After my trip in Crete, we had a quick week of only two days of class. We started our second session for classes with two new courses, a marketing course and a trend-reporting course. The Dublin-London group finally united with us, which means we’ve been here for five weeks already! Time seriously flies. So with no assignments for the weekend, the girls of my group headed off to Barcelona, Spain! I liked the idea of going to Spain before coming here but someone else in my group suggested Barcelona as a fun place with a lot of destinations to see as well. Since there were six of us and we were there for about 5 days, we decided to get an apartment rather than a pricy hotel or a hostel. The apartment worked out well because we got three rooms rather than a crowed hostel with strangers as well as a stocked kitchen and a spacious deck J. The deck really allowed to communicate with locals and ask them about the best places to go and another other questions about the area. Thankfully, a few of the girls were a little more fluent in Spanish than the rest of us. I could pick up a few key words from my language course in middle school (too long ago) but I would have been great to know more. However, I definitely started to pick up on some phrases and words because it’s a lot easier to learn a language when you have no other option!
The next morning we stopped for crepes, which were offered in both sweet and savory options. Sunday is a day when a lot of things are closed completely besides tourist locations and some eateries at certain times. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to have the grocery store closed as well as most retailers for the entire day. Many restaurants actually are only open for certain meal times. In general for any day of the week, a restaurant may close from 4-8 then open again for dinner. After our meal we headed off to the most well know church of Barcelona. The famous artist, Gaudi, designed the church, Sagrada Familia. The church, planned in 1882, is still under construction to this day and visible across the skyline. We just spent time outside of the church because it is a highly crowed tourist destination and not actually used as a church.
The next stop was Park Guell. This was a quite a hike as well. The park is also themed Gaudi with his design work featured throughout. The park is a beautiful destination to see the whole city of Barcelona from above but getting to these heights was no simple task. The journey began up steep streets, which actually had a few escalators and staircases for about a half-mile. Then we reached the first stopping point where you can begin to see all the beautiful architecture and natural scenery Barcelona has to offer. The dirt path then winds up and up until the very top where there is a cross monument placed with spiral staircases up the sides. The view from up there is nothing but breath taking.
Being in Barcelona, we could not help but take advantage of the beaches. We made three visits to the beach during our trip knowing that London did not offer the same weather and scenery as Barcelona. Barceloneta was the closet beach to us, just about 15 minutes away from our apartment with scenery such as the well-known W hotel. We were even able to enjoy breakfast at a café on the beach. While Barceloneta was a beautiful beach, some days were very tourist heavy so we headed off to a further beach, San Pol on another day that also had a small town right along side. There was just a small amount of people, all locals, which was refreshing and relaxing.
Barcelona was nothing but beautiful in so many ways. During the day was great architecture and ocean scenery but at night the lights created their own magic. We even went to a light and water show, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. It was the perfect way to bring our trip to an end.