After a week of excitement and six restless hours on a full charter bus, we made it to Barcelona. Almost instantly after checking in we were all ready to take on the city and all it had to offer. After all, Barcelona does have one of the greatest reputations for night life and when I say night life, I mean night life. Everything in Barcelona starts very late compared to France. Most places don’t even begin serving dinner until 9pm. Bars open around 12am and clubs are open from 2am to 6am. Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the end of our weekend. A big group of us went to a restaurant so that we could try paella (it’s delicious btw) and seafood. From there we waited to see what the nightlife was all about….and let’s just say we weren’t disappointed. After paying the most expensive cover fee I’ve ever heard of, we danced the night away and had one of the best times on the trip.
Saturday morning one of the other girls from Purdue, Darcy, and I went on a bike tour of the city. Thank goodness we took bikes because the city is enormous, we ended up biking a little over seven miles and didn’t even cover that much of the city. By the time the four hours of the tour were finished we were able to see the gothic quarter, the Barcelona cathedral, the Arc de Triumf, (apparently there’s a handful of these in the world) one of the parks that I can’t remember the name of, the beach of Barceloneta, and of course La Sagrada Familia. After the bike tour, Darcy and I were feeling extra touristy and went to visit the Park de Guelle which was a hike to get to. There were multiple escalators to get up to the park and then the steepest hill (of course they decided not to put escalators here) I’ve ever walked up in my life. Exhausted, we finally made it up to the park which was definitely worth all the physicality to see the view of the city. We went to the Picasso museum as well which featured an exhibition on Salvador Dalì. And it was free 😀
- I want to go back.
- The weather is perfect and there are Palm trees everywhere even though they aren’t native.
- Practically everyone there speaks English which was kind of a bummer because I wanted to speak some Spanish (even though they speak Catalan)
- Nobody in our group got pick pocketed! It’s a major concern in the city. There were even people on the street who would tell me ways to avoid it. ie this lady who told me to tuck my zipper string into my bag.
- I’ve never seen so many people out so late at night before in my life. They also get practically the whole month off for August, most everything is closed on Sunday’s, and they have about thirty holidays that they get work off for.
- It is much hillier than I expected, kind of like San Francisco.
The weekend ended (boo) and we had to get back into the studying part of study abroad, but luckily we started our wine classes this week (yay!). Our first “class” was a visit to an abbaye/vineyard/winery. If I had one word to describe it: stunning. The abbaye had courtyards and gardens that were in pristine condition and just beautiful. The vineyard was actually much bigger than I was expecting and it too was beautiful. We went around the winery briefly and learned the processes of turning some little grapes into a nice big bottle of wine. And of course we had to try some so we had samples of their Chardonnay, Rosè, and what I think was Merlot. All of them were delicious…I had to buy some for myself. Red wine is loaded with antioxidants 😉