Monday, June 22, 2015

Barcelona: June 12-14

After taking a quick quiz over all the agriculture information we had learned that week, we were free to get ready for Barcelona and be on the bud by 1. The bus ride took around 5 hours with a stop in Andora (Wooo another country!) to allow us to buy some duty-free goods. Quite and interesting country. After arriving to our hotel, we got ready and found a local restaurant for dinner (it was around 9 o'clock and we were still way early for Spain's dinner time…). I ordered their specialty, seafood pallea and wow was it good. I need to learn how to make paella because my taste buds could not get enough of it! We then went back to the hotel and waited until 12 to go out to a club. When we got there, we were still just about the second people there. It was not until around 2am that it was starting to fill up. We had a lot of fun dancing the night away and meeting people from all over the world. We also ran into so many American college students out which was very fun. We got home at 4am and went to sleep around 4:30.
my Pallea 

Lindsey and I 

Saturday morning came early with a 8 am wake up call… Lindsey and I wanted to get the most out of Barcelona so we got up early and got at it. After a yummy breakfast in the hotel, we headed out to conquer the Barcelona public transportation to try and find the meeting point for the bike tour we were hoping to go on. Well, we had awful maps and couldn't find very many clearly marked signs pointing the way, but with the help of some very kind random people and a lot of luck, we were able to find our tour in time. Our tour guide was a young girl who was probably around my sisters age. She was originally from Texas and moved to Barcelona four years ago so her English was great. On tour we met two other girls our age from UNC that were studying abroad in Rome and a few young couples from the UK, South Africa, and Scotland. We had a lot of fun talking with them and learning about their experiences and telling them our take on Europe so far. On the 8 mile, 4 hour tour we got to see many of the big sights of Barcelona including:
Arc de Triomf
La Sagrade Familia
Place Reil
The Cathedral
Parc de la Ciutadella and the Cascada Monumental
Music Hall
After the tour, we attempted the public transportation again learned that the metros do not go in loops…. We ended up riding it all the way to the end only to have to get off and get back on going the other way. The inside of the Barcelona metro is great… haha. We spent the part of our day exploring the famous Park Güelle which features the famous and imaginative  architecture of Gaudi. He is the same guy that was behind La Segrade Familia. This park was up this huge hill which took 5 escalators, a large hill with about a 45 degree slope, and several more flights of stairs. But all that work was so worth it when we got to the top and saw the view…. All of Barcelona laid out below us in all its beauty! After the park, Lindsey and I were in desperate need of sleep, so we headed back to the hotel to get a nap before heading out for the night. When we woke up and got ready, we met up with a group for dinner at… with for it… 11:45pm! After dinner we attempted to go out to another club but after getting lost (again) and realizing there was a huge cover fee and already being exhausted, we ended up just chilling on the beach for a bit. Even in the dark it was lively yet relaxing. Also first time in the Mediterranean Sea so check that one off the bucket list! After hanging out for a bit, we made our way back home and fell asleep almost immediately.
bike tour!

Arc de Triomf

Cascada Monumental

Lindsey and I at La Sagrade Familia

The group ready to go out

Sunday we slept in until 9 when we had to get up and get ready to be checked out my 10. After breakfast, we had the whole day until 2 to do whatever we wanted again before the bus took off. Lindsey, Cooper, Wyatt, Maria, and a few others decided to go to the Picasso museum because it was free for students. We looked at art and felt cultured. I hadn't been to an art museum yet in Europe and since it was free I said why not. We were not allowed to take any pictures in the museum and there were security everywhere so no pictures… sorry. After the museum we headed back to meet the bus where everyone passed out on for the whole ride home.
no pictures allowed in the museum so here is me contemplating the sign for the museum... basically the same thing right?!

Barcelona was an amazing city that I will definitely be back to! With only two days there, I feel like I barley saw any of the city and there is so much more to explore. It was so lively and happy there, I loves it! Also, I was really looking forward to using my Spanish there but that proved to be much more difficult than expected… not only do they speak Catalan, but every time I went to speak Spanish, all that I could think to talk in was French. In France I cannot seem to stop speaking Spanish and in Spain I speak French?! I have so much respect for all those people out there that know multiple languages and can seamlessly switch between them. None the less, I loved the culture and atmosphere of Barcelona and even the late meals didn’t bother me… they just reminded me of our summer time dinner hours at home!

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