I Guess I Don’t Know Spanish As Well As I Thought

“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos,
including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.

-Deepak Chopra

After going to Mont Saint-Michel and Lourdes, we planned to go to Barcelona. We took a train from Lourdes to Toulouse and had a short layover before going to Barcelona. Since we had heard that Thomas Aquinas was buried in Toulouse, we wanted to try to find him in the time we had. We looked it up, figured out how to get to the church, and went. We got lost, but we eventually found it. When we got there, we found out that he was at a church a few blocks over, but, since we were running low on time, we weren’t able to go, which was upsetting, because we were looking forward to it. So we went back to the train station, got lunch, and then got on our train to Barcelona.

When we got to Barcelona that evening, we took the metro out to our hotel, which was basically like a flat, with balconies and access to a kitchen. It was a great change from the previous hotel with small rooms and mold. Three of us, after getting a little settled in, got some kebabs (my first kebab) for dinner, and then went to meet up with some friends to grab some drinks. After much searching, we found then, and then we found a place at which to get drinks. I got a Russian mojito and was able to sit back and not stress, catching up with friends about how our 10-days were going thus far. After a while, when we had finished our drinks, we headed back to the flat for the night.

The next morning, when we got up, two of our friends had already left, so we planned our day for the four of us. First, we went to La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family), a basilica designed by Gaudí that has been under construction for the last 50 or so years and is still not finished. The line to get into the church wrapped around at least half of the building. 100_1938We walked around the outside and then went back to the flat, so we could buy our tickets online: There was a separate, shorter line for those who had purchased their tickets online. Our plan was to go at 3:00. We went from the flat to the Cathedral of Barcelona for Mass. We didn’t get much time to look around the church, because they kicked people out before charging people to get in. After Mass, we decided to get tapas for lunch, so we went to a restaurant recommended by some friends. I had some chips and guacamole, which was rather good. I had asked for a Cuba Libre (rum, coke, and lime), but they left out the lime, so it was just a rum and coke, which was still pretty good. We all got to enjoy a lunch of tapas (small dishes, or appetizer-like dishes) and drinks. We enjoyed the food, the fellowship, and the conversation. It’s small moments like that that bring us to constantly appreciate all that we have.

After lunch, we made our way back to La Sagrada Familia. When I looked at the outside, it looked pretty interesting, but I didn’t feel the need to go in. When I went inside, 100_1969it was rather interesting, more so than the outside, but it was still kind of strange. There truly was some beauty in the church, but I personally would have preferred to go in a Gothic cathedral. When I went to a part of the church that had information on Gaudí’s perspective, I changed my mind. You could tell that he appreciated other architectural styles by his incorporation of them into the church. However, he didn’t just want to design a church that would fit into one of those categories; he wanted his own style. He was greatly inspired by nature and wanted his work to mirror nature. There is so much order in nature and in phenomena in mathematics. Both are beyond me, but it is amazing to see how beautifully and perfectly ordered they are. He designed the church to mirror the beauty of the order of nature. I wish I could discuss more thoroughly, but those topics are so beyond me. You just have to read about Gaudí and see his work, which we will hopefully be able to see completed some day soon.

After spending some good time at La Sagrada Familia, we made our way to the beach. We wanted to be able to spend at least some time sitting and relaxing on the beach. It was great to just sit there, bury my feet in the sand, and make symbols in the sand with rocks. It was funny (and slightly annoying) to constantly see the same people asking if we wanted to buy beer, mojitos, blankets, or a massage. Most of them sounded fairly nice in theory, but we knew that they all would have been rip-offs. After spending time at the beach, we walked a little bit until we found some decently-priced paella. I had some chicken paella (I know; don’t hurt me; I don’t enjoy most shellfish). It was pretty good. For the price, I would say it was a pretty good deal. At the very least, that is what I wanted out of my trip to Barcelona: paella. Mission accomplished.

After dinner, we went by the apartment our friends were renting for the week to hang out for a while. It was good to see all of them and catch up with our breaks, sharing the good times and the bad times. It’s always great to be able to just do that with friends: catch up. After hanging at their apartment, while some people went out to get churros (apparently that’s a thing to do in Barcelona – I didn’t know that), some of us went to get drinks. We got some Sangría, which is apparently also a thing that people do when in Barcelona/Spain. It was pretty good, kind of tart. I mostly enjoyed being able to spend time with friends over drinks. I am appreciating more and more those small moments of spending simple time with people. We went back to the apartment to hang out for a little while before going back to our flat to call it a night.

The next morning, we packed our bags and headed to the train station. We had a 6 and a half hour train from Barcelona to Paris, a 3-hour layover, and then a 12-hour overnight train from Paris to Munich as we gradually made our way back to Gaming. Luckily, when we went to make reservations, all seats were full, and there were only beds left, so we had to reserve beds, which definitely made the trip more comfortable. After Munich, we made took a few trains and a bus to make it back to Munich. We had about a day to hang around and relax in the Kartause before leaving for the Canonization.

“It has long been an axiom of mine
that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Duc In Altum


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Kyrie Eleison | Eärendil Star
  2. Trackback: What I Learned in Austria Is… | Eärendil Star

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