Love at first sight must be real because I fell in love with Barcelona the first day I got there. I went to Barcelona with the intention to see my friend, Hanna, who has been traveling around Europe, and to see a few sites. After a fantastic weekend, I made so many friends from around the world and I saw so much more of beautiful Barcelona than I had expected to.
First off, Barcelona is the first big city of Europe that I’ve been to and the first time I have ever been to a hostel. Both the city and the hostel left great impressions! I stayed at Hostel One where I met most of my friends. The hostel made delicious dinners for us every night and afterward took all of us out to experience the nightlife. I highly recommend staying at this hostel if you plan on traveling around Europe.
For my first night there, my two friends took me to the castle in Barcelona where there is normally a fountain show. Although there was no show that night, the castle was still breathtakingly beautiful. Next to this was Olympic Park, where Barcelona held the Olympics in 1992. A gigantic sundial in the middle of the park left me in awe.
On Sunday, February 7, we celebrated Carnaval! For those who don’t know exactly what this is, Carnaval is a traditional religious celebration that people still celebrate in many countries. The Latin root from the word Carnaval means the ending of meat. It takes place before Catholics begin Lent, where no meat can be consumed. Therefore, Carnaval is a huge get-together where everyone consumes meat, drinks, and socializes before Lent begins.
Our group of 40 foreigners decided to go out and have fun for Carnaval! We all painted our faces, put feathers in our hair, and ate food before we took a train to the beach of Siges. Siges is where the parade begins, and it was nothing I’d ever expected or had seen before. Women and men all had costumes on of various creatures, people, and things, and put on performances!
La Sagrada Familia is one of the biggest attractions in Barcelona. It is a huge church (still being constructed!) that was designed by Antoni Gaudi, a famous architect that designed many buildings in Barcelona. I had the great fortune to visit this church and take pictures!
I visited a large park where anybody can hang out at and I found people doing slackline, so I joined them and had blast relearning this activity. My friends and I visited the Gothic neighborhood with the older buildings and narrow streets, and we went to the food market, which I consider Heaven. Food, being my best friend, was so cheap at this market that I left with my arms full of cheeses, fruits, meats, and pizza!
The famous street of Las Ramblas was our last stop. Las Ramblas is full of souvenirs, caricatures, food, and more, where most tourists go through when they visit Barcelona.
For my last day, my friend Julian and I woke up at 6 a.m., took the subway to the Modernist Park Guell (also designed by Antoni Gaudi) and we watched the sunrise over Barcelona. This is a moment I shared with a new friend that I will never forget. I ended my stay by visiting the beach, trying a Segway for my first time, and traveling on one of those cable cars that allows you to see the whole city! Until next time, Barcelona.
Besides my unforgettable trip, I’ve been enjoying my English internship a lot! I’ve begun teaching parts of the classes. For example, I will do the normal routine in the beginning of each class with the kids such as asking the date, weather, and random questions to get them talking. I also prepare many activities, games, and crafts for the younger kids. Next week, I will be starting a craft and game with each class that I’ve invented myself!
The most exciting thing that has happened to me recently is that I tried octopus. Not only do I not like seafood, but I never imagined myself trying octopus in my life. I am happy to say that I enjoyed the octopus and I am broadening my horizons every day!