Barcelona, Spain — June 12-14th
Friday night we rode into Barcelona; the air was cool and we were all excited to start our weekend of fun. To say that Barcelona is a large city is an understatment, it’s huge. The sites are all very spread out and unfortuntely for Morgan and I the beach was a ways away from our hotel, Transverssa Hotel which was located near the top of a hill just a block or so away from Park Guell.
The view from Park guell overlooking Barcelona, Spain.
The night started off with Morgan, Darcie, Lindsey and I all unpacking our bags. The three girls go to Purdue University with me, yet this trip is the first time we had all met. It’s kind of crazy how we went from being total strangers to seeing each other everyday and becoming close friends. After we all settled into our rooms we starting getting ready for our first night out in Barcelona! We were all so excited to experience the Spanish night life which first started with sipping on some lovely sangria before we went to dinner. In Barcelona the bars don’t open up and get going till late and they close down around 2, which is when the clubs open up and then go till 5:30am. We went to a bar that one of our friends had heard great reviews for and then headed out for the club. To say I was completely shocked was an understatement, I had never seen anything like this club before. It was packed to the brim with anyone ranging from 18- over 50. It was like a heat wave when you entered the door, after only a few minutes in there Morgan and I both started feeling overheated and sweaty. We hopped outside and enjoyed sometime just watching the waves roll in and everyone staggering around outside the club, it was quite a sight. The two of us ended the night deciding that it was one of those once in a lifetime must sees, and knew we would never go back.
Saturday was much more relaxed. I took a taxi with Morgan down to one of the beaches to the south of Barcelona Beach. The lady at the front desk of our hotel advised us it would be less crowded and more relaxing so we took her up on her advice. The two of us girls spend the afternoon soaking up some sun, relaxing to the sound of the waves rolling in and people watching. I think one of my favorite past times while traveling has become people watching. You notice so many differences in the cultures and way of living within the different countries in Europe. One thing that holds tride and true though is the carried over theme of topless women. I don’t think I will ever truly get an understanding has to why people feel this acceptable in public. I just don’t get it, so when at the beaches in Europe I just close my eyes and act like everyone around me is fully clothed.
My pottery from La Rambla
After the beach we walked through La Rambla which is a street market place that I was told is a most see in Spain. It was certainly a touristy spot, there were so many people crowded down this one street, so instictlively I clutched my bag and watched my surroundings closely. I have never felt threatened while traveling nor have I been in the presence of pick pocketers (that I know of), but I still like to be proactive and keep my guard up anyways which has proven to be effective so far. At the end of the market we found a resturant on the marina where we stopped for dinner. I was dying to have some crab, but it was apparently out of season so I went with a lobster instead since I had never tried it before. The waiter literally carried out a tray of three live lobsters and told me to pick which one I wanted to eat for dinner, the unfortunete fellow that was choosen was named Charlie. The poor guy looked alot better grilled up then he tasted, I was glad I had stepped out of my comfort zone and tried lobster but I think I will be sticking to my crab and shrimp for now on. At the end of the dinner the waiter brought us out each a glass of Champegne on the house which was quite tasty.
Sunday morning we woke up and headed over to Park Quell to tour through the park and museum, we got there a litttler before 10 am and were told we would have to purchase tickets now to come back at noon to get to see the park, so we got our tickets and hailed a cab to go to the La Sagrada Familia. The church is expected to be competed in 2026, 100 years after Antoni Guadi, the architect died. I didn’t go inside the church due to the long lines and time crunch but I did walk around the outside and get to see the difference in the arcetecture of the modern styles and those from past centuries.
A little afternoon we made it back to the Guell Park on Carmel Hill and for me, the 8 euros were so worth it to get to go inside the park and see the famous works of Antoni Gaudi. I loved seeing the famous lizard monuement that Gaudi designed and the multicolored tiled mosaic seats that were absolutely stunning! I loved the nautral elements that Guadi incorporated into the entire park. It was definitely my favorite part about Barcelona, well maybe second to the sangria. It’s definitely hard to top Spanish wine!
The drive back home was a long 5 hours in a bus, but it was well worth the bleacher butt to get to spend the weekend in Spain! I am slowly falling more in love with Europe with each stop. I keep finding new things that amaze me and take me back by their beauty, but I guess that’s what it’s like to travel. I see knew things, experience new people. and learn a little more about myself with each stop. I’m constantly being amazed by the world around me and I find that to be so exciting and invigorating. I once read a quote that said
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
I find this to be true in my adventures here in Europe. Just today I spend the day at a vineyard and winery, and had my first wine tasting. My summer has been full of firsts, lasts, and so much more that I can’t express in words.
My good friend, Morgan and I, have planned out most of the large plans for our week of travel after our winery internships are over. The plan is looking like we willl be heading to Athens, Greece and then to Geneva, Switzerland. We are planning to go to Italy a weekend or two during our interships if our host families allow us to and can get the plans figured out. Tomorrow we will be taking a field trip again for the second time this week, but it will be to Cave de Fronton. Then later this week we will visit the Purpan Experimental Farm, and participate in another wine tasting. I never thought I would be getting college credits to taste wine, but I’m all for it! Then Friday night Morgan, Darcie, Lindsey, Cooper, Wyatt and I will be heading off to spend our free weekend in Valras-Plage for some relaxing time on the beach.
I’ve been so blessed with the many friendships I have already made this summer and I can tell the goodbyes are going to be hard. I started missing home my first week here and it made me sad that I wasn’t enjoying every minute of my time in France. But now I see that as someting different. I was missing home because home is a place that I will always have and always love. But here and now my heart can enjoy a different home, and can come back to Indiana fuller than ever with such rich times and beautiful memories in it. So here’s to making France my home away from home.