The GoGlobal Blog

Barcelona Bound!

Barcelona Bound!

Last weekend I went on my long- awaited trip to Barcelona for the weekend. I was especially excited because we booked the flight to leave Thursday night and return early Monday morning to maximize the time we would have in Spain. I was also excited to see how much Spanish I would remember from high school. People in Barcelona actually speak a dialect called Catalan, but I was happy to find out that I could recognize some basic words and phrases. We arrived in Barcelona late Thursday night and stayed at Hostel Urbany. It was a really large hostel: we were on the 10th floor. There were seven people in my group traveling together, so we got our own room. It was really clean and the free breakfast was good, but it was a little difficult to share one bathroom with that many people.

On the first morning, we went on a free walking tour around the Old City district, which is within the area where the original city walls stood. It was nice to be on a tour and hear some interesting facts about the sights (instead of just seeing buildings and not knowing what they are like I usually do). After the tour, we wandered around for a bit and stumbled upon a really cute store called “Happy Pills”. It was a fun store because you bought a “medicine” jar and got to fill it with whatever candy you wanted. Naturally, I ate all of the candy I bought by the end of that same day. We also saw the triumphal arch in the city before returning to the hostel to get out of the rain that had been brewing all day.

The artist/ architect Gaudi made a huge impact on Barcelona, so the next day we set out to see some of the amazing sights he created. The Sagrada Familia was the first stop and it was honestly one of the single most amazing buildings I have ever seen. This church was designed by Gaudi and is still under construction to this very day. They have been working on it for over 100 years already and it is not projected to be completed until 2025. The one piece of advice that I have is to definitely go inside the Sagrada Familia if you are ever in Barcelona. At first we did not know if it would be worth the 10-euro entrance fee, but I would gladly pay even more now that I know how beautiful the church is inside. There is also an exhibit under the church with information about its construction. We ended up spending around 2 hours looking at everything! Once we realized it was already getting late in the afternoon, we quickly headed over to Park Guell (also designed by Gaudi). I was excited that we saw the serpentine bench that I had seen so many pictures of during Spanish class in high school. The whole area around the park was really cool because Gaudi put so much thought into every element of its design. As soon as wewalked into one of the arched areas, I immediately recognized it as the sight of a runway on America’s Next Top Model! I haven’t seen the show in a couple years, but the fashion- loving part of me was still pretty excited.

Sunday was our last full day and it turned out that on the first Sunday of every month most of the museums are have free admission. We went to the Picasso museum in the morning. The line was extremely long since it was free, but luckily it moved pretty fast and we got into the museum in under an hour. Then, we stopped a tapas place for lunch, which was delicious. I am definitely a fan of Spanish cuisine! Finally, we walked around the city to see some of the other buildings designed by Gaudi before having a traditional paella dinner.

The flight back to Rome left pretty early in the morning so we got up around 4 to leave for the airport Monday morning. I was glad that we didn’t leave until Monday, however, because it freed up all of Sunday for sightseeing. Barcelona was one of the longer trips that I have taken this semester. I’m happy that I had some extra time to see all of the beautiful and unique sights that Barcelona has to offer.

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