Friday, October 12, 2007


After 10 months, my old roommate Miriam and I meet up once again, this time on her turf. I had planned to visit Miriam ever since she left me in Slovakia. In the short time that we lived together, we went through a lot and handled the emotions together as if we had known each other for a lot longer. Miriam moved back to Barcelona in December and found herself a really interesting and challenging job which I am ubber jealous of, but at the same time very happy for her.

I got to take another week off from work (I know!) and first headed to England for Alex's cousins wedding then to visit his grandparents in Bournemouth. In my third visit to England in this last year, I was met with the same rainy, drab weather that really makes me question how people can live there. Luckily the sun came out on Saturday for the wedding but it was still pretty chilly especially when you're in a dress and high heels. I realize the sensible thing to do would have been to wear a jacket, but I'm a girl in a pretty dress, shoes that scream voila, and not willing to ruin the ensemble with a jacket. Plan B: drink lots of champagne in the garden before the reception. The wedding and reception was beautiful and the evening was capped of with fireworks behind the marquee after dinner. It was totally different from any Croatian wedding I've been to but I still really enjoyed myself and got down and boogied with the English.

I shipped Alex back to Prague after Bournemouth and headed to Barcelona to meet Miriam and my roommate from Prague, Alice, who was also there at the time (not by coincidence). I was so glad to have Miriam pick me up from Girona airport because I completely didn't notice that the flight was going there. All I was focused on was how freaking cheap it was at 1 pence! On our first night, I got to meet Miriam's mom, whom I'd heard a lot about and she exceeded my expectations with generosity. We had a yummy meal then headed close to a popular street, La Ramba, for Sangria!! Miriam took us to a couple great places and we took in the delights of Spain.
I can honestly say that for the first time this past year, I did nothing in terms of preparation for this trip other than book my flight and make sure that Miriam would be there. I let her be a tour guide for the whole time we were there and she filled the shoes. I've also never walked so much in my life and thought my legs might fall off by the third day (I know I've thought this before but really this was a new level). My favorite part of Barcelona, apart from all of the Guadi buildings and architecture, was the vibrancy of the city itself and how much there is to do and see and eat and drink, not to mention the beautiful weather (+25 in October is alright with me). Its a very lively place. I took so much pleasure in eating tapas, paella by the beach, drinking sangria and cava than I did in all the other touristy stuff. Alice and I both kept saying that we really wanna live there!

The girls and I went through most of the major sights and I'd say that my favorite place was Puebla Espana or Spanish Village. It's this compound with architectural styles from different parts of Spain and has cute little shops and restaurants scattered about. This really made me want to see more of southern due time. I was very impressed by Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi church which is still very much under construction, something I was surprised by cuz clearly I didn't do my readings. I also really enjoyed the musical fountain close to where the Olympic ground are, especially after they played this famous Croatian song and synchronized the fountains to it; Miriam told them I was coming. I was kinda disappointed by the Picasso museum as I thought it would be a lot bigger and once again the paintings did not have English translations by them.
Alice and I at Casa Battlo: One of Gaudi's famous buildings
Inside Spanish Village
Sagrada Familia

Alice left on Saturday to go back to Prague and Miriam and I decided to go shopping for a few hours. I loved the clothes there but didn't have enough time to poke around every shop. In the afternoon, she took me to Sitges, a small beach town close to Barcelona which was really charming. I realized that I am immediately happy and peaceful when I am near water and dipped my toes in the Mediterranean once again. That night we celebrated Miriam's 25th birthday and I realized that I'm getting too old to stay out till 6 in the morning (ha that sounds like an R. Kelly song).
Miriam and I in SitgesStepping into the Mediterranean; realizing the water is a little chilly this time of year
Overall it was a great trip with a little bit of everything. As my time in Europe draws to a close, I'm starting to appreciate all of the people and places I see a lot more because I don't know when I will have a chance to see them again. This is especially the case with Miriam and we were both sad to have to say goodbye but I am holding onto the faith that life works in mysterious ways and we will meet again in the future.

On another note, I am sad to report that I have exhausted all of my holiday time from my job and now am forced to quit to continue with my travels! I love Europe for their HR policies and the mandatory 4 week holidays. Most firms even offer 5! Canada, you must reform.


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