Sunday, January 29, 2012

Navidad in Spain

   Instead of going home for Christmas, my family came to Spain to see me! It was really neat to experience Christmas in another country.  I walked them around the city center to see the Christmas lights that were up on display. Typical of our family vacations, we were going, going, going. I wasn’t kidding when I warned them that we would do a lot of walking. I mean, if you’re only here for a few days, you have to see it all! For Christmas dinner, we baked at my friend Amanda’s house. 
   For Christmas day, we rented a car and drove north to the city of Vielha, in the Pyrenees mountains. Getting there was a series of unfortunate events  which began with the fact that we could not put the manual car in reverse. As the office was closed that day, we were forced to only go or park in places we could get out of without reverse. We had trouble finding the hotel in Vielha and tried a random street, only to realize it led uphill and we had no way to turn around except to start up one part of the street and then let ourselves roll a little backwards in a cul-de-sac . I hopped out to ask a woman how to get to the hotel, and unbeknownst to me, my phone fell out. After stressfully making it back down the hill, I realized it was gone and we had to go back up there to get it. When we found it, they screen was broken. Great. So now we couldn’t call the hotel or anyone the rest of our trip. (Also, trying to replace a phone was a task, but that’s another long, boring story.)
  But we got there and Joel and I went skiing the next day in Baquiera-Beret. The views from the top of the slopes were incredible and the snow was so thick! I soon came to see that our intermediate slopes were like their easy runs. I’m glad for all the practice I’ve done back home because this place was not for beginners! From there we drove to Barcelona and did all the touristy things. We stayed in an apartment near the Ramblas. And for my third time in this city, it still confirmed to me that I am more of a Madrid girl. It’s a great place, but Madrid is where it’s at. Just saying… All in all though, we had a great time in Barcelona and we parted ways at the airport: they were heading back stateside, I was going back to Madrid for New Year’s Eve!
 Christmas tree up in Sol
 City Hall 
 Typical Spanish meal: eggs, potatoes, and bread
 City's biggest Nativity scene
 Joel is too tall for the Metro

 Las Ramblas, Barcelona

 Sagrada Familia
View from Parc Güell

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