Friday, January 17, 2014

Park Güell

December 29, 2013

On the morning of the 29th, Aliyya and I woke up and checked out of our hostel and we walked to Park Güell, another one of Gaudí's masterpieces. It was about an hour walk and once we got there, we found out that they had just started charging an entrance fee in October, boo! It went from being free to 8 euro, which is a little unfortunate, but that's okay. We walked around the free part of the park for a little while and then we split up again because Aliyya had seen the park already when it was free. So, I went into the Gaudí section of the park and walked around for quite awhile. The park was originally supposed to be a housing development, but only two houses were built and neither of them were designed by Gaudí. However, Gaudí did live in one of the houses for 20 years until he died and Eusebi Güell lived in the other house with his family. Park Güell is now a "municipal garden" and the main attraction of the park (for me) is all of the amazing mosaic, especially the ever so famous bench that is on the main terrace.

The reason you should not let strangers take your photo...
I have a hat.
After hanging out in Park Güell for quite some time, I took the hour walk back to the hostel. It gave me some good thinking time. I couldn't even tell you what I thought about, but it was a lot. After getting back to the hostel, Aliyya and I just relaxed until we had to leave for the airport to make our way to Budapest. Again, we took RyanAir and it wasn't so bad. I got a laugh every time I took a RyanAir flight this Christmas because the safety recording was worded something like this: "In the unlikely event that we land in water, your life vest is located above you blah blah." I just really liked that they added "unlikely event." It made me giggle every time. Also, RyanAir is apparently very proud of their record for having on time flights, but Aliyya and I decided that they purposely schedule the flights early and then leave late and still make it "on time." For example, we left 45 minutes late and yet somehow we still made it to Budapest on time. Makes no sense, but whatever. I'm not complaining that the flight was technically shorter than it was listed as.

Once in Budapest, we had a little mix up with rides. You see Aliyya and I stayed with a host family while in Budapest and the husband was supposed to pick us up from the airport and I knew what he looked like and everything, but when we got off the plane, there was a guy standing there with a sign that sad my name. So I questioned if it was for me and he just took off and told us to follow him. Well, he didn't really tell us because he spoke absolutely no English and I, at that point, knew nothing in Hungarian. So, before he walked away again I tried asking him if he was taking us to where we were supposed to be, but he was having nothing of it. He was on a mission, you could tell. He told us to wait for him and then he pulled up a taxi. Long story short, he finally said something about a hostel and me being Italian and I was like "NO, I'm not who you're looking for. Andrea is a boy's name in Italy and I'm not going to a hostel!" I didn't really say that, but I was thinking it and he finally got the hint. So I called the host dad who was picking us up and he was indeed at the airport waiting for us. Once at their house, he fed us chicken paprikash, which is a typical Hungarian dish and it was delicious and then we talked for a bit about a lot. Throughout our whole stay in Budapest, we talked a lot with the host family about the U.S., Spain, and Hungary. We talked education systems, history, politics, economics, language, etc. You name it, we talked about it (maybe). By the way, the Hungarian language is very difficult, but we'll get to that in later posts. Long story short, we made it safe and sound to Budapest and we were excited to go out and explore the next day.

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