming that I was about to have to pay for a new ticket to Dublin.  However, when I arrived at the desk it turned out that some other guy happened to be there ten minutes late too, and all was well.  Still, the desk was one of the farthest away, the terminal was the far one, and my gate was literally the last one in the terminal.  I was lucky to get the flight.

So it wasn’t smooth, but I enjoyed Spain.  It was especially fun speaking Spanish.  Obviously I did this minimally, but I understood most of what people said to me which was cool.  Right now I am at the farm in Ireland, and I have a ton of exciting things to say about it already.  However, I think I’ll save that for another post when I’ve been here longer.

I almost forgot – a week ago today I went to Chatsworth.  It was SUCH a great day.  The countryside around the house was BEAUTIFUL, and the mansion wasn’t at all disappointing.  It was so great to see the place I’ve wanted to visit for about six years.

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