More nervous than ever, I was only able to sleep about two hours before my flight. I arrived at Centrale ridiculously early and I sat at McDonalds, where I proceeded to try and cover my sleep-deprived face with makeup and wait for Diego. He finally arrived and we walked to the bus that would take us to the airport. In the hour that we spent on that bus, we talked about basically everything, and I was surprised at just how comfortable he made me feel. We arrived at the airport, too early of course, so we ate panini and drank coffee –well, I drank coffee; I think it is my karma in life to always end up falling in love with men who hate my biggest obsession: caffeine. This early airport breakfast was torture for me, not only because I looked like I hadn't slept in days, but because for some reason, I could not take one bite of my panino without it exploding in crumbs all over Diego. He only laughed of course, but what a way to begin the trip! On the flight to Barcelona, Diego slept and I read about two pages of Pride and Prejudice on his sister's Kindle before giving up and closing my eyes to the "love song" playlist on my ipod. I fell asleep for a minute and actually dreamed about Diego... who cares that he was right next to me.
We arrived in Barcelona and took a bus and metro to the hostel. As expected, the receptionist asked if we preferred two single beds or a Queen sized bed for both of us. Diego immediately freaked and said two. Shame. We then left our backpacks and set out to explore! I truly wish I remembered every detail of everything that we did but to be honest, I didn’t really know what was happening most of the time, since basically we walked around all of Barcelona following the tourist map and stopping for refreshments. I am almost certain that we saw at least ninety percent of what we wanted to see Barcelona. I just wish we had gone clubbing. Anyways, that day we walked to Plaza Espanya to meet up with one of Diego’s friends from Colombia. We sat at a small park next to a very colorful statue by Gaudi and the friend told us about how he met this girl about a year ago online and now came to visit her for the first time in Barcelona! For ten days! And now she’s going to Bogota to visit him! It’s funny how things work out sometimes. When he left, Diego and I went to eat at a restaurant on top of a huge mall in Plaza Espanya. I ate risotto and Diego ate chicken –and yes, I am embarrassed that I remember. Later, we visited the Port Olimpic, where we soaked our feet in a beautiful fountain and admired the weird yellow pillars in the park. We then made an attempt to visit the Dali museum, but since we are poor, traveling students, we didn’t really feel like paying the entrance fee, so instead we napped in a nearby sculpture garden, where we also got extremely sunburnt. After that we were basically zombies the entire day, but we managed to visit the incredible Camp Nou, and then took the Teleferic del Port up to the Castell Montjuic. From there we had an incredible view of the ocean, port, and most of Barcelona. That night, we had dinner at a pretty great bar next to our hostel, and at some point before that we had an entire pitcher of real Spanish sangria, which was obviously delicious. When we got back to the room, Diego put on a hilarious and really awkward Spanish movie called Al Otro Lado de la Cama (On the Other Side of the Bed), which apart from being a musical also had way too many sex scenes that I was not prepared for, seeing as I was half-naked on a bed next to an also half-naked boy I’m in love with, in the city of my dreams and tipsy on sangria. However the sexual tension died immediately after, when Diego decided to do some incredibly awkward yoga moves on the floor in front of me because he didn’t want to be sore the next day. Whatever. Great day.
Good morning! We woke up, had some fruit and oatmeal cookies that we had bought the previous day in one of the hundreds of fruit shops around Barcelona, and then we showered with the shampoo that we also had to buy ourselves, since our hostel didn’t turn out to be as fancy as we expected. Well, the lobby was nice. Our first stop was coffee. As per usual, I needed my daily morning dose of caffeine before being ready to walk a thousand touristy miles. Then we walked a thousand touristy miles, and arrived at the beautiful Hospital de Sant Pau and later, La Torre Agbar –or, “the egg” according to Diego– where we saw a an interesting mixed-media exposition called Water. After that, we went to the beach which I believe was in Barceloneta? and after a lot of convincing, Diego agreed to stay and tan... for like ten minutes. The entire time we were there we had to listen to a couple of hilarious spanish speaking strangers say the dumbest things, and Diego didn’t miss out on the opportunity to bother me about how the girl’s Mexican accent sounded ridiculous “like mine”. Rude. In the middle of the beach, there was a small outdoor gym that was basically just a couple of metal bars in the sand, but where many ridiculously buff, tan men where doing impossible exercises. I admired them, but Diego was in shock! This is why I keep thinking he may or may not be gay. On our walk back to the hostel, we ran into a mini stadium where a mini soccer game was going on, so we sat and watched. I have to say, the seven-year olds were really good! We cheered for the number tens (which are always the best) and we honestly had a great time. At some point, we ate at a restaurant called Vegano, or Vegan, which was decorated with colorful, fruity murals and where we ate the most delicious food. I had a veggie burger and an organic milkshake with almond milk. It was excellent. We ended the day at the Font Magica de Montjuic, or in english, “the magic Montjuic fountain.” I almost cried when the song Forever Young played and the fountain lit up in bright blues and greens and purples. If only he knew. Back in the room, Diego called his dad to tell him about our day and the entire time he kept giving me funny smily looks and I died. He really is incredible.
We walked at a very slow pace most of the day because we were exhausted from the day before, but we managed to visit the super hipster Las Ramblas, where we found Diego’s new favorite store, “El Ganso” full of preppy polo-inspired clothes. Soon we were starving, so we went to the Mercado de Santacaterina and bought a baguette, some jamon serrano and some cheese, and made ourselves an incredible picnic on a park bench in the middle of nowhere. Later, we went to the enormous park next to the Arco del Triunfo where we saw artists painting murals on portable walls and hippies doing circus tricks. We saw a few incredible churches and then the Picasso museum, which we absolutely loved. At night, we had dinner with Hector, my ex boyfriend, which was definitely as awkward as it sounds. We ended up going to the same restaurant Diego and I went to the first day, because apparently after living in Barcelona for a year, Hector still doesn’t know of any good places to eat. Apart from the overall discomfort, the food was wonderful, and the two liters of Sangria were much needed and greatly appreciated. To be completely honest, I’m glad I saw Hector again, it made me realize how much I’ve changed and how lucky I am to have met someone as incredible as Diego, even if we are just good friends.
In the morning, we saw a very strange and very cool house by Gaudi, with eye balls projecting from the outside walls, similar to the Farolas by Gaudi that are all around the city. Later, shopping! We went to many stores and I have to say, Diego is a great shopping buddy. Our first stop was Topshop/Topman, where Diego bought two pairs of colorful shorts. The best part about that was when the cashier asked him if he and I were together and he turned purple! From there, we went to Zara, H&M and a couple of thrift shops which I was not expecting to see in Barcelona, but which I loved. Diego bought himself a baseball uniform shirt and some very cool suspenders. I bought a yellow handkerchief for my hair. We then returned to El Ganso, and after half an hour, Diego ended up not buying anything, however it was worth seeing him try on a suit jacked. After, we went to a couple other boutiques where Diego picked out the clothes he liked for me and insisted I try them on, and when I did, told me I looked great – are you gay? are we married? do you love me?– very frustrating. In the end I ended up buying most of the things he picked out. Then, we made a Starbucks stop (finally!) and then walked around a mall and eventually ended up eating at Vegano again because we loved it. In conclusion, it was a really great day. For dinner, we had a huge, delicious pitcher of sangria and confessed way too much to each other. I ended up buying, because I wanted to convince Diego to walk me to the bus stop at twelve a.m, but of course we fell asleep and I missed my bus. The good part was that Hector stayed up and drove me to the airport at four a.m. Lucky lucky lucky.
I really did want to kiss him. I was dying to, but it was impossible!
I woke up, showered, got my luggage ready and said goodbye to Diego, who got up half-asleep to make sure that Hector was waiting for me in the lobby. A single hug marked the end of the best trip of my life. No regrets.