Before I leave Barcelona I would like to tell about a place called Roca Barcelona Gallery. It was a raining day. Had to wake up early for a new adventure, to a place called Roca. Roca was started in 1917 by the Roca brothers. Roca is still owned by the 4th generation of the Roca family. Roca is a worldwide company that sells everything that has to do with the bathroom. Roca is the leading producer in sustainable bathroom products. They have been able to reduce water usage from 20 liters to 2 liters when using the throne. They have redone the faucet so that cold water comes first before hot water. (we don’t have this problem in the US but in Europe they have only one knob, like the kitchen sink). Currently Roca is trying their best to enter the US market but there is one problem, Kohler.
Friday the 3rd – We went to visit Eivissa the Friday of our weekend trip to Ibiza. There is a fortress there up on the cliff side that we decided to stroll through after having some lasagna. One of the first things you notice when you climb up is the view, both of the city behind you and the beautiful blue sea in front, or rather down below.
There were various placards throughout the fortress telling of the history. I tried to read them all, but I fell behind the group after a while. I did learn that the fortress was used to sight incoming ships from afar. They would fire cannonballs that would explode midair, and explosive grenades from mortar launchers. Eivissa isn’t only known for fortresses and cannons, though, as it has long been used for fishing. I also learned this day that my camera phone can take panoramic pictures, and I took advantage of this to get some pretty cool pictures.
Sunday the 5th – About half of our group had ordered tickets for a ferry ride back to Barcelona from Ibiza. We were all anxious this morning as to what the ferry would be like. There was almost no information available about the trip or the boat, just that it would be an 8 hour ferry that was cheaper than flying at the time. I think most of us were pleased with the experience once we got on.
When I heard we were taking a ferry, I thought of the old Oregon Trail computer games in which they made a ferry out of their wagon to cross the rivers. I was expecting a smaller boat with little room to move about. The ship itself was massive though, practically a cruise ship. There were rooms to store our bags, watch a movie and television, and eat food, in addition to the outside decks. Most of us started the voyage by taking a siesta on the top deck under the sun. The breeze from sailing so fast felt good with the sunshine out. Then after watching Ralph Nadal emerge victorious over Roger Federer in the tennis championship, I found some of our group members outside on the deck. We took some time to study for Dr. Rasheed’s test the next day outside under the sun. I also sketched a picture of an island I saw outside, but I learned that when you draw things that move, you have to be quick! We went inside after a long while of studious activity and found the cafeteria was closed, so we sat around a table and learned a new card game.
As time passed by more, the sun was starting to set. We all walked out to the deck to look at the beautiful sunset. The pictures we took are fantastic, but they don’t even compare to the actual sight. Once the sun set, the boat was perfectly timed to arrive at Barcelona.
I’m back after a terrific time in the beautiful island of Ibiza. The island was nothing like I have seen before. It had such a unique landscape, an amazing nightlife and on top of that people from all parts of the world. I got to meet groups of fellow students from Ireland, Holland, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Luckily for me and the group most of the inhabitants spoke English. This was very handy especially when I got lost. Ibiza isn’t the easiest place to navigate through but just like Barcelona there were means of public transportation. All-in-all the trip was great. The only downfall was the weather unfortunately. It was cold and rainy with the exception of the first day.
First Week: If you can imagine a child lost in the mall, than you can imagine an adult [hence me] lost in Spain. Lost in the culture, in the language, moreover lost in Barcelona. Every corner of the blocks all seemed exactly the same. It never failed to make a wrong turn or get off the wrong bus stop, even with a map at hand.
Second Week: If it were not for my unwanted adventures through Gran Via and the streets within a 5 mile radius of what I thought was my apartment, I would of never experienced Barcelona. Getting lost is and was part of my experience through the beautiful city. Now i walk through the streets with confidence and security.
To be continued…
No Pasa Nada
A cultural phrase, “Dont worry about it”
LOL- I doubt it.
While still in the US, I laughed at the notion
questioned if the Spaniards simply sipped some sort of sorcerous potion
‘Why’, you ask?
I used to be the queen of Worry
always in a hurry
moving fast, life sometimes seemed blurry.
First week in Spain.
Is it too late to delete my last three lines?
In Espana, there is no rush!
Top floor of an apartment, an attic to be exact
no a/c! Life doesn’t seem sustainable, even for a rat.
but dont make a fuss.
to be honest, trying to explain week one in rhymes
is like being told to color inside the lines
because the Spaniards may not like whats on my mind.
so I have to keep my expectations or disappointments bottled up inside.
Week 2 in Spain
To think there is none is more of an absurdity
Maybe week one was more of me missing the hometown university
because week 2 was all about improvement, certainly!
Cultural synergy has fed my individualistic energy to become more united.
Whether in or out of the states,
on a date
or at work with my teammates.
Ive learned its more about a give and take
and to compromise isn’t a mistake.
No Pasa Nada.
I woke early this morning to travel to a new place
Sitting on the bus I rubbed away the sleep in my face.
Today we journeyed to Gerona, Spain
All of us are here to enhance the knowledge in our brain.
Historical structures fill my eyes
Accompanied by glorious temperatures and blue skies.
We enjoyed sightseeing and walking
Being informed by a tour guide who had an accent while talking.
Our tour ended with a spectacular lunch
Tappas, pallea, and flan gave my hunger a punch.
Back on the bus we went and I took a nap
At this point I don’t know if this is poetry or rap.
Our next destination was the museum of Salvador Dali and his art
Surrounded by pieces that had no ending or start.
His works were magnificent and spectacular
The man must have been a genius on a level that is molecular.
One particular piece was a loaf of bread covered in gold
I cannot fathom the price for which it could be sold.
After the museum we journeyed home
I will forever remember this day in my dome.
Cooking in class, Catalonian style.
Got a small list of recipes I’ll use for a while.
Brief intro with top chef Ignacio.
It was clear for good food, Cook & Taste is where to go.
First we made desert; it was creme catalana.
Maria and Amber were kind enough to do the honors.
Mixed the eggs with the sugar, added milk and some lemon.
The way they worked the whisk, I could swear I was in heaven.
Boiled the cream, let it cool, split it in small dishes.
Put it in the fridge for our future desert wishes.
Next it was time to put together the tortillas.
But this task had no Mexican tortilla features.
Me, Stan and Suri got to peeling potatoes and onions.
Chopped ‘em up, then fried ‘em up like it wasn’t nothin!
Drained the soft potatoes and beat 11 eggs in a bowl.
Mixed it, dropped it in a pan and let the heat take its toll.
Flipped it over on a plate so me and Jacob could cook the other side.
Finished on the stove, so to the next task we could slide.
Broke out fresh wheat bread, spread tomato all around
With a little garlic, salt and olive oil, this meal was going DOWN!
That’s just the beginning because there was more to be done.
The way the food was shaping up, this cooking class was fun!
David, Joel and Tatiana were next to participate
Small experience in the kitchen but their tomato soup was great.
They peeled the tomatoes & blended with vinegar and salt.
Suri hooked up the pesto since there was no time to halt.
Served it up in chupeto glasses and added graded cheese.
Felt like a five star restaurant and we were very pleased!
For the grand finale, paella con pollo was the way to go.
Ignacio cooked it in an electric pan that took up the whole stove!
First he browned the chicken, then added in some veggies.
At just about this point, my appetite was oh-so heavy.
Next he fried the rice and added chicken stock with saffron.
One of the most expensive plants in the world, we were snacking on.
The broth boiled down, similar to jambalaya.
And after about 20 minutes, it was time to kill the fire.
Dinner was served and we enjoyed it thoroughly!
Can’t wait to try this at home so my friends and fam can see!!
We have now been in Spain about a week and a half and I have to say despite several completely random problems, I am really enjoying it here. It feels nice to just be mobile and walking to all my destinations rather than driving. The weather seems to be perfect most of the time, even the light jacket weather.
There are so many small yet significant differences here that I notice everyday. For example, many of the light switches have internal timers and depending on their location like a hallway turn off really quickly. I find it somewhat difficult to get used to but I am sure it saves quite a bit of electricity. The people here are also different, generally healthier and skinnier looking which is reflected in everything from the amount of food per serving to the skinnier shape of their toilet seats. The public transportation is very easy to use and pretty quick and efficient; so even though I like the freedom of a car I could definitely get used to the metro and buses here.
The coffee, wine, olive oil and much of the food is amazing. I am glad I packing an additional bag to take some back with me, especially considering how much cheaper some of it is here. Though I came here primarily for these two management courses, this trip had been a really great opportunity to practice Spanish and I am surprised at the ease in which I can understand the locals and vice verse.
The picture I’ve added is of Suri and I at the beach at Port Olympic. It is a beautiful beach with delicious restaurants all along it that become clubs at night so both night and day its been a very fun place to go. I have a lot more to see but I might plan to return to Gerona, the architecture was just so beautiful and interesting. This weekend most of the group, including myself, is headed to Ibiza. I’ll have to do some studying tonight for Rasheed’s exam because I guarantee its not happening this weekend!
I love Barcelona!
(to the fresh prince beat)
West Texas, born and raised, eating big macs is how I spent most of my days.
Chillen out, relaxin by the pool maybe reading some b law outside of the school,
When Dr. Abdul, who was up to no good, started talkin about gettin out of the neighborhood.
I got on one little flight and I’m almost there, he said “we’re going to be late but Spain doesn’t care”
We whistled for a waiter and when he came near, it had been one hour that seemed like a year.
If anything I could say that this guy was weird but I thought “Na forget it, yo homes, one beer!”
We pulled up to Grand Via 207 or 208, doesn’t matter, no one here knows directions anyway.
Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, good thing its not a dorm that has no air
To add to my story, these people are crazy, taking naps makes them look kind of lazy.
Drink a cafe con leche for a little pep in your step, but not to much or you’ll be in debt.
Cause the exchange rates here are oh so high, and trying to get a job? YA RIGHT.
The futbol game was the best thing yet, giving high fives to everyone I met.
By the end of the night all I could say, was “Campiones Campiones, ole ole ole”