|First night in Barcelona w/ the dinner they made!|
Our hostel was the best hostel I've ever stayed in - hands down! Hostel One Paralelo is a pretty small-sized hostel with nice, modern looking digs. I love modernity. This trip has solidified that fact. The staff there was super friendly and they even saved us two plates of dinner (a lot of nights the staff cooked and everyone ate family-style). The dish they prepared had bacon in it (pasta carbonara), so I passed and the guy who worked there was so nice to make me an omelette! It's interesting because I'm not sure if this is true for a lot of Spanish cooking in general, or just this guy's style, but the omelette had cinnamon in it and the pasta did too. It was really interesting!
|Us and Angel, lovely staff member at Hostel One Paralelo|
|First night out with Paulina|
|La Sagrada Familia|
|Parc Guell y yo|
|At Parc Guell|
|Proper Spanish meal|
Later that day we browsed around Las Ramblas more and went into a cafe to get churros con chocolate. One regret I have about this trip to Spain is that we only got these once! They were incredible. And surprisingly, the chocolate isn't very sweet so you actually add the sugar in like you would add to a coffee or tea. The churros were also not sugary at all, just plain, so they were good and not too overwhelming to eat.
|Churros con chocolate fue sabrosos|
|Emily, me and Julie in the cab|
|Tammy & I at Shoko on the beach|
|Andamos a la playa|
|Looks like I'm flicking off the camera, but it's a rock on sign. I swear.|
|All of us|
|With New Yorkers who knew where to get a good bagel at|
|Us and our authentic as ever paella creation|
|Coolest thing everrrr boy scout marshmallow toasting!|
|Us and the Brits|
|Secret handshake time|
|That's an interesting face|
|Muscle competition. I won as per usual.|
|At the fantastic Lateral in Madrid with Lauren, Ashley and Julie|
|Chilling with a lemon|
The next day we shopped, walked around, got street food for lunch and ordered this crazy prawn dish at a place on Plaza Mayor that we had to basically kill/prepare ourselves (lol I exaggerate, but still). Then for dinner we went to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner as we missed having American food to once again pump through our veins. It was comforting and delicious though embarrassing to say we did as I mean.. let's be honest Friday's is random/so not as cool as places in Madrid/but we loved every bit of it.
|Julie y Yo|
|Midday talk and sangria session|
|Pizza on the go|
Now about the hostel. We stayed at United World International Hostel and it was the most dreadful place I've ever had the displeasure of staying in. The room (which housed 6 people) was in addition to being tiny and cold, had the tiniest two little ceiling lights so it was hard to see anything. The bunks were frail and squeaky, the bathrooms looked poorly kept and moldy. Dreadful. Now, the icing on the cake is that we saw three roaches while there. Fun fact about me, my number one most dreaded thing on this planet is cockroaches. The first one we saw was in the main staircase on the first night. The next day when we came back from shopping we saw another, dead.
So we decided to tell the lady in charge of the hostel about the situation to see if anything could be done or if anything was being done (we had the idea to go to her after speaking with a trainee who was staying in our room). When we went to issue our complaint/concerns she looked at us with the most smug/can't be bothered/bitch-face ever. Seriously, so unprofessional. She alluded to the fact that "this is Spain.. what do you expect?" and "where are you from?" as to make it seem as though us being American has any connection to the root of the problem. Then she started talking about how she's seen roaches in NYC (duh.. how is that relevant?) and that the roaches that are in the staircase are not the responsibility of the hostel because they share the building with other establishments. Seriously? Absolutely ridiculous. At this point, Julie tells the lady about one that she saw in the bathroom of the hostel room which the lady apparently "couldn't believe to be true/possible." When I suggested that action should be taken like extermination, she claimed that they would do it the following day. Obviously this issue wasn't a new one, as she was aware of the situation before we spoke with her, so I asked her how would we know when the extermination would be completed. At which point she proceeded to say she was "offended" that I didn't believe her. Sorry lady, but you haven't seemed to be on the ball about the roach infestation before we spoke to you. The issue isn't new and it is a potential public health issue and unacceptable. The nerve of this broad.
Here's where the plot thickens: she claims it's safe for us to leave our stuff and be in the room while they fumigate, but when we went back up to the room, the exterminator guy told the trainee who was in our room that he was going to have to relocate and move his stuff as the chemicals were unsafe. Excuse my French (or should I say Spanish), but the first thought that popped into our minds is: this bitch is trying to kill us. How can she smugly lie to our faces and dare to say that we can leave our valuables and breathe in the toxic fumes of death? Absolutely unprofessional, uncouth, vile and disgusting. Needless to say we packed up our things (after shaking them out smh) and moved to a Travelodge out by the airport (Holiday Inn wanted like 400 euros for two nights - they must be joking).
Once we were safe, sound and roach-free, we were so relieved. The next day, Julie felt nauseous all day so we stayed in and I read The Hunger Games and Shopaholic & Baby all day (finished them both!). We were supposed to go to a museum, but it was nice to have a chill day in instead. Later that night we ordered a pizza (which I had to order in Spanish yet again) and Fantas. The following day we headed to the airport and flew to Paris, which I'll talk about in a different blog post. Phew! That was a lot and I haven't even talked about Paris, Amsterdam, Prague or Budapest yet. Anyway, til next time!
Here are a slew of iPhone photos from the trip also: