Last Saturday, we were invited to climb Montserrat by one of Ted's colleagues, Nuria Bonada, and some fellow biology friends. We hiked these magical mountains once before with our American pals, so we thought we knew what to expect...
For us, going out with friends in Spain is a bit like being a kid in the backseat of your parents' car: you're pretty much along for the ride, never knowing exactly where you're going or what is going to happen next. Some of the surprises we encounter are language misunderstandings but others are definitely the product of cultural differences.
When we heard "climb Montserrat" we thought we were going to be hiking on trails....But in reality, "climbing" was used literally, as in using all four paws to haul your butt up the steep, rocky cliffs.
And of course, it was surprising when "water break" actually meant squirting wine down your throat:
Reaching the top made all the hard work worth it, except for Gabriel (sad face on left), who was not looking forward to slithering back down the steep slopes:
We were all feeling a bit woozy after a long day of hiking without eating anything. But fortunately, Nuria had a made a 4pm reservation at a local restaurant. At one time this late lunch would have surprised us, but now we knew to expect the piles and piles of delicious food to come.
Since we had perfected wine-squirting during the hike, we had to show-off our skills in the restaurant:
After the meal, we figured we'd be heading back to Barcelona, but instead went over to Nuria's house, who insisted we relax our sore muscles by sipping brandy or whiskey or one of the other ten liquors she presented:
And after 12 hours of hiking, eating and drinking, what were a bunch of biology nerds to do other than dance to Spanish hits late into the night!?
It was a completely unexpected, but fabulous day. Thank you, Nuria!