I dated this page and felt some weird emotions about it. Weird that I’ve been here for a month, how just a month can turn a place into a familiar home, weird how fast time is going and that I’m already starting to get sad about how little time I have left here. Hopefully this feeling of happiness and excitement about Barcelona won’t wear off because I wake up every day happy to be here and loving the beauty around me. Maybe all these feeling grew to this point after spending this past weekend here in Barcelona, exploring!
My classes run early Monday morning through Thursday mid-day, which leaves Friday through Sunday to really get out in the city and do activities. Recently I started to try and get out more on Tuesday evenings with some girls that live nearby to check out different areas or museums. Last Tuesday we went to the Picasso museum and saw many of his works, walked around El Born neighborhood, then grabbed tacos by the harbor. I hope we can keep up adventure Tuesdays because there’s just so many things to see and do, breaking them up over time throughout the week helps to see so much more of what we want.
For a couple weeks now, some girls and I have been trying to go up to the Bunkers. It’s a place that you can sit and overlook the whole city from the hillside. Since it’s been colder here that usual… like high 40’s apparently that’s way colder than normal, they say they’re in a winter spell.
Quick tangent about the weather: My bosses at my internship talk about how it’s so cold out, and on my first day they commented that I didn’t have a large parka on, as it was 55 degrees outside. I was talking about how it snows in Minnesota and they said that the last time it snowed it Barcelona was about 8 years ago and the whole city was in a panic. In northern parts of Spain there was supposedly chances of snow this past week. It’s so funny to hear people talk about how cold it is here when I know that at home it’s actually deathly cold. I’m glad I escaped that!
So for the past couple weeks on the days we wanted to go up to the bunkers it’s been raining or cloudy and we kept having to push it back. FINALLY, on Thursday it was a nice mostly all clear day and we were able to manage our way by bus up to the top.
It was very busy but that didn’t take anything away from the incredible view…
This was one of those surreal moments. Sitting and looking out it was a reminder to myself that I was actually here, doing this. It’s so easy to forget you’re all the way across the world once you actually get into routine of classes, homework, friends, laundry. It’s a feeling I didn’t really expect. But then you have these other extraordinary times that really place your head where your feet are and I catch myself saying “I’m really here, in Barcelona” with a huge smile.
Friday my roommates and I visited La Sagrada Familia, walked around the outside, then went to a hotel close by to sit on the rooftop, look at the stunning Basilica and hangout. Afterward we went out for Tapas and stopped for dessert. I don’t know what it is about this place but we all crave sugar so much. Maybe because things don’t have as much sugar in it here or maybe because I just love sweets but every day without a doubt I have to use all my self-control not to buy like 6 chocolate croissants.
Montserrat was our Saturday activity! This is a small town up in the mountains about an hour outside of Barcelona. The city metro line takes you right out there and then we got on another train that takes you up the side of the mountain into the monastery. It was amazing. I went into this day expecting to go on some casual hikes and see mountains but I was not expecting to see a little village high up, settled into the mountain side.
There is only was only a few things at Montserrat, one place to eat, a college style cafeteria, a hotel, the church and a museum and then priceless views! There was also a funicular that bring you up even higher to the top of the mountain that overlooks the monastery and surrounding area…
Sunday was all about being a total tourist in our own city. IES provided us with free passes to use one of those city tourist hop on hop off buses and we rode around the ENTIRE city of Barcelona. It was good to get a sense of where everything was located in relation to one another BUT after hour 4 of sitting on the top level it was freezing. We were forced to keep riding it because one, we wanted to take advantage of the free pass we had for one day and two, we weren’t anywhere near our house. So we stuck it out, and in the end it was worth it and we ended up getting off at one place that we hadn’t visited yet – Montjuïc!
Since Sunday I’ve just been doing classes, work and homework all week (STUDY abroad – can’t forget the study part!!).