June 3, 2010
Graduation. Have I really made it to the point where I leave UT Austin behind and start a new life as a full-fledged adult? Even though I graduated on May 20, the sad realization that I will never again play squash at Gregory gym at 10AM on a Monday morning only hit me while unsuccessfully trying to sleep in a jet-lagged state in a tiny hostal room in Barcelona, Spain. But first, I wasn’t sure our entire group would ever make it to the hostal…
As I arrive at the Barcelona airport, 20 hours after begininning my journey, I settle in to wait a comfortable 3 more hours for Sreetham to arrive. I pass the time by mourning for Gregory gym, and unsuccessfully attempting to nap. Upon finding Sreetham, all we have to do now is find Bharath and Will, our fellow travel crew, and off to conquer the streets of Spain we go! But, Bharath and Will are not at their respective baggage claims, nor are they anywhere in the airport vicinity. Sreetham and I ponder what to do, since Sreetham’s Spanish friend from study abroad, Sandra, is due to pick us up in five minutes. We call Sandra and she informs us shes running just a tad late, see you in 45 minutes! Perfecto! Spanish time has perfectly coordinated with the late arrival of our friends, as we finally see them strolling through the airport exit 45 minutes later.
Later, at the hostal….
In my jet-lagged state, I fail to see the men’s restroom sign above the hostal’s bathroom. I obliviously stroll into the restroom, strip down and enter the shower. I briefly think to myself “Hmm, interesting how these showers are see through and its unisex. Oh well!” 5 minutes later, I hear Sreetham’s voice saying, “Tracey, is that you?? This is the men’s restroom!!” Oops. So much for modesty.
A mere 15 hours later, we’re back at the Barcelona airport; to Ibiza, the party island of Spain, we go! We arrive in Ibiza at noon and aimlessly wander the beach until Sandra, our fearless leader and translating extraordinare comes to the rescue in the late evening. Even though she doesn’t arrive at our hostal until almost 11pm, its perfect time to start the night, Spanish style! We pre-game until 2AM and then head to the dance clubs to dance the night away. The 3 level dance club was quite a spectacle, with a 5AM water show that fills the dance floor with water up to the chest. (un) Luckily for us, we have left the dance club shortly before we meet our watery deaths. A ridiculous night of European style clubbing — PIN PAM PIN PAM!!
The next day, I sleep till noon (yes, noon! I really must be jet-lagged to sleep in past 8am…) and Sandra leads us to a beautiful beach a short bus ride away. Upon exploring this new side of the island, we find cliffs which Sandra fearlessly conquers with no hesitation. Me too. Well, I conquer it 15 minutes later, after standing at the edge with everyone shouting words of encouragement, “You can totally clear those rocks!¨
Later in the evening, we fly high up into the sky, looking down at the beautiful sunset, while parasailing over the Mediterranian seas of Ibiza. Also, I confirm my fear of heights.
Highlight of parasailing: As Im freaking out being 150 feet high over the sea, Sandra is playfully unclipping her caliber (the only thing keeping her from slipping to her watery death). She exclaims “Cmon, its the most safe thing, couldnt be safer!” Two minutes later, we hear a loud crack on Sandra’s side, and we’re all quiet. “Oh my god, we are so high up”, I whimper. And this time, no one disagrees with me….
But we make it safely down, enjoy the sunset view, and move on to another night of Spanish clubbing.
The next day ….
Slightly tired from the previous night’s partying, Sandra asks the group what we want to do today. I state “Something non-exhaustive, like lying at the beach all day! “Sounds great”, everyone agrees. Two hours later, we are vigourously hiking through the countryside for 2km, pausing only occasionally for water breaks. Really? really??! But, I must admit the hike along the ocean was beautiful and worth the “secret beach” we eventually found, after taking a few wrong forks (“when there is a fork in the road, take it”–Yogi Berra).
We enjoy the last day in Ibiza by taking dips in beautiful turquoise water and laying out in the sun. A few hours later, back to Barcelona we go!
It`s A Small World Afterall:
While strolling through the Picasso musuem on our last day in Barcelona, I hear a voice shouting “Tracey! Sreetham!” Looking around, I spot Vish, a friend from UT, running towards us. As it turns out, he is on a family vacation to Barcelona for a few days before beginning his summer internship. What a small world!
Last day/night in Barcelona:
Much to Sreetham’s dismay, we spend the day sightseeing by foot, culminating in a steep, 20 minute uphill hike to Montjuic, literally translating to Jew Mountain. Atop the mountain lies a castle built centuries ago to protect Barcelona from a pirate’s attack. In 1992, Montjuic was home to the summer Olympics and his now home to the weekly Magic Fountain show, an inspring display of colors and orchestral music played in tune with a powerful succession of fountain water gusts. Lucky for us, we happened to be at Montjuic just in time for the show!
Later that night…
We head to Opium, an underground beach-side club, to join Sandra for her friends’ dual 21st and 22nd birthday parties. But, not before pre-gaming, of course. Shortly before midnight, we head to Groucho’s, a 1€ shot bar (that just spells trouble). 10 rounds of shots in, we head to the beach and continue partying with Sandra’s friends until 2AM, when last call to get into the club without a cover charge is. Sadly, the group gets disconnected in the line, and only half of us are able to get in the club. Not to worry, the 5 of us loners have a great night talking on the beach until the wee hours of the morning. Well, the 4 of us. Immediately after being barred club entrance, Sreetham drunkenly exclaims “I’m leaving!”, to which I respond ” BYEEEE!”, simultaneous to Sandra’s attempts to bring Sreetham back to the party. On the 3rd try, Sreetham manages to escape, taking a 24€ taxi home, due to getting lost en route, typical Sreetham style.
Sayings from Spain
- Pin Pam Pin Pam!!
- The pink panther in the dead end.
- You little Spanish bitch.
- Percentage wise, how much fun will this beach be?
- You stay, I go.
Tomorrow evening we head to Nice, France for some wine, beach time and much needed R&R (Im too old for these European party till 6amers!)
Until then, ciao amigos!