Stinky cheese and Catalun sausage

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October 8th 2008
Published: October 10th 2008
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Unfortunately, most of our actual time spent in Spain consisted of shopping (for shoes). Both Keely and I had made previous trips here so our tourist content was kept to one day. Our hotel room was in a central area of town (El Raval) but the room was an utter shoebox with it being easier to hop over the bed to get to the bathroom and vice versa (our shower was conveniently located in the corner between the sink and bidet... no shower curtain necessary).

First shopping stop was the outlets La Roca Village. We had high expectations for this place but were sadly disappointed when we discovered European fashions were not to our taste. I'd like to say that our tastes are minimal (but in reality, most likely just plain). We proceeded to kill time by ordering ridiculous Starbucks combination drinks and drinking cheap Spanish wine.

First tourist stop was La Rambla. Its always entertaining to stroll down the street and marvel at the living statue street performers (threatening death to anyone refusing to pay after taking a picture), bird sellers, general scam artists and other tourists alike. A new highlight to this trip was a stop at La Boqueria - a delightful fresh food market. Stalls offered fresh fruit (including exotics such as dragonfruit or passionfruit), meat and cheeses. In typical poor student fashion, we bought some meat and cheese to have a picnic lunch. We were looking for a perfect lunch spot but found one unexpectedly when I went to purchase a skirt and the store was completely abandoned for 20 minutes. Keely and I spent that time giggling like little schoolgirls and slyly eating our stinky cured sausage and cheeses in the corner of this store trying desperately not to get caught.

Our tourist day finished off with a visit to Parc Guell. As much as I have mocked the hop-on hop-off tourist bus concept, it would have extremely valuable at that time as it drops you off at the closest point and you walk straight uphill for 1.2 km. Unfortunately, we decided to find the Parc using only a Lonely Planet city guide and got lost. You would think that the park is easy to find but sadly we were lost in the forest of apartment buildings and narrow windy streets. A few lost gestures later and pointing blanky at maps, we were able to find directions to the base of the park... only to face another uphill hike to get to the Guell monuments.

On our last day in Spain, we ended up at the quaint town of Girona (only an hour and a half train ride from Barcelona and the Ryanair base for flights to other parts of europe) According to Wikitravel, the city has been voted one of the best places to live Spain. I can understand why as the town has cobblestone streets, a beautiful Jewish Quarter and gorgeous monumental cathedrals. We wandered the cobblestone streets and found a cute cavern restaurant to loiter in and have a crepe (not typically Catalun/Spanish but still tasty nonetheless) . Unfortunately, our best efforts in Spanish/English were misunderstood and we ended up with a full menu of the day complete with three courses. Stomachs full with food and wine, we emerged with only 9 euros less in our pocket.

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11th October 2008

Using my discount voucher I travelled through Greece and made my way to Cyprus. The boat trip was great, on the boat I purchased a few things from the shops onboard. Once I docked my hire car was there to pick up me up. I needed a hire car on my holiday so I could visit places like the Akamas, although there were excursions going here I wanted to travel alone. It really is a beautiful place
11th October 2008

It's seems yesterday to me
When I saw your blog I got very excited since you brought all of my good memories from my trip to Barcellona. Enjoy your trip and take advantage of every moment. Nazila Lajevardi

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