The Home Stretch

Hola todos!

Today, it will be my last entry for this study abroad journey. Time has never gone faster in my life than this semester has. The experience of being abroad is just something you cannot take for granted. I only have 11 more days till I step back onto United States soil. Before my closing remarks and all, I’d like to talk about this last week here.

For the span of five days, beginning this past Wednesday, I traveled to Alicante and Granada, Spain. This was the first time I had traveled outside of Barcelona on my own. Every other trip I had taken was with a friend. The sense of traveling alone has two main traits. It’s freeing because you have the ability to think only for yourself, make your own decisions without debate, and do what you want. However, it can be lonely at times because you are not sharing that experience with another person. When traveling alone, please take these things into account. If you are an individual who doesn’t like to be alone when traveling, then try and find someone to accompany you. If not, then get after it.

I enjoyed the ability to travel alone. It was a whole new experience on this trip, and it happened so late in the semester too. Experiences abroad do not stop at any point. That is something that is invaluable with this opportunity. Both cities I visited were incredibly beautiful. It reminded me of the reasons why I loved the South of Spain in the first place.

This next week and a few days will be incredibly bittersweet. Yes, I am ready to go home, but at the same time I wish I could stay. The conflicting feeling is just such a complicated thing to understand. I’ve met so many wonderful people who I’ll have to say goodbye to for who knows how long or if I’ll ever see them again. Thanks to technology, communication is easy which is a positive. Still, it’s a sad moment.

Barcelona was an incredible experience which I’ll never forget. Every moment here was special, good or bad. Times got tough, but it really makes you learn the importance of preserving. I am happy with my choice for this trip, and I hope that if you ever think about going to Spain, this will be at the top of your list.

Adiós!

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Montserrat and Messi

Hola!

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to both a FC Barcelona game, and I was also able to hike up to the top of Montserrat. The game was an incredible experience. It was a league game, and that meant that it would be much more competitive. I even was able to see Messi score a goal. Sadly, it ended in a tie, so I did not get to see them win in person. However, it was fine with me because of how exciting the game was the entire time. Montserrat was also an incredible hike. For this, we started out at the base of the mountain, and we hiked for around an hour and a half. The slopes were incredibly steep, but it definitely was worth all of the soreness afterward. It was a picturesque scene as far as the eye could see. The weather was a little cold, but I was bundled up enough to be able to deal with it for a few hours.

At the top of the mountain, there are a bunch of little vendors, shops, a basilica, and more views to be held. I do not recommend doing all of this on an empty stomach, but somehow I was able to survive until I bought some cheese in a cone from one of the vendors. It was a bunch of small cubes of different types of local cheese in the area. Instead of hiking all the way back down, we took a train back down the mountain to catch the train back to Barcelona.

This weekend provided me an opportunity to explore more of the area of where I am studying. I am shocked that it has taken me so long to actually see the major sights in Barcelona. You would think that it would be very easy to do so, but when your mind is caught up in going to other countries and cities in Europe, you forget to appreciate where you are. I am happy that I had the chance to explore places I haven’t been. I am excited for this upcoming week when I will be traveling for five days to Alicante and Granada. I cannot wait to update you all on that experience. I loved Sevilla, so I am sure I will love other parts of Andalusia as well.

Hasta Luego!

 

Exploring More of Barca at Last

Hola todos!!

This week I spent my days in Barcelona. It has been over a month since I have spent a weekend in the city in which I am studying, and I can say that a break from traveling so much was needed. I loved seeing as much of Europe as I could, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely needed a break. I was happy to have the opportunity to visit La Sagrada Familia. Throughout my visits to Cathedrals in Europe, this was the most impressive in my mind. The architecture was so unique in its design. Most cathedrals have some sort of similarities to others, but this one was really tough to compare to others because of how different its qualities were. Not only was it beautiful through the colors that shone through via the glass windows, but the way in which it rose upwards was incredible. Instead of using a regular pillar designs with flying buttresses and arches as many cathedrals do, this one in particular used pillars that branched upwards to mimic that of a forest. It gave proper support with a different method than most others I have seen. It is definitely worth the expense for a ticket, and I highly recommend getting a tower view as well in order to see the city from above.

It is crazy to think that my time left in this study abroad experience is less than a month. It is shocking to think that this went as fast as it did. I felt like I just got to Europe a couple weeks ago. There is still so much I want to do, but there is only so much time to do so. I have another full week in Barcelona coming up. I plan to not only go to an FC Barcelona game, but to also visit Montserrat. These are two types of entertainment in my eyes that must be enjoyed while in this city. I am overwhelmed with excitement to see this game take place and to be able to take in the atmosphere of it all. Montserrat will be an incredible experience to hike, see amazing views, and to enjoy the natural areas surrounding Barcelona.

I have only one more trip left, and it will be a five day excursion to Alicante and Granada, Spain. Here I will be able to see more of Andalusia which is a beautiful part of the Spanish country. I am ready to continue my last few weeks here, and I am excited to share everything I can to those who wish to study abroad in Barcelona.

Hasta Luego!

 

Cheers Mate!

Hello!

This weekend I took a trip to London. It was an interesting experience for sure. It was the first time in my trip abroad that English was the dominate language. It definitely made exploring and researching the city a lot easier. While here, I also had the chance to meet up with friends studying through the business program. They expressed their joy of their experience to not only live in London, but to also have an internship opportunity.

In regards to site seeing, there was lots to be had. The main sites included; Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, the Eye, Big Ben, The British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and Camden Market. Of these, I enjoyed the Tower of London, The British Museum, and Camden market the most. The Tower of London is a castle looking structure with the purpose of housing army men and other important war related points. In here, we also had the opportunity to see the Crown Jewels. The amount of Diamonds on display in one location was insane.

For the British Museum, it was a free chance to see history from all different time periods, cultures, and societies. Not only does it house the Rosetta Stone, but also a large amount of pieces from the Parthenon in Greece. This is a huge controversy because Greece is demanding the return of the pieces, but they refuse to return it. It is an ongoing battle.

Lastly, Camden Market, was a neat, modern place filled with shops, food, and entertainment. It had a young vibe which was something that connected with a lot of the people there. During my visit, I had to have fish and chips, and it definitely did not disappoint. It was a great atmosphere and a place that should be on your mind if you ever visit London.

London was an amazing experience, and it was great to see my friends from Susquehanna. It did make me miss being at school, and definitely made me more excited to go back to the states in a few weeks. However, I still have time to plan another trip, finish my classes, and to explore much more of Barcelona. I am ready to take on the last month or so of this journey, and look forward to sharing the stories in the weeks to come.

Hasta Luego!

Hallo Heidleberg 

Hallo!

This weekend was filled with a trip to Germany. I flew to Frankfurt to then take an hour bus to Heidelberg. I was happy to know I would have a friend waiting for me when I got there. She lived in the United States for a year or so, but moved back to Germany last year. So, I had a place to stay and a friend to show me around! 

However, the bus I had to take from the airport was 3 hours late. So, I had I sit and wait in Frankfurt until 3:30 in the morning to then head to Heidelberg. It was a long night to say the least. It was worth it in the end though.

In Heidleberg, I proceeded to eat anything local to Germany. The food was amazing! My friend took me to all the local places that most people would not have known about. Then, we visited the castle which was incredible. The architecture, color, and just beauty of it was unbelievable.

Then, Saturday, we left Heidleberg to go to the small town that she was from. Her parents provided me a place to sleep and somewhere to have a meal. The breakfast was delicious. There was a local fair and fun night life atmosphere. Germany was an incredible place, and I am excited to continue my travels to London.

Hasta luego!

A Weekend in Sevilla

Hola todos!

This weekend I spent three full days exploring and experiencing the life of living in Sevilla, Spain. Sevilla is located in Andalucía which is a southern region in Spain. Here they are known for many aspects including flamenco, the alcazar, and many other important structures and places. I just happened to have the chance of experiencing a few of the amazing things that Sevilla has to offer. 

As soon as I arrived, I was off to see the Alcazar. It was an incredible sight in all honesty. The amount of time, money, and effort that was put into constructing such a beautiful palace and series of gardens was unbelievable. I was getting lost in the gardens from how immense it all was. If you come to Sevilla, that is something you cannot miss. 

Through my hostel, I was able to take a three hour tour throughout the entire city and learn a great portion of the history and culture that developed there. Yes, three hours is a long time, but it was more than worth it. Also, the Cathedral of Sevilla and the Giralda are two structures that need to be explored during your stay. 

Sevilla was incredible, but the greatest moment was at a local bar that hosted a live band and flamenco dance. It was a tight squeeze with everyone in there, but the excitement, laughter, and art created by these individuals was incredible. It was not like a normal dance concert you would see, and these exist is Sevilla. However, with this bar, it was a circle of a crowd surrounding the singers, guitarists, and dancers as the crowd joined in the singing and excitement of it all. 

Sevilla was an incredible journey, and definitely one of my favorite spots so far. I’m excited to continue my travels in the weeks to come. I wish I had more time to explore the city, but only so much time left of my study abroad. I am off to Heidelberg, Germany on Thursday evening. I cannot wait to see what that city has in store.

Hasta luego!!

The Basque Country

Hola!

This weekend was a trip planned through the Barcelona SAE program. The trip was to País Vasco or the Basque Country. The destinations began with a vineyard known as Vivanco in which the village built its culture and wealth off of their wine production. Here, they grew their own grapes of many varieties. Then, they made the wine in the same location. The wine was incredible, and the museum was just as impressive. The museum consisted of the history of wine making in full detail, even since the roman times. Equipment, glasses, techniques, and other items were present throughout the display. 

Then, we made our way to Bilbao. In the Basque Country, they speak a language that is unrelated to the Castilian or Spanish language of the country. I could not make any sense of the signs or restaurants. However, most of the locals speak fluent Spanish, and many understand English. We visited the Guggenheim Museum which was the major attraction of the city. Then, in San Sabastian, we walked the length of the bay. This was a beautiful location. To top off the experience, the pinxtos, which are their small appatizers were incredible. They were little foods that you would not even know what was in it, but still was incredible. San Sabastian is known to have the best food in Spain due to their high amount of five star chefs.

The final stop on the trip was Pamplona. This city is home to the running of the bulls. Here, we walked the path to which they runners traveled upon. It is only a 3 minute sprint, but multiple runs happen throughout the week it occurs. 

On a side note, this past week was incredibly eventful in Barcelona and Catalonia in general. The Catalonian government declared officially that it would begin the process of succeeding from Spain. This was met with immediate retaliation from the Spanish government. The enacted an article that would allow the Spanish government through the constitution to take control of their government, strip their officials, and have direct rule within Catalonia. Now, it is a very tense situation. Who knows what will happen in the weeks to come, but witnessing this history is something special, so I am anxious to see what happens next. I will update you all on the events next weekend after my trip to Sevilla. 

Hasta Luego!