Sunday, October 30, 2011

Barcelona: Day 68 : Lovely Day for a Guinness

This morning we got up and were about to get ready for church, only to realize that the time had changed and we had "fallen back." This was actually a welcome realization, as it allowed us to leisurely get ready for church and have plenty of time for breakfast and everything else, like checking email and whatnot. We did our best to try to meet Orla Gartland after missing her gig the night before on Grafton Street (we both fell asleep and didn't get a chance to check twitter and such, so we totally missed out) but turned out it simply wasn't possible. I guess I'm just stuck waiting until next time I'm in Dublin! Pity, though. But anyways, we planned our things for the day and got moving!

Barcelona: Day 67 : Glendalough -- Heaven on Earth .

Well  first a little bit about the pub crawl from last night -- It was a load of fun. Our tour guide, Grace, was very knowledgeable and it was great to get to know the other people in the group -- which was only 8 people or so, but it was totally worth it the €10 it took to get onto the list. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I was a little tipsy by the second pub we went to, and ended up losing my phone, and by the time we were on our way to the fourth place, I had realized it. Luckily, one of the Dutch people that we were with had found it at the place and given it to the bartender -- so we departed from the crawl and got my phone, and then went back to Isaac's. I also had thought my camera was broken, but luckily I fixed it before we headed off to Glendalough in the morning.

Barcelona: Day 66 : A First Glance o' Dublin .

So today was the first day in Dublin, unless you count just getting here last night, and I have to say it was absolutely wonderful. Despite the fact that the bloody train runs directly by our window and we have to endure the sound every 20 minutes or so, it was great to go to sleep knowing that you're finally in a place you've only dreamed of. So we started off the morning on an early note, getting in a nice little breakfast around 830 or 9. And then on to the days activities: The plan was to hit Dublin Castle when it opened, then hop on the bus to go to Glasnevin Cemetery, the National Botanic Gardens and Griffith Park.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barcelona: Day 65 : Dublin-bound .

Well, today is the day -- in an hour or so I am traveling to Dublin. Happy birthday to me? I'm pretty stoked. Fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly and the weather lets us get there safely and enjoy our time there; currently it looks pretty rainy outside. I'm sure it'll all be fine though, I'm not too worried. I'll be posting (hopefully) as the days progress throughout the weekend, so say a few prayers for me; it's much appreciated!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Barcelona: Day 64 : Dublin-bound .

Tomorrow, after studio and materials, I'm flying to Dublin. I've never been to Ireland before... but it's been #1 on my places to visit for quite a long time. Finally, finally, I get to visit this mystery place that has since the beginning of my birth been so far out of reach. I'm in Europe, and I'm taking advantage of the five day weekend that we have to go and see a place that has been a dream. I am beyond excited.

Barcelona: Day 63 : Video Games .

This is actually probably not going to be the post you may have envisioned upon reading the title, but that's part of the fun of blogs is that they are interesting in that way. I watched a video made by CopperCab, and for those of you who don't know who he is, he is this insane ginger kid who has some serious anger issues. However, for all the times he's made fun of, occasionally he sticks a decent message in there. This time it was how video games corrupt people. He takes it to the extremes, and screams and whatever else he does to get views, but his rants are still watched by people all over the place, getting hundreds of thousands of views.

Music Monday #39

Without a doubt, this week's song is We Can Make the World Stop by the Glitch Mob.
I'm going to post the video where I originally heard the song, because it's practically better than the actual music video:

Barcelona: Day 61 : Catholic Mass Returns .

For the first time since I got here I had the pleasure of going to a real Catholic mass. Despite the previous week's mishaps, I was able to find the place perfectly and go in and celebrate true Catholic mass. Unfortunately there was no music, but there weren't that many people that went and I would imagine that it simply is hard to find people that are willing to play music for such an empty mass.

Barcelona: Day 60 : Parc Güell .

Today, since the majority of the people we hang out with were in Paris, Ian and I decided to take a trip to Parc Güell to see what was there. I had been previously, and there was a slight chance of rain, but we decided to risk it. Boy, was it worth it. The day turned out to be a beautiful one, with sunshine abundant and the temperature probably creeping up past the 70º mark. I was impressed, given that it was October. Silly me, I had worn a hoodie, and yet it was clear that it was not needed. The morning had been deceiving...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Barcelona: Day 59 : Those Three Words .

Today I took a break from working and was messing around with Gmail and I ended up putting it into German. Yes, this would be my lame attempt at trying to begin to immerse myself in the language -- it won't work but every little bit helps. But I discovered today that every google chat that you send is actually saved in a cache on Gmail. I began to poke around in my old chats, and went back to the first ones, which were 99.9% from the first girl that I dated in college.

Barcelona: Day 58 : The Mixed Tape .

This literally just randomly occurred to me -- I'm a giant fan of listening to the lyrics in songs, and frankly writing them myself as well. It's amazing to me that people can be so choice with their words and send such a strong message, and often make it rhyme, and then put the right type of music along with it. It sure seems like a lot, and I think we often underestimate musicians' ability and take what they offer for granted.

Barcelona: Day 57 : Spiritual Garden .

Every day I have bible verses and devotionals emailed to me. One is just a verse, another is a verse and an explanation/reflection, and the devotional is a verse with a relation to everyday life. I usually save the ones I really like and a couple of days ago I got a great one. It was talking about the parable with the seeds -- how some fell on rocky ground, others on thorny ground, and others on rich soil. I'm sure most people who are even remotely big on religion know this story -- but the way it was presented here was really well done -- so I'll post it and you can read it.

Barcelona: Day 56 : Just Another Tuesday .

Lyman Frank Baum once said "as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy."

Yep, today I'm gonna do another quote blog.

I think that there is a fine line between simply being afraid and being a coward. I have a hunkering that there aren't too many people that go completely through life living in absolute cowardice. There are a lot of things that just take a lot of courage to do. Hell, even walking out your front door in the morning carries a pretty large amount of risk. That's why schizophrenics confine themselves to the home right? Home creates the boundaries of safety. There are no unknowns; it's a controlled environment.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Music Monday #38

This week's song is Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Bublé.

Barcelona: Day 54 : Changing Seasons .

It seems that it has finally decided to become fall here in Barcelona, and while there aren't too many trees to witness the changing color of the trees, it's so nice to be able to wear a pair of jeans without sweating your butt off. Those of you who know me well know how much I absolutely love my jeans... You might find it hard to believe that this entire post may very well be about the Barcelona weather, but I dunno, I consider myself a rather avid blogger and most likely can make something out of virtually nothing. It semi has a point, I promise.

Barcelona: Day 53 : Dates .

In times of old, men had to work for a girl's attention. "Courting" was a long, respectful process that made the man work for the woman's hand. Chivalry has since then virtually disappeared, at least in my eyes, and while a few rare gentlemen still remain, I think that chivalry is a lost art that needs to be brought back in a great many ways.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Barcelona: Day 52 : Steve Jobs .

So I was a bit late on hearing about this somehow, but Steve Jobs passed away. We were in Germany when he died, and it was even in the German newspaper there. Now, whether you are a Mac person or a PC person, I think we can all agree that Steve Jobs has a legendary story, and become a legend through Apple and what that company has done to the technological world. It's grown so fast, and crossed technological boundaries that I wouldn't have even been able to fathom years ago.

Barcelona: Day 51 : Acceptance .

So I was about to jump in the shower and initially had something really good to write about regarding the topic of acceptance. Of course, once I sat down with the intent of actually writing it, all profound revelations had erased themselves from my mind... I'm hoping that maybe if I just start writing, the rest of the thoughts will eventually meander their way back into my head.

Barcelona: Day 50 : Sticking with it .

There's a guy I follow on Youtube, and his tag name is NicePeter. He's the most genuine person I've seen out there, and he does this thing every monday called the Monday Show... and without fail, no matter how many things he has on his plate, he finds a way to get this show out there on Monday. It's a blessing to be able to always look forward to pick me ups like that. At the end of the show, you always feel better, happier, and you've always got a smile on your face. It's something I look forward to each week.

Barcelona: Day 49 : Fifty People, One Question .

I came across a movie one day on Youtube, and it was called Fifty People, One Question -- Chicago. Upon revisiting that video today, I discovered that there are a whole bunch of other films like it. But I like this one in particular.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Music Monday #37

Okay, I didn't do a song last week due to Germany, but we're back on track this week (even though I'm a few days late). The song for this week is called Postcards, and it's an original song by Orla Gartland of Dublin. Her stuff is great, and I follow her music closely on Youtube. This particular song has a great set of lyrics, and as always her voice is perfection. Enjoy!

Barcelona: Day 47 : Finding Your Match .

At first glance it may seem that this post is going to be about love and relationships. Well, perhaps it may indirectly involve relationships, but not of the sort that is normally thought of at this juncture. For this is a matter not of love and friendship so much as it is religion.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Barcelona: Day 46 : Returning 'Home' .

Today was an early and rushed breakfast for all of us. It was difficult to drag myself out of bed and get all my things packed up. I had been dreading the day we left Germany, because not only was I really enjoying the country and the cities in Germany, but loving the opportunity to use and listen to the German language. Although I know less German than Spanish, for some reason I feel more comfortable and open to using it and trying to get better. I'd really love to be fluent in German.

Barcelona: Day 45 : Köln .

Well it was basically our last full day of the trip and we were headed to Köln. Düsseldorf had basically been a place for us to stay at night, and since they are right next to each other we could just go from city to city seamlessly. There were also some serious conferences going on and so all of the places in Köln were either booked or super expensive. Not to worry though, everything worked quite smoothly.

Barcelona: Day 44 : Rapid-Fire Frankfurt .

Already it is the last day that we have in Frankfurt, not to mention that it's only a partial day in Frankfurt as it is. We met back up with our tour guide, Petra, who is just a friend of Kathrin's. We started by heading to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität.

Before we headed in, she added something interesting about the way German cities are settled. In almost every city, the rich people live in the west, and the poor in the east. The reason is that the industry from the winds blow from the west, so all of the smoke and industrial fumes will not blow into the richer areas. I found this to be quite entertaining... but honestly, someone was really thinking when they placed the pricier homes!

Barcelona: Day 43 : Frankfurt-Bound .

So today we got up super early to hop on a high speed train to Frankfurt, leaving Berlin behind. I was sad to see Berlin go, but was excited about being able to visit other parts of Germany. We'll get to the day in time, but first a little disclaimer... My memory card was being really weird today and just randomly decided to stop working. The card was unreadable and I couldn't take any more pics for the rest of the day. I had hoped that I would be able to salvage the ones I had already taken, but they had to be erased in order to reformat the card. Therefore, any pictures here posted are thanks to Brittany who sent me her pics for the day.

Barcelona: Day 42 : Last Day in Berlin

Today we were allotted time for whatever we wanted to do, and after sleeping in for a bit and eating breakfast, a small group of us hit the streets. The goal was to find a library that had a lot of interesting architecture books. We did indeed find it, and it had some really interesting things, and I got a little bit of a taste of the sorts of architectural books that are out there.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Barcelona: Day 41 : Kaiserwilhemgedächtniskirche .

So, if you're wondering about the title, yes, it is indeed a real name of a small church that was destroyed in the war, and this is where we begin our day. The ruins that were there after the war were kept, and a new structure was built around the tower, which was virtually the only thing that remained after the war. Kathrin said that this is because the church is no longer meant to be seen. Next to it, in the footprint of the old church, is a new octagonal-shaped church, which has services and is used today. The old cathedral dwarfs this new church, but I have to say it's still really cool.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Barcelona: Day 40 : More of Berlin .

Well it's Sunday and there is tons more of Berlin to see, so we were out the door relatively early today. We were going to see the Berlin Wall Park, which is not so much a memorial as it is a park. In German, it is called Der Mauerpark, and it was designed by Gustav Lange. There are parts of the wall left all over the city, and what they did here was take the Death Strip and turn it into a great green space. It's interesting how this space went from being a border to a freely accessible area. What's also interesting is that there literally has never been anything in that space prior to this park -- even before WWII.

Barcelona: Day 39 : Berlin Unwrapped .

After waking up pretty early in order to get out on the streets of Berlin early, we headed first to the Berlin Philharmonic. This consists of 2 buildings, which house 2 concert halls, with the main one being actually quite a bit bigger than the second one. These are connected by a lobby/foyer, and even though we came in some weird back entrance, the resulting view of the inside was pretty striking.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Barcelona: Day 38 : Deutschland!

Today, I was so stoked because we were flying from Berlin. After being here for a bit, one thing I know for certain is that I loveeee hearing German so much more than Spanish. We had to be up and at 'em early, and everyone was definitely yawning as we hopped on the metro and then the train to get to El Prat de Llobregat airport. I was doing my best to keep track of everything so that I would know how to get there on my own when the Dublin trip happens. We got on airberlin and had a lovely flight over the Pyrenees into the Berlin airport.

Barcelona: Day 37 : Jordi Approves !

Studio, since I've gotten here, has been my least favorite thing thus far. But for once this time, Jordi (our professor) sorta gave us the okay that we were at least moving in the right direction. We've identified the public spaces, mapped them, and figured out that we'd like to connect them all, making a large convoluted node that is connected in an interesting way along the corridor of the railroad. I'm satisfied for now! Hopefully studio will continue to get better and better as we work.

Barcelona: Day 36 : The Roman Influence .

So this morning for European Cities class we were going to go out on a walk that involved a lot of the presence of the old Roman walled city in Barcelona. I going to go out on a bit of limb and say that this won't be too interesting for most; as it is a lot of the same thing and honestly I didn't write too much down in my notebook either, so there won't be a ton to read.

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