We caught a taxi to the Bilbao airport at 5AM after having three hours of sleep. The flight was cool because it was only about an hour and a half, and we got to watch the sunrise, creating this beautiful purple and orange glow over the clouds.

But once we got to Barcelona… the day took a turn for the nightmarish. First, the sticky and thick heat was felt immediately. Then, we were too early to get information at the info desk to figure out how the cheapest way to get to the middle of the city was. So we had to hang out at the airport for an hour, and all we wanted to do was get to a bed as soon as humanly possible. Once we figured it out, we waited an hour in the heat for the train that would take us to the metro that would take us to the right metro line near where we were staying. Looking out the window, we saw the enormity that was Barcelona, the biggest city we’d been to so far.

Once we got to our metro stop, we walked up to the street and were hit like a ton of bricks with the heat. We were so tired, so hot, so sweaty, and so over it. Unfortunately, the hostel I’d booked was in the gothic district. Meaning, you couldn’t figure out where you were for one second because there were barely street signs, and the streets also consisted of cobblestone streets and alleys and passageways. It was like trying to navigate through a labyrinth where you couldn’t read the directions. Oh, and no one spoke English there either.

After lugging our stuff for miles through alleys and streets and up and down stairs, we found it. And it was about 1000 feet from the metro stop we’d originally gotten off at. Then, they told us we couldn’t check in until 2PM. Sooooo… we did Becca’s laundry, and hung out at a cafe next door that had air conditioning and diet coke with ice.

Once 2PM came around, we checked into our room, which was, interesting:

this is what they call “jungle gym style”. Awesome. At least they had privacy curtains and we got two beds on the floor. We passed out and slept until evening.

Once we got up that night, we decided to check out La Rambla, the main drag in the city that has a million people, and separates the “good side” and the “bad side”. Let me just recommend something for those of you who might go there one day- skip this. And skip any part of the city they say is the “dodgy part”, especially if you’re not with a man. We stopped at this organic cafe and had some dinner:

Of course, we got lost and then the metro closed at midnight, so we had to walk and try to find our way back to the place, and finally it happened. Needless to say, we were NOT in the best of spirits on September 2nd, 2009.