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Published: June 18th 2010
So the next day Panxii and I got up to go look at their town's weekly market, which actually wasn't really that great. There was a huge section of it where they just sold clothes, which is different from the US, but then all the rest of it seemed to be just normal fruits and stuff. There were a bunch of booths with different meats and cheeses, but mostly it seemed like regular stuff that you could get at a grocery store, which I guess makes sense that they would have it since their grocery stores are way smaller. It must be that in the US, where Wal-Mart is the norm, farmers' markets need to do something special so that they can compete, and so they have cooler products.
After that we had a coffee and then Encarna, Luciano (that's her boyfriend's name!), Panxii, and I drove about 40 minutes away to go swimming at a river Panxii knew. We parked the car and then hiked about 20 minutes up this river and got to this ridiculously awesome pool with a little waterfall and rocks that you could jump off of! It was so awesome! I felt quite the prude,
The medieval wall
though, when Panxii and Luciano changed into Speedos right in front of everybody (I had worn my bathing suit there), and then Encarna went topless! It was really hard to not laugh or smile at just how ridiculous it was, and I guess I'm not really sure what I had expected, since that's apparently the way they do it in Spain! Anyway, we jumped in and swam around for a while and then came home.
I took the bus into Girona that afternoon. Girona, like almost everywhere in Spain, is an old medieval kingdom, and there's a big medieval neighborhood, complete with a cathedral and a city wall that you can walk on! So pretty much I just walked around Girona (and ate another crepe) and then I came back home and hung out for a while with Panxii and Luciano.
At this point, I hadn't heard anything from my prospective host in Zaragoza since the initial "yes, I can host you," and I was supposed to leave the next day. So I sent her a message that night trying to make sure she could host me, but I still hadn't gotten anything back in the morning by
From left: Encarna, Luciano, Panxii, Nate
the time I was supposed to leave (I still haven't heard anything from her), so I decided to take the train to Figueres to see the Dali museum there. He was born there, so this museum was supposed to be pretty great, but it was a pretty big disappointment. For one, it cost 11 euros to get in (compared to the Prado at 8 euros!), and they wouldn't give me the student discount since I didn't bring my ID. This was after waiting about 15 minutes in the line to get in. And then, predictably, once I got in the place was PACKED! And there were a ton of paintings and drawings in this narrow corridor, so if you want to stop and look at one, you have no choice but to cause a big clot in the traffic. But then even worse were all the people who would stop and take a picture of EVERY painting! So you have to wait for them if you want to go look at it, and then there are a ton of people waiting behind you and crowding you. Also, many of the paintings and especially the drawings were not labeled, so you
don't know the title or where it was from, which is in keeping with the museum that has NO information about anything! It seemed like it was designed just to be a thing that people can cross off their lists and it did nothing to try to contribute to the appreciation of its contents. However, I am still happy that I went, because there were a lot of paintings there that I knew of and really wanted to see, as well as a few that I didn't know of that I really liked. And then what made the whole day worthwhile was the view from the train ride back! On the way there I had fallen asleep, so I didn't realize how amazingly beautiful the Catalunyan landscapes were! There were just a ton of little farms and rivers and hills and cypress trees... I tried to take some pictures, but they came out really badly (as most photos of landscapes do), so I deleted them.
Then today I left Banyoles, hoping to go to Aragon, but I still don't have any definitive hosts, so I'm in Barcelona right now again. I spent literally all day trying to find a hostel with vacancy, and I finally did, so now I'm here! I'm gonna take a bus to Alcaniz tomorrow whether I have a host or not, though, just to get out of these expensive Barcelona hostels!
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