This past weekend I went with a group of five girls from my French program to Barcelona. I was reluctant to leave France, since I’m nowhere near tired of it. However, they really persuaded me, and wanted me to join them since this was our last weekend together.
We left on Thursday right after class. We took the TGV train to the last stop in France, then transferred to another train which took us to Barcelona. The minute we transferred to the next train, everything switched to Spanish. Thus, my friend and I started frantically studying a Spanish dictionary. Since no one in the group spoke Spanish, we wanted some way to communicate.
We arrived late Thursday night, and went to the private apartment my friends booked for our stay. The apartment was so nice, we felt like we were on ‘The Real World’! I do not know how we managed to book such a nice apartment, when each of us were only paying 25 euros a night.
On Friday, before sightseeing we zippered and secured all of our bags. We were warned of Barcelona’s bad reputation for pickpockets. Our program director told us that each year at least one student is pick-pocketed there. I can happily say, no one in our group was, though we did see people attempt to fool us.
We started Friday by seeing Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia. It is definitely worth seeing, even if it was swarmed with tourists. I hope I live to see it finally finished, but I guess the construction has become part of its trademark!
Next, went to Gaudi’s Parc Guell. I visited Barcelona when I was in high school, so I had already seen Parc Guell. However, I wanted my friends to see this extraordinary park overlooking Barcelona. When I visited the first time, it was March, this time in August it was a lot more crowed. Yet, it did not take away from the park’s appeal.
That day, we had a great tapas lunch. We were able to share and sample many different Spanish foods.
That night, we realized we could not go to Barcelona without experiencing it’s infamous nightlife. They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but I think Barcelona give it major competition. We decided to go to a discotheque on the beach. There were people from all over Europe. We actually met more British people than Spanish. Some said they were escaping London because of the Olympics, while others just spend their holidays in Spain every summer. We all had fun meeting and talking with people from all over the world.
On Saturday, we decided to have a beach day. The weather in Barcelona is hotter than Montpellier, so we could only take so much sight seeing in the blazing sun. The beach was an excellent choice. It was crowded with some of the most stunning people I have ever seen. My friends and I had to stop from ourselves from staring. The only issue we had at the beach were the vendors. They were constantly stopping by to try to us sell things like: temporary tattoos, stickers, and warm cervezas.
All of which, we did not need.
That night, we decided to catch up on some Olympic watching. We have been without television for a month now (which I do not mind), but we didn’t want to completely miss out seeing The Olympics! It was fun watching them from Spanish television, the announcers are so animated!
Overall, I am very happy I chose to go to Barcelona. We had a great time together, but it went by so quickly! The only thing that hindered my experience was that I did not know the language. I would catch myself saying: ‘Oui, gracias’! Yet, the Spanish people didn’t seem to mind, they thought it was funny!
Au revoir, mi amigos : )