I have decided in my infinite wisdom (meaning my lack there of entirely) to create one long blog about the past two weeks. This will most certainly result in many of you losing your collective mnds. Either that, or you will not read the entire thing and certainly ask me all sorts of questions I have already answered about what happened, what we thought was funny, etc. This is in the hope that you actually care, have time to, or even know that the last two weeks were full of interesting trips and such.
OKay, so I lied about writing a novella. In fact, I have decided to spare you from my incessant ramblings (except for these introductory paragraphs). Because a picture is worth a thousand words and we took about 1000 pictures (that, by the way, is not a joke) I think that the next million words are a little futile. So, I am going to outline the trip, and as I slowly upload the pictures to the internet, I am going to create links to the photo galleries. Each photo will have an accompaning commentary, and depending on your operating system, probably be able to be viewed in the fashion of a slide show. I will seperate the major events (i.e. the places we took the most photos) into seperate folders altogether to spare you the insanity of viewing each and every photo we took.
If possible, we are also going to add some "Google video" of the trip as we took it - meaning mostly shots out the windows of cars or buses with accompaning commentary provide by your nerdy host or by Marco (in Spain) or Caroline. We'll see about the video though. Now, onto the outline.
Day 1 - Paris, France
I took an early train and met Caroline at the airport. We dropped our bags at the hostel and then we started our hirlwind tour of the city. We visited: Montmartre, the Sacre Coeur, Madeline Church, Opéra (the one from the Phantom of the Opera), Place Vendôme and the boulevard of big hotels and jewelers, the Tuileries Gardens, and then the Place Concorde. We walked up the Champs-Elysées and then climbed the Arc de Triomphe. We walked past Les Invalides (the veteran's hospital where the remains of Napolean can be found) and the Ecole Militaire before getting dinner. (Between Les Invalides and dinner I did manage to get us lost for about 15 minutes, but it was the only misplaced time of the entire day. Then it was back to the hostel for bed. [Funny alarm clock story]
Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain
Up and at 'em early, the metro almost made us late for our shuttle to Beauvais Airport (actually an hour from Paris). However, we are cool, and therefore made it. On RyanAir flight later past snow capped mountains and sunny beaches we arrived in Girona, Spain (about an hour from Barcelona). Marco met us where the shutle dropped us off and took us to our hostel where we left our bags. Then we all walked through the Gothic Quarter searching for a place to buy a phone card for Caroline to call home. We had lunch in an Italian restaurant (strange, I know) and then it was off to see the sites. We visited: the Sagrada Familia and the Park Guell. We went in search of some stuff at our hostels and then to La Ramblas, next to the Colmubus monument which was followed by the marina where we had dinner. We touched the Mediterranean Sea (known to us informally as "the ocean"), and then walked to boardwalk towards, perhaps, the Olympic Village. We took a taxi home. 500 more meters and we would have been there.
Day 3 - Barcelona, Spain
We visited: the MNAC or Musée Naionale de Arts Catalunyan (sp?), the Olympic Complex, and La Perdrera. We had dinner at QuQu. We drank an inordinate amount of Sangria. We walked La Ramblas again and then went home on, what I adoringly call "the scenic route." I did not get us lost, I just walked us about four blocks out of the way.
Day 4 - Barcelona, Spain & Girona, Spain
We visited: La Casa Battlo and then went shopping for whatever it was we went shopping for. We got back to the hostel a little late. We got lost on the way to the shuttle to the airport. We took a metro, a bus, and then a taxi to get there. [Not so funny story about getting lost] We finally got to the shuttel stop. While looking for the right bus, we missed the last one to get us their on time. We watched our plane board as we pulled in, and as we walked across the street to the hotel 10 minutes later, we watched our flight leave.
Day 5 - Paris, France & Charleville-Mézières, France
We took the earliest possible plane. We still did not get there in time for the train. We fiddled around while waiting. Then we came back to Charleville where I subsequently crashed. (In my dreams) I taught within 20 minutes of getting off the train and then I really did just collapse. Caroline unpacked. For about another 10 minutes, until we went to badminton followed by a Mardi Gras themed youth group. Afterwards, for real, I was out cold.
Day 6 - Charleville
Too tired to do anything else, I got up to teach from 8-10 and went back to bed. Sick and extremely tired, we both spent the rest of the day being lazy until volleyball. Yeah for a good pepper partner.
Day 7 - Charleville
Day 8 - Sedan, France; the higway in Belgium and Luxembourg; & Darmstadt, Germany
We saw the Château Fort in Sedan and I taught classes. Caroline got directions and such and we picked up the rental car. Then we left at 5:30pm. We drove. It snowed. We got stuck. [Interesting/boring story of getting stuck in the car for over 5 hours] We drove. we arrived at 4:20am. It was supposed to be a 4.5 hour trip.
Day 9 - Black Forest, Germany & Baden-Baden, Germany
I'm taking a break. Also, if you think this is alot for a brief outline of events, feel free to read an ordinary blog. I'm sure I'll blow your mind. Later, ~Heather