Staci in Barcelona: Pireneos
    Staci will be in Barcelona, Spain, until June 2010.

    Obvious alert: You can, in fact, get way, way too drunk off of just drinking wine.

    This past weekend, the program had all of us go up to the Pyrenees mountains to visit medieval churches and appreciate medieval art and architecture. Although I’m sure many people on the trip enjoyed this aspect of it, I was bored out of my mind. (If you’re offended by my attitude toward Romanic art, I will grant that many Linguistics classes that I enjoy would bore and/or outright torture many people.) Once you’ve seen one old stone church, I personally think you’ve seen them all.

    Photos by the author.

    The program made a couple mistakes in planning this trip. The first was assuming that after seeing medieval churches in the morning, what we really wanted to was wander around a boring, empty small town for five hours. (What we really wanted was to nap.) Amusingly enough, after being stuck in the town for five hours, the only road big enough for our bus to travel on was blocked by a manifestación, or protest.

    About twenty residents of this tiny town gathered together with signs that said, “El cotxe no puje per una carretera de promeses,” which is Catalan for “The car doesn’t drive on a highway of promises.” Apparently the Spanish government forgot to build the better highway that they promised to the town five years ago. They dispersed peacefully after about half an hour, but it was still pretty annoying. We got bored and joined the protest at the end, yelling, “CARRETERA! CARRETERA!” with the best of them.

    The program also forgot to think about what happens when you put 45 bored college students in a hotel together; inevitably, both nights, there was rampant drunkenness and inexcusable loudness at odd hours of the night. I’m not entirely sure we’re welcome back at that formerly quiet hotel, nestled in the beauty of the lush, green mountains.

    Speaking of the lush, green mountains, we also climbed them. Some people were daring enough to climb up, but mostly we just climbed down, hiking to visit yet another old stone church. Barcelona is a beautiful city, but nothing can compare to the beauty of a mid-afternoon nature hike in the mountains. It reminded me of a combination of all the good parts of Yosemite and all the good parts (i.e. the greener parts) of the Alleghenies, where I hiked during PWild, put together.

    However, I was too hungover and pissed-off to really learn that much about Romanic art. Not to mention, I care very little about Romanic art, which further makes learning about it very difficult. However, I did learn that even if the wine bottle says “8%” on it, costs a euro fifty, and tastes like delicious grape juice, it does not mean that one should attempt to drink the entire thing.

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