Last weekend we traveled to Barcelona. I was not a fan. I never felt secure and had to constantly be aware of my surroundings. It definitely wasn't Toulouse. I was not a fan of the architecture or the metro. It was the small things that were getting to me. Maybe I was just tired, but I just wanted to be back in Toulouse the whole time I was in Barcelona. It wasn't all bad, though. The first night, a group of us had gone to a restaurant for tapas. We each had ordered one for the table to share. The concept of sharing is taken for granted nowadays. I feel most people share because they feel obligated, which is fine I guess, but that shouldn't always be the case. Wanting to share an experience with others is such a bonding moment. That has kind of been the crutch of this trip. 50+ students from America, Mexico, China, and Lebanon all coming to stay in one, foreign place with people that we don't know at all and having to listen to a language that 90% can't understand has made it very easy to bond. Being in the tapas restaurant sharing meals and stories was a feel-good experience (plus the tapas were delicious). The next day a group of us went to the beach. We were able to find a spot close to the water and set up our towels. We had wine that everyone shared and enjoyed the somewhat cold sea. I only had two glasses of wine but I was soon reminded that drinking and being in water is not a good mix. About an hour and a half later I felt groggy. Almost a hungover feeling. Definitely dehydration. A smaller group of us left the beach in the early afternoon and went to look at La Sagrada Familia. It was a huge cathedral that has been in the works for over a century now. It seemed unneccassily ostentatious. I didn't like what they were doing with it. But that afternoon we also went to a Picasso and Salvador Dali art exhibit. It was quite intriguing. I found this piece by Salvador Dali called "The First Days of Spring". I stared at it for about ten minutes trying to figure out what was going on in the painting. The art exhibit was the best part of the day for me. That night most of us went to this huge night club called "Razzmatazz". It was 14€ or 17€ to get in and the cover charge came with one or two free drinks depending on which option you paid for. We got there right when it opened. I got a gin and tonic to sip on while I watched people dance to the loud music flowing through the surround speakers. The place was huge. It looked like an old-but-renovated warehouse. There were a few levels to the place. I wasn't a fan of the loud music, so I found a place on the roof where people can hang out, talk, and smoke their cigarettes. The secondhand smoke was no bueno but it was quieter outside. I probably stayed there for two hours at least. Oh, forgot to mention the club didn't open until 1 am. We left the club at about 5 in the morning. Really glad I didn't drink save the gin and tonic and two beers. The plan was to stay up all night, and go to the beach for the sunrise. Which we did. It was very beautiful and serene. Definitely a good moment. All in all, Barcelona wasnt great and it wasn't bad. Just so-so. I probably won't go back.
This week has been pretty good. Lots of wine tasting, chateau visits, and vineyard and winery visits. Definitely has made me appreciate wine a lot more. Starting Wednesday and going until Saturday, there is a large music festival in Toulouse called "Rio Loco". Since I am staying in Toulouse for the free weekend, I bought a four day pass and plan on going all four days (I have gone the last two days). So far there has been gypsy, Greek, and Latino/south American music. Even though I can't understand the words, the music and lights have been a pleasure to my senses.
It has taken me over an hour to type this up so I am going to end it here. I'm hoping to find some more time to blog on this free weekend. We are also going to learn about our internships soon.