International Trips Part 1: Barcelona

I decided early on to study abroad for a year because I wanted to spend most of my time in London for the first semester. I wanted to do most of my traveling next semester but I did plan a trip to go to Barcelona for a weekend. I have had Barcelona on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I was really excited to go in general but I was also very excited to go because when I worked for the YMCA, my first camper was someone from Barcelona. Therefore, I had the opportunity to see her that weekend.

I flew to Barcelona very early in the morning on Friday so that I could have two full days in Barcelona. I flew RyanAir which is cheap but you pay for what you get. The London Luton Airport is very nice and security is really quick. There is a lot of food and shopping in the airport that you have to walk through to get to the gate. Once I landed with my friend, we had to figure out how to use the train system which is a bit difficult with everyone only speaking Spanish but it wasn’t too bad. We figured out how to get tickets and got on the train to drop us off in the city center. We couldn’t check into the hostel until 5pm so we decided to walk around a little before going. I had always wanted to go to Park Güell because of the stone benches that are in Cheetah Girls 2. It was a huge hike to get up to the top. Definitely worth it. It was gorgeous and we were able to see so much of Barcelona from above. We found a hike along the way that brought us to the top of the mountain and we could see all of Barcelona. It was truly breathtaking. One of my favorite moments throughout this whole experience abroad.

Once we checked into the hostel, my friend and I got ready to meet my old friend from Barcelona. Her name is Laia and I met her while being her camp counselor at Camp Fuller in Rhode Island. I hadn’t seen her for two years because both of us stopped going there for different reasons. It was amazing to go out to dinner with her and hear about her experience starting university.

The next day another friend joined us to walk around Barcelona. We spent the day looking at the city stores and tourist attractions. We saw the Sagrada Familia which was gorgeous but it was under construction. One of the most memorable moments was this plaza we happened upon. There were thousands of pigeons running around. A women gave me seeds and all the pigeons perched on my hands. It was a crazy experience. If you choose to do this just remember that you have to give them euros after. That night we spent at the hostel which was a really great experience. Everyone wants to make friends and mingle. I love staying at hostels because it is really easy to talk to everyone.

All in all it was amazing to see a place that I dreamed about seeing since I was young. I would go back in a heartbeat.