Monday, June 6, 2011

London, Paris, Barcelona OH MY!

Hello hello! (finally)

It has taken us this long to be able to find free computers to use and the thought of updating a blog on the iPhone was horrific, therefore here we meet!

Brittney and I are currently hanging out in the lobby of HelloBCN, our first hostel in Spain, after 5 extremely busy, fun, adventurous and tiring days. We arrived around 3pm, came to the hostel, put on our bathing suits, stopped for tapas y sangria and then immediately headed over to la playa for a fun, relaxed afternoon in the sun (exhaustion took over and we napped for 2 hours at the beach and for another 2 or 3 back at the hostel haha). Now we are waiting to go to Shoko for a fun night out at a club on the beach with the hostel. So letś give you a shortened version of our adventures so far in Europe.

First of all, let me say that we WON in London and FAILED in Paris.

London - My plane was 3 hours delayed so instead of getting to the hostel around 4 to meet Brittney, I got there around 8:45pm. Brittney arrived at the hostel around 12:30pm and I hoped that she read my Facebook message that said I was super late because we had no way of contacting each other. On top of that... both Brittney and I forgot to look up directions to the hostel before arriving at our hostel in Camden.... London Bridge... Paris... AND FREAKING BARCELONA. We still haven't learned.... hopefully we will soon. So after wandering around the city for 30 minutes, desperately searching for Wifi or someone who knew what they were talking about, a nice British man Google mapped the hostel and literally walked for almost a mile with me to make sure I got there. He said ¨See, chivalry isn't dead!¨ So precious and SO NICE. Brittney and I had such a fun night walking through the streets of Camden, having dinner at a place next to the canal, and meeting a group of guys who went to a fun little bar called Lock 17 with us. We headed back to the hostel, made friends with people there and with the staff and stayed up till 4:30am (even after 17 hours of traveling... insane). The next morning we woke up very early because we had ALL of London to see and one day to do so. Mind you, we had to carry our backpacks all day because we could not check in until 2 at our new hostel. So we started with the Camden Town Market, hopped on the Tube (our fave) and got off at Picadilly Circus, walked down Regent Street through So-Ho, walked through a bunch of cute shops (LOOOVE All Saints), ate the sparkliest and prettiest cupcakes at Top Shop, walked all the way down Oxford Street for more ¨shopping¨ but no money was spent. We finally made our way to Hyde Park where we sat down in lounge chairs and looked at the canal and proceeded to get in trouble for not paying for the chairs (oops). Then we walked to Buckingham Palace, Green Park and then we were dying from the weight of our backpacks so we made our way over to the hostel around 3pm and checked in. Then we hit London Bridge, St. Paulś Cathedral, Tate Modern, Harrods and Lauderee for macaroons, took pictures with red telephone booths, walked to Trafalgar Square, Westminister Abbey and Big Ben, ate in China Town and then went on a quest to find the Ernst & Young building to take pictures in front of it. It was around 11:30pm by the time we finished all of this so we headed back to the hostel to hang out at the pub that was below our rooms, drank Delirium Tremens on tap and listened to a fantastic band play. In my mind, a nearly perfect day where we did (almost) everything and made friends along the way.

Paris - Of course started out rough because we couldn't find Wifi to figure out where the hostel was. On top of this, we had the worldś most difficult time trying to buy tickets for the metro. I will not bore you with the details, but letś just say that we arrived at 9:30am and didn't leave till almost 12pm... Needless to say we were immediately missing the Tube. Also, side note: everything reeked of urine. Gross. So we finally got to the hostel around 12:30pm and couldn't check in till 2 so we left our backpacks in the luggage room and set out to explore Paris, mainly the Montmartre area/Moulin Rouge and grab lunch at a cafe. Paris is extremely expensive, as is London, but for some reason Paris seemed to be more. After Moulin Rouge we headed back to our fave place ever, the metro station, to make all the reservations on our Eurail pass. This took another 1 and a half so at this point we, or at least I, never wanted to be in the metro again. So we headed back to the hostel and checked into our room where we were staying with 9 other girls. They were all from the U.S. and we pretty much bonded right away. We decided to grab dinner and drinks with them downstairs at Belushiś and then we went out in Montmartre area to hit up a couple bars. It started pouring down rain so we stopped in a market, bought some wine and then ran back on the metro, where we ran into Marlee Klein and Jeff Klein in the metro entrance (SO CRAZY!!)  to the hostel to hang out some more. The next morning we got up fairly early and went back to the metro to finish making the rest of our reservations because Brittneyś phone died in the middle of our last reservation trip and we wanted to make sure we had the right dates and times for trains. It was the first Sunday of the month, which means that all museums are free in Paris... this was both great and terrible because the line for the Lourve was out of this world, literally. It was probably a mile and a half long. So we thought maybe we would come back to that later and headed to Notre Dame and Hotel du Ville. We tried to meet Marlee underneathe the Eiffel Tower at noon to grab lunch, but having not figured out how far everything is from everything else, we severly underestimated how long it would take to get there and arrived at 12:25pm and everyone was gone. I swear we lept through rings of fire trying to get there on time. We sprinted to the metro when we realized that the Eiffel Tower was not within walking distance and then sprinted another good half mile from the metro stop towards the tower but it was of no use. So we gave up and decided to get chocolate & banana crepes from a little cafe up the hill (overpriced and not Nutella... disappointing). We really wanted to see the Catacombs and so we hopped back on the metro and headed over there to only see that the line was equally as outrageous as the Lourve and they said that the last visit was at 4 and the line was so long that we could wait for 2 hours and not even get in so we cut our losses, took frowny face pictures in front of it and headed back to the Lourve in hopes that the line would be shorter... which it WAS! They told us it was going to be a 2 hour wait to get in but we were determined to make something work so we stayed, made friends with a family behind us and zoomed through the line in 20 minutes not 2 hours. We were so tired at this point that we hit the big, famous art pieces and the sculpture section (taking funny, immitating pictures) and then headed out to go back to the hostel to check in, change, buy grocerieis and meet our new hostel roomie friends underneathe the Eiffel Tower at 7. We were late again, typical, but only like 7 minutes this time, and the girls didn't end up showing but our other friends did and we waited till 7:35 before headed up to the grass to have a picnic and some more crepes (the right kind this time... AND they were cheaper, woooo!). Then we went on a quest to find cheap wine and bought 2 bottles and ran around the city swigging out of them with our friends. We headed towards the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. We got there 5 minutes before it closed and we ran up the millions of stairs and took pictures at the top, where it started pouring rain, and then realized that the Eiffel Tower must be closing really soon too, so we ran as fast as we could, getting soaked, saw it sparkling but missed our chance to go up it. I was a devious child and made up a lie to be able to get up by saying that I left my wallet, but the guilt and nervousness that I felt about lying made the experience horrible. When I finally got down we walked back through the rain to the metro and hopped on a train. When we went to make our connection, I inserted my ticket and Brittney hopped in behind me because her ticket was at the bottom of her bag and she didn't feel like looking for it. We had done this plenty of times and it was always completely fine but not this time.... not at all. There were actually people checking 10 feet away from us, which we failed to see... and then screamed for us to halt and show our tickets. We tried our hardest to explain but they did not care at all and were demanding immediate payment for the infraction or the police were going to come. Brittney had to shell out 50 euros on the spot. It was awful... So this was quite the damper on our not-so-successful day. We got back to the hostel and were so freaking tired that we just went straight to bed. We had to catch a train to Barcelona at 7am. 

This is quite the novel and if you have read this far, I am thoroughly impressed. We will write about Barcelona tomorrow and maybe will add pictures if we can. We miss you all! 


1 comment:

  1. This is SO great... I can't believe you ran into Marlee and Jeff in Paris!!! That's crazy. Sounds like y'all are having a fantastic time!