Marking Things Off My List

 

With only 5 weeks left in the beautiful city of Barcelona and still several things I want to see and do, I decided to make a list.  My weekends and weekdays are now limited with a few last trips around Europe already scheduled in the planner, and midterms and projects have begun to pile up, so it’s almost necessary to make sure that I do the things I want to get done during my short time left in Barcelona.

So here’s the list:Study Abroad Gap Year Program in Barcelona, Spain

1.)  See the inside of La Sagrada Familia

2.)  Visit Parc Guell

3.)  See a show in one of the theatres/concert halls

4.)  Visit La Pedrera

5.)  Explore the neighborhood of El Born

6.)  Explore the Gracia neighborhood

7.)  Go to Tibidabo and La Atalaya

8.)  See the Castle of Montjuic

I must mention that most of the things on my list are a bit touristy, which is sort of why they are still on my list.  The first month here was spent trying to get comfortable in the city, to learn my surroundings, and to get to know the people in my program, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for doing touristy things, especially when you have no idea where you are the majority of the time.  So now that we are more than comfortable here, it’s time to start checking some things off!

Last week I paid my first visit to one of Gaudi’s famous pieces of work, Parc Guell.  If anyone has seen the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, this is place in the scene when they are in the park with the mosaic lizards that overlook the gorgeous city.  I had high hopes for this site because it is definitely one of the most listed things to see in just about every touring Barcelona book.  I ventured out on a day I only had one class in the morning, charged and packed my iPod, and planned for a peaceful day in one of Gaudi’s wonderful naturalistic pieces of art.  I jammed to some quality tunes throughout the twenty minute metro ride, climbed up one of the most humongous hills that I have ever seen, walked about fifteen minutes through the park, and found the must-see-sight of Barcelona.  Once I made it, I decided to enjoy the classical music from a live band that was dispersed throughout the main center attraction of the park and took it all in.

Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Barcelona, Spain        Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Barcelona, SpainStudy Abroad Gap Year Programs in Barcelona, Spain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the week, I finally crossed number three off of my list and saw a Flamenco show in Barcelona.  The show was one of the planned cultural activities that we were able to attend throughout the semester, so all we had to do was show up on time.  After the show, I concluded that Flamenco is extremely DRAMATIC.  I can’t imagine what these performers are like off-stage, because every clap, strum of a guitar, stomp against the stage, or belted lyric was given every single ounce of energy and passion that these people had in them.  At the same time, that’s what made it so interesting: you don’t often see things in life, or shows for that matter, that are so honest about emotions these days. By the end of it, the main performer who was dancing was legitimately dripping in sweat and the band’s pain from hand clapping was practically rotating throughout the room.  We reciprocated with enthusiasm at the end of the show.  Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Barcelona, Spain - Flamenco

I was also recently able to cross off “exploring around the neighborhood of El Born” from my list.  From the time I have spent in Barcelona, so far this is my favorite neighborhood and I can’t believe we have just now discovered it.  In it, you will find the famous Picasso Museum, located just to the left of one of the most famous streets in Europe to visit, Las Ramblas.  The neighborhood is great because you can tell not many tourists know about it.  It is filled with unique shops, cafes, and restaurants that all somehow find the way to grab your full attention when walking through.  We indulged in some tapas from the area and met friends at an amazing Mexican restaurant called La Hacienda for our friend’s birthday and stuffed our bellies with nachos, bean dip, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, and more.  Is it obvious yet how much we miss our Mexican food?  Well, we do.  Anyways, back to the point. If you are ever in Barcelona, be sure to skip some of the more main touristy attractions and enjoy the culture yourself by seeing the neighborhood of El Born. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.

This post was written by Julia M., who spent a semester with us in Barcelona, Spain.

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Apr 29, 2021 @ 18:30
👋 Hi everyone! I'm Eryn Fleener a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, studying Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad with API Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy! I will be taking over API Instagram tomorrow, make sure you follow along!
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