Find your Passion, and then Live it

Medellín, Colombia

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Barça vs Stuttgart Game - BARÇA WINS !!!

So a couple weeks ago I saw the first match between Barça and Stuttgart (Germany). That game ended up being tied 1-1, and there was another scheduled match between the teams this time on home turf for Barça in Barcelona!

So tonight after I got home from the Flamenco show I immediately turned on the futbol game, as this game decided whether or not Barça would move to the quarter finals of the Champions League. Last week Real Madrid was eliminated by Lyon, a French team... which was a huge upset, and now Barça is the only Spanish team left in the Champions League (woooo representttt). I turned on the game at around the 60' mark... and it was already 3-0 for Barça WOOOOOO! The game was played really well by Barça, A LOT better than the last time they played Stuttgart in Germany. They had more energy, were quick on their feet and of course on home turf.

In the last couple of minutes Bojan got switched in to play and almost immediately scored the 4th goal of the game! The final score was 4-0 Barça, and this means Stuttgart is eliminated, and Barça moves onto the quarter finals of the Champions League.

I watched the futbol game with my host dad, which was a cute bonding experience, and we were able to discuss about the game and both teams all in Spanish of course! :) My spanish keeps getting better by the day and it's so rewarding to be able to have everyday conversations with my friends and family here in Spanish! :) I LOVE IT. <3

Here are the goal breakdowns:
Lionel Messi (13')
Pedro (22')
Lionel Messi (60')
Bojan Krkic (89')

... damn Messi is a pro.

Flamenco - The Passion of Music and Movement

Tonight API took us to a Flamenco show in Plaça Riel off of Las Ramblas. The show started at 830pm, and lasted for about 30-40 minutes. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! Anyone who travels to Spain MUST see a show when you visit.

First of all the music was amazing, not to mention the Spanish guitar was phenomenal. Then came the dancers, I have never seen so much passion for the music through their dance, and it is unbelievable how they can move their hands so intricately and how fast they can move their feet with perfect rhythm.

Then after a couple songs a little girl dressed in formal flamenco wear came onto the stage. The audience at the same time all went "AWWWWW" when we saw her, she was precious! She came out to sing with the rest of the musicians... and then she danced. She was maybe 7 or 8, and was insanely good. She just owned that stage and was soo soo soo good. We were all blown away.

I would love to go to another Flamenco show, it was incredible and so much fun to see!!!

Easter Comes Early!

When I got back from Sevilla/Cádiz I had a piece of mail waiting for me in the form of a large box. Inside was a lovely card from my Aunty Margaret in Chester, England, wishing me good travels and updating me on her trip to Canada this summer. Inside the box was a collection of YUMMY ENGLISH CHOCOLATE for Easter! For those of you who dont know I am obsessed with chocolate... and even more so with English Chocolate because it tastes so much different than Canadian chocolate and is about 1,000,000,000,000x better. :)


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The South of Spain: Sevilla y Cádiz !

This past weekend I headed to the South of Spain for 3 days. This was my second excursion with API (my exchange program). We travelled to Sevilla for 2 days, and had a day trip to Cádiz.
First of all, the south of Spain can only be described by one word: BEAUTIFUL!!! Everything from the colourful apartment buildings, to the orange trees, to the stunning cathedrals, it's beauuuuuuutiful. That's one word I could not stop saying all weekend long lol. The south of Spain has a whole different vibe about it, it's very relaxed and small town feel. Where as Barcelona is a huge city, with a busy cosmopolitan feel about it. So it was so relaxing to head to Sevilla/Cádiz for the weekend to hang out, sight see and relax. Another great thing about the south of Spain is that it is reaaaallly cheap! Anything from alcohol to clothing, it's MUCH cheaper than in BCN.
Friday we arrived in Sevilla in the afternoon, and it was beautiful, warm and sunny! Once we got downtown (which took only 10 minutes from the airport!) we had a walking tour of the cathedral and Real Alcazar. The cathedral of Sevilla is third largest in all of Europe. It was originally a main mosque in the south of Spain from the Moorish rulings, but because of an earthquake or some disaster like that, it collasped. Then after the moorish rule was over a cathedral was built over it. However a large tower still remains from the 12th century which is called the Giralda tower.My friends and I were able to climb to the top of the tower to see some spectacular views of the city. :) Some other fun facts about the cathedral of Sevilla is that it houses the tombs of Christopher Columbus and his son, we got to see both of these during our tour of the cathedral. The cathedral also has a beautiful courtyard patio area filled with orange trees! There are orange trees EVERWHERE in Sevilla, over 40,000 of them to be exact! I loved them, they're so colourful and make me happy, so I took a lot of pictures of them :P After walking around the cathedral for a bit, we headed to Real Alcazar which is a palace for the royal family. The detail in this palace was INCREDIBLE, because it's been around since the 12th or 15th century from the Moorish rule, it's filled with beautiful ceramic tiles, carved wood designs, and arches along all entrance ways. Real Alcazar is unreal, with it's many rooms, fountains, and not to mention HUGE endless gardens which are filled with all kinds of trees (including many orange trees of course!). After our tour we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
I went out for dinner with several of my API friends including: Holly, Darcey, Keara, Hawley, Lauren, Katrina, Taylor and Rachel. We went to a tapas bar that is known for their tapas and inexpensive drinks. Olé! Now... before I continue I just want to mention that in Barcelona, tapas are relatively small, and since Ive eaten tapas here i ASSUMED that they would be the same size in all of Spain.... boy was I wrong. So we decide to order a bunch of tapas (keep in mind, we are thinking they are quite small)... and then the waiter starts bringing out plates... and plates of tapas, with HUGE pieces of food on them... all of our faces go immediately white, and then we realize that tapas arent the same in Sevilla... lol. For example, one of our favourite tapas is similar to a hamburger slider (aka a miniature hamburger)... but the ones we ordered we the size of regular hamburgers... ahhhh. But omg, were they delicious. So once we got over our shock of ordering WAAAY too much food, we began to demolish what we ordered. I order a hamburger slider and some chorizo... i have come to LOVE chorizo it's kind of like sausage/salami, and is typical in Spain. It's delicious, so I had a huge plate of that to myself (once again thinking it would only be a couple pieces like in Barcelona when you order a tapas size...).

During dinner I also tried something called "Fino" which is like a white wine and sherry mixed together... it's also VERY strong... it's 15.5% alcohol. So after drinking a small glass of it I was pretty buzzed. I didnt like it at first because it was so strong, but the more I drank it, the more I got use to the taste and actually enjoyed it a lot. It was only 1.50euros for a glass! Love that Sevilla is so cheap! After I tried Fino (i was the only one to try it), my friends and I all ordered "Tinto de Verano" which is just like Sangria but a little different, and realllllllly good!! It was also really cheap, 2.20euros for a large pint glass. It's like a red wine, with a bit of fanta or sprite in it to give it a fizz and a more limey/lemony taste.

On Saturday we headed to Cádiz for the day. It took about 90 minutes to drive there by coach bus from Sevilla. Cádiz is located on a peninsula of Spain, and it's very tiny, but a beautiful town. It's almost completely surrounded by water, and the water is sooooo BLUE! I couldnt get over how light/clear blue it was. The weather was fantastic yet again, beautiful sunny day about 22C ! So for the majority of the day I was walking around in my tank top, wishing I had worn my flip flops!! In Cádiz we had a bus tour, and then a walking tour to key areas in the town like the Constitution Monument, and the Cathedral of Cádiz. The Constitution Monument is really important because Cádiz is where the Constitution was signed. This at first appears strange because you would think that a major document like that would be signed in a major city such as Madrid or Barcelona. But when the document was created/signed it was at the time when Napoleon was occupying Spain, and the only place he couldnt take over in Spain was Cádiz because it has a really good fortress. So Cádiz was the last place that really was Spain back in the 19th century. Heading to the cathedral we were able to see a huge artifact used for Semana Santa, it's made from 1 tonne of Mexican Silver and is carried by 10 men (with the help of tiny wheels on the bottom) during the parades of Semana Santa at the end of March/beginning of April. We also went into a Crypt and saw a mummified dead body along with her blood in a jar... forget who it was, but she was important. When we were in the crypt the air was different, and I tried not to breath a lot because I felt like I was breathing in dead bodies haha. gross.

I went for lunch with Holly, Darcey and Aliki, and we had the best lunch ever! First of all we sat outside in the sun, in a plaza by the city hall of Cádiz. We each had the menu del día which is a great thing to get because you get like 3 courses + wine + bread all for 10euros. To start we had a seafood paella, which was really fresh and sooo good. After paella, I had this amazing chicken with potatoes dish, and the other 3 girls had calamari. Then for dessert we had a caramel flan, also delicious. We had a great waiter who recommended we get the paella, and he kept calling us guapas or bonitas lol... flattering is always fun :) After lunch we walked along the pier checking out the ocean, and just soaking up the sun then around 5 we drove back to Sevilla. Once I got back to Sevilla I was on a mission to buy ceramic tiles (As all stores are closed on sundays), because I didnt want to leave Sevilla without ceramic tiles as my souvenir, as they are beautiful, and I love how they are literally EVERYWHERE in the city. Luckily I found an authentic ceramic tile store, so I bought 3 smaller square tiles, and a ceramic piece that looks like a plate, with beautiful intricate designs on it. :) I would post a picture but they're currently all wrapped up in bubble wrap.

For dinner that night I went to a small pizza place that had authentic italian pizza with Holly and Taylor. The owner was hilarious and spoke Italian to us, he was a really happy guy and was just loving life. The pizza was incredible and really cheap, only 2euro for a decent size slice. Then after wards Taylor, Holly and I found a bar with really cheap Tinto de Verano (only 1 euro!!) and sat down outside and had a couple glasses to relax and enjoy the warm night.
Sunday was filled with exercise! We had a 3 hour bike tour. Our tour guide was named Jorge, and he was really cute :). He took us all around Sevilla, so we saw the river, the 92 Expo grounds, Plaza de España (which was my favourite!! - it had beautiful ceramic tile moasics of each major city in Spain), the Triana district, and other places. The sun was shining, and the weather was warm. We all had a ridiculous time riding around on our dorky looking bikes loving life. After our bike tour, I went out for lunch with Holly, Darcey and Aliki to this amazing pizza restaurant, and once again we sat our in the sun. I think over the weekend I got a little bit of a tan, and fortunately I didnt get burned!! yayyy. This will help me prep for my week vacation to the Canary Islands (where it's my goal to NOT get burnt... lets see how long that lasts... just to refresh your memory my family's background is British and therefore I am pastey white haha).After lunch we walked around the streets, just wandering. We just had a casual laid back day before we had to head back to the hotel to go to the airport.

After visiting Sevilla I either want to:
1) Visit the south of Spain again
2) Live there after university
3) Retire there
(or all of the above lol)

If anyone reading this has not been to Spain, and is thinking about one day going... YOU MUST VISIT THE SOUTH OF SPAIN. IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


So today I woke up, looked outside my window, and almost cried. IT WAS SNOWING! not a lot, but it was still snowing a bit. WTF? This is the reason I left Canada, must snow follow me everywhere I go in the world??
When I finished classes today at 530, Barcelona was like a winter wonderland. We had been hit by a huge snow storm, which stuck to the ground and was perfect packing snow. Nothing like having a snowball fight in Spain in March. Then the storm turned crazy, it began to thunder and lightning while snowing?? Something that Ive never seen before, then it hailed and progressed to rain.

Walking home from school was so entertaining because, the Spanish locals didnt know what to do or think. Many people came onto the streets and took pictures, or made miniature snowmen with their children on park benches.

Apparently it hasnt snowed in Barcelona since 1962! CRAZY! I couldnt believe ... and still cant believe that there is snow in Barcelona?!

La Clandestina

Nestled deep in the Barri Gothic is a place called La Clandestina. It's a relatively small café, and if you didnt know where you were going in the twisting and turning streets of the Barri Gothic you'd walk right by it. The entrance is a deep forest green, with some graffiti over it, but remains inviting.

When you walk in you are immediately greeted by a calming and warm atmosphere. The walls are painted yellow and green with parts of the brick wall underneath showing in places. The café has a collection of wooden, and leather chairs, as well as old fashioned coaches, and mosaic tiled tables. There are glass and paper lanterns and lamps hanging from the ceilings and attached to the walls. If you look up at the ceiling it has large wooded beams painted gold, with purple paint in between the beams. The café has a certain aroma to it, like a mixture of shesha and incense with the occasional burst of scent from a tea or special coffee being made. It has a collection of rustic antiques such as vases and tea kettles displaced around the café. The main counter has a selection of delicious pastries and cakes displayed, along with jars and jars of tea leaves and mixtures lined up on a shelf behind the counter. On the counter also stands 5 Hookah pipes all different shapes and colours next to a large beautiful glass mirror. When you order a tea it comes in an old fashioned silver teapot with a Moroccan style tea cup, which looks like a large shot glass with intricate designs on it. As I sit here, relaxing on a coach I just listen to the sounds of the café, which consists of relaxing modern light jazz/piano music similar to Norah Jones, the clanking of tea cups or cutlery, the noise of the coffee machine as the barista makes a coffee or tea, and the background chatter of Spanish locals. This is exactly what Ive been looking for. A place to come and relax and read, or write, a place that isn't filled with American tourists, or isnt well known.

I could spend hours here, reading a book, surfing the web or just enjoy a cup of tea. They specialize in many different kinds of tea, so far being here twice Ive tried a Rooibos tea with flowers and fruit, and a Massala Chai tea, both have been delicious.
From 4pm onwards the mood of this little café changed, it became more lively and a popular hang out spot for locals. People sit at the bar sipping coffee, sitting close to each other discussing whatever is on their minds. On eof the barista's is cleaning a hookah pipe to give to a table to smoke shesha. Three guys sitting behind me play cards at a small round table by the door. A woman beside me, sits alone and smokes a cigarette while typing on her mac laptop. 4 Spanish men sitting infront of my enjoy beers while catching up with each other about the week's past events. I now sit at a breakfast bar type seating where I am able to charge my laptop. Quiet or loud, I love this café either way. It's relaxing and also full of life, offering a great hang out spot, or a place to come with friends. Either way, i will be returning here a lot.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

La Dolce Vita - Day 3 in Rome

3 days in Rome wizzed by. I couldnt believe that i was actually in Italy. It just didnt feel real. When I first arrived in Barcelona back in January I felt like I wasnt really there and it took over a month to actually believe i was in Spain, just a very strange feeling. So a 3 day trip to Rome felt verry surreal.

One our last day we thought we would be proactive people and get up super early (7am), and go to the Vatican by 8am. Myself, Darcey and Holly wanted to go to the Vatican Museum... easy enough, however two things made our plans more complicated...
1) It was Sunday - sooo there was going to be 10x more people doing the same thing we wanted to do, as it's a holy day, so it's like you get extra religion points for going to the Vatican on a sunday (im sorry if this offends anyone, i dont mean to just making a joke)...
2) It was the last Sunday of the month, so the Vatican Museum is free... aka 100x more people want to go on this day.... fml.

We got to the Vatican around 815/830.... and there was already a HUGE line... so we jumped in it and began waiting... and waiting.... and waiting. The Vatican didnt actually open until 9am, but once it did the line began to move decently. It took about 90 min to get through the line, and once we were in it was worth the wait. The inside of the Vatican Museum is a lot like the Louvre, where the building itself is almost as beautiful if not more beautiful than the artwork on the walls and behind glass cases.

I felt sort of bad because we were racing through the museum to get to the Sistine Chapel (you have to go through the entire museum to get to it), as Holly, Darcey and I wanted to go to this huge market they have in Rome (which is apparently one of the biggest in Europe) before it closed at 1pm. We finally reached teh Sistine Chapel and it was breathtaking, so beautiful and the paintings are incredible, the detail and the colours are just I couldnt believe I was standing in such a famous place thousands of miles from my home, i still cant over that im actually in Europe on an exchange, still blows me away. Youre not allowed to take photos in the Sistine chapel, but i snuck one, as did my friends lol see below:

After the Vatican, we were on a mission to find this "market" we were told about. Holly's API friend who is studying in Rome told us about it, and said it was by her house, but she didnt know how to get there from the Vatican, so we decided to ask a cute police officer what bus to take to get their. In his broken english he helped us and after 2 buses, and a tram we arrived. Now at first glance this market appeared normal in size... then we kept on walking, and to say this market was huge is an understatement... this market went on... and on... and on. There were vendors selling everything from scarves, to jewelry, shoes, electronics, clothes, belts, etc etc. Anything and everything could be found at this market. I ended up buying three scarves and a new bellybutton ring. Holly bought scarves as well, and Darcey found her sunglasses she was wanting. :) So all in all it was a very successful shopping trip.

Shopping built up quite the appetite for us and we decided to stop off and get some lunch. We picked a restaurant that was just across the river from the Vatican and sat outside next to a heat lamp. I had lasagna .... omg and it was delicious, perfectly cheesy lol. The restaurant was good because they had a student deal where you get bruchetta, salad, pasta, a drink, free bread and there was no service charge, all for 10euro. not bad. :)

We decided to have a lazy afternoon since we were tired from the morning and all of our shopping we did Sunday afternoon, so we took our time during lunch and after we ate we went back to the Pantheon to get more gelato (obviously). :) It was our last gelato, and this time i got chocolate amaretto, mars bar and kinder egg again.

We arrived back at the hotel around 5 and lazed around for an hour until it was time to head back to the airport.

At the end of the trip I had concluded that:
- Rome was a beautiful old city with hundreds of years of history
- Rome is sort of a dirty city with regards to garbage, its metro and all the graffiti (when compared to Barcelona)
- Rome has a different vibe for me, more chill and relaxed - different than BCN
- I couldnt live in Rome or do my exchange, im so glad i chose Barcelona
- My favourite part of Rome wasnt the attractions it was the food and the wine... and the gelato ! haha
- I do not like being in a city where I dont speak the language, it's frustrating for me... however i spoke a lot of spanish when i was there and the Italians understood me
- I couldnt have been more happy to be back in Barcelona... my home :) it felt so good to return to the city i love so much. :)
<3 BCN.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"When in Rome"... oh wait I am ! - Day 2


Day 2 in Rome was filled with history! After breakfast we headed over to the Colosseum around 10am to have a tour. Getting off the bus and seeing the Colosseum for the first time was literally breathtaking. The Colosseum is HUGE, and just so epic in itself. You should have seen how long the lines were, it was insane! It would have probably taken way over 2 hours to get through them, luckily we had an organized group tour with API so we skipped the massive line! wooo.
We all were given weird walkie talkie things so we could always hear what our tourguide was saying. She took us all around the Colosseum, starting on the top floor, she explained about the history of the gladiators and how thousands of animals use to be killed in the Colosseum, and it was a major attraction in Rome etc etc. (totally made me want to watch the movie Gladiator) haha. Then we headed to the bottom floor to get a better view of the ground level of the Colosseum. I knew the Colosseum was massive, but seeing it in person is a completely different story.
After we walked through the Colosseum for about an hour we headed to the Roman Forum. This is basically a big place where there are a lot of ruins from where the administrative buildings, like government and such of Rome use to be. There are large pillars, rocks, remains of buildings scattered in this large area. Walking through the Roman Forum was awesome, especially since the weather was AMAZING, and sort of hot, it was 25C so I was walking around in my tanktop and sunglasses soaking up the beautiful beautiful sun :) After our tour was over around 1pmish we had the rest of the day to ourselves, to explore the ancient city of Rome. We were dropped off at Piazza Venezia, where Momument Emmanuel is, which is also HUGE. It looks like a large building with massive white pillars in the front, and a big statue of a guy on a horse. After checking that out we decided to get some lunch at a restaurant near the Piazza. Myself, Darcey, Holly, Phil and Garrett all got pasta... obviously (when in Rome..). This restaurant had HUGE portions of pasta, which we arent use to because in Spain and generally the rest of Europe (unlike North America) we eat small portions of food. So we were stuff after eating this pasta.... sooo fulllll. But the pasta was amazing and so fresh and delicious.

Then we all ventured to find the Pantheon, and we navigated through he streets of Rome pretty well i might add. we had a map, and my tour book (which Wendy Schwarz was so kind to give me, thank you!!! we used it a lot). We found the Pantheon and checked it out, once again, another MASSIVE structure, with cool architecture and a big ass hole in the roof. After browsing around the Pantheon we went to get Gelato (once again, when in rome...). We went to this place right by the Pantheon called Alla Paradise or somethign like that, anywasy AMAZING PLACE. they have over 50 kinds of gelato everything from mars bar to champagne flavour. AND! it's cheap! only 2.50euros for 3 flavours. and they're generous with how much they give you. So i got stratacella?spelling?, kinder egg flavour, and coffee crunch. SOO GOOD.

While devouring our gelato we walked through random streets trying to head towards the Vatican. We saw beautiful buildings, whether they were churches, apartments or govt buildings everything is so old and beautiful in Rome. The roads are all cobblestone and very twisty. We crossed the river and checked out the Castle D'Angelo, which is a beautiful old castle (not sure what it was for...), continued up the river towards the Vatican. We walked through St. Peters Square, and found the wind stones from Angels and Demon (where one of the cardinals gets killed and he represents Wind). see picture below:
Then we walked back over the river and found the Spanish Steps. It was beautiful to see at night and lots of people, but they werent anything too special, just another famous tourist spot. There are also all the designer stores in this area e.g. Gucci, D&G, Dior, Chanel, Prada etc...

Then we came back to the hotel, and had a quick siesta because we were all so tired from walking all day. After getting up Holly, Darcey and I went to a restaurant around the corner from our hotel to eat some dinner. Though, we werent very hungry as we were still full from the lunch we had 6 hours before! So Holly had a piece of bruchetta, Darcey had a big salad, and i had some pizza, but i could not finish all my pizza.

We ended up meeting up with Holly's friend who's in API as well but doing her exchange in Rome. So she took us to the Travestere area again to a bar. She introduced us to her friend who opened a bar tab and said we could order whatever we wanted, as many times as we wanted.... dont have to tell me twice! So we had free drinks all night long. We made friends with the bartenders so they kept making us the most delicious drinks ive ever had. They were like fruit smoothies, with real pieces of fruit in them, like kiwis, strawberries, orange slices, etc etc. SOOOO GOOD. We were planning on leaving the bar around 12midnight, becasue we wanted to get up super early the next morning to go to the Vatican, but we didnt end up leaving until 2am! whoops.
We got back to our hotel using the night bus successful, it was really easy to use. The best thing about the bus system in Rome is that the locals dont pay for the buses, so you just hop on. :) yay for saving money.

Onto day 3....

RO-MA... RO-MA-MA !!!! Day 1 in Rome!

So first of all, it's now March, WHERE DID TIME GO? I am sadly halfway through my exchange, and that is depressing, because I LOVE MY LIFE HERE! This country is amazing, I love Barcelona - what a fantastically beautiful and fun city to live in! I also love being able to speak Spanish 24/7 and experience the Spanish culture all the time.

Alright... now to my adventures in Rome! Rome was the international excursion included in my exchange program with API. So the only thing we had to pay for was our lunches/dinners and anything we wanted to buy for souvenirs. It was really nice to have everything else planned and paid for!

waiting int he airport:
Our flight was suppose to leave BCN at 1140, but unfortunately it was delayed due to some stupid strike going on in France, and therefore our flight could not leave as we have to cross France's airspace on our way to Italy. LAMEEEE. Fortunately our flight was NOT cancelled, and was just delayed for about an hour/hour an a half. So we didnt end up leaving until about 130ish. We flew with AlItalia, who I will NEVER fly with again! I have never feared for my own life so much than my 2 flights with them (there AND back)... omg. First of all there was a lot of turbulence, and ok so maybe that's not the pilots fault, but landing was a whole other issue, the plane kept swinging side to side as it was landing and I honestly thought i was going to die, and began to freak out a bit with my hands covering my face and shaking my head.... NOT FUN. anywho, long story short we made it alive, just late.

We were suppose to have a bus tour at 3pm, but unfortunately that was going to have to be rescheduled because we didnt arrive at our hotel until about 330pm. So we rescheduled our bus tour for 5pm. The only downside of this is that the majority of our bus tour would be in the dark instead of in the day. Once we landed, we had a couch bus take us to our hotel. It took about 50 min to drive from the Leonardi Da Vinci airport to the downtown core where our hotel was. As we got closer to the downtown core, we experienced Italian traffic at its finest. Basically italian drivers dont really obey street signs they're more like decorations than anything. As we headed to our hotel we passed the Colosseum and I was able to get a glimpse of it as we drove by!!! It was such an incredible and epic thing to see, as it's HUGEEE, like pictures do not do this thing justice.

Once we arrived to our hotel we had some time to get checked in, and go grab some food before our bus tour. So myself, Andrew, Anne, Lexi and Idin went on a mission to get our first taste of Italian pizza! Now in Barcelona, it's hard to find stores that just sell pizza, or stores that sell good pizza, but in Italy, it's kind of like Tim Horton's where they are on every street corner! So after evaluating a couple options we decided on one. Now the interesting thing in Italy about pizza is that there is not a set price for a slice, they price a slice (haha that rhymed) by its weight! I got a pizza that had beef and potato slices on it, and it was delicious!! They had all kinds of flavours and with all kinds of toppings.
Once we had our fill of pizza we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the group to go do our bus tour. But because it was rush hour it took our group like 30 minutes just to be able to find a spot for the bus to meet us, and for it to navigate through traffic. This was a bit frustrating because we wanted to do our bus tour so our day didnt feel completely wasted with our flight being delayed and such. FINALLY we got on our bus tour, and we had a tour guide, Olga (originally from Russia, but has been living in Rome for over 10 years) give us a very in depth and informative tour of Rome. Though our tour was done at night, it gave a completely different perspective and feeling about the city of Rome. It was beautiful because all the major monuments and areas of the city were lit up. We saw everything from the Colosseum, to the Vatican, the Mouth of Truth, the Travastere area, Emmanuel Monument, Castle D'Angelo etc etc.

At the end of the tour we came back to the hotel and got ready to go out for dinner! I went out to dinner with a bunch of my friends from API. We decided to go to the Travastere area to find a nice authentic restaurant to feast on pasta and italian wine of course! We took the metro (subway) from our hotel to a station near the Travastere area and then walked the rest of the way. The metro however was probably the SKETCHIEST thing of life. First of all it's disgusting, and dirty and COVERED in graffiti. This was the one thing I didnt like about Rome was its metro and how dirty the city is (as there is graffiti everywhere - which is a shame). Now everyone appreciates Barcelona that much more as it's impeccably clean and its metro is state of the art awesome.
We found a restaurant that had relatively good prices for food, and we sat outside where there had empty old fashioned wine bottles hanging, with lights, and greenery around us. It was a beautiful place to eat and just relax. I ordered a liter (? maybe... could have been more..) of house red wine with my friends Holly and Darcey which only cost 7 euro, and provided us each with 3.5 glasses of wine.
The wine was delicious. For a started I ordered bruchetta, which came on a large piece of lightly toasted white bread, with fresh cut tomatoes, covered in italian olive oil and some fresh herbs. it was the best bruchetta I think ive ever had. For my main dish I had spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and spicy hot peppers. Once again the BEST pasta I think ive ever had, it looked plain, but the flavour was incredible. I never wanted it to end haha, and paired with the wine... ugh, best meal ever.

After dinner (a little tipsy from the delicious wine) we decided to venture to the Trevi Fountain to see it at night. On the way we stopped at the Mouth of Truth to check it out. The Mouth of Truth is a large piece of stone that has a face on it, with an open mouth. You're suppose to put your hand in it and if you are a bad person who lies a lot it's suppose to bite off your hand lol. Unfortunately it was closed because we didnt finish dinner until 1130/12... but it was still cool to see. We walked onwards to the Trevi Fountain, but of course on the way had to get our first taste of italian gelato. I got a stratachella (spelling?? sorry Lauren!!) flavour, which is vanilla and chocolate piece in it. It was to die for, Ive had gelato in Barcelona, but NOTHING compares to the gelato in Italy.
After devouring our gelato we found the Trevi Fountain around 1am. Now the Trevi Fountain is a major tourist attraction, and still at 1am there were still alot of people around it. The fountain is HUGE, and incredibly detailed, and at night it's spectacular, it has lights shining on it, and with the crystal clear blue water it's beautiful. My friends and I took some pictures infront of it and then did the ceremonious coin toss into the fountain while making a wish. And no im not going to tell you what i wished for because then it won't come true :P

After seeing the Fountain we headed back to our hotel, I walked home with Holly, Darcey and Phil. Even the walk home back to the hotel was amazing because there are so many things you come across that you dont even know what they are but are still incredible to see. Onto day 2...