Posted by: Mallory Schnell | December 6, 2013

Barcelona 2013!

I kept being super obnoxious and saying “Barcelona 2013!” throughout the trip, but this past weekend was definitely one of my favorites of the entire semester. After a rough start of a cancelled train and (not) sleeping in the airport, we arrived in Barcelona Friday around noon local time. All sleep-deprived and hungry, we made our way to our hostel (after a train ride and two metros), checked in, and then got a bite to eat at a delicious and very popular local sandwich shop. We then headed down the street of La Rambla and ended at the beautiful Port Vell.

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After walking around the bay and local shopping center, we decided to head to the beach. Because it was only like 50 degrees outside, we simply walked along the beach and on the pier, but it was wonderful nonetheless. I was so incredibly happy to see the ocean and sand because I absolutely love the beach! After walking around the city a bit and eating some dinner, we headed back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep.

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Saturday, Megan and I met up with one of her friends from back home who was student teaching in Barcelona for a month; we all went on a free Antoni Gaudí tour with her and one of her friends. On this tour we saw four of the famous architect, Gaudi’s, buildings which included Palau Guell, Casa Battlo, Casa Milo, and Sagrada Familia. We did not go inside any of these buildings during our tour because they cost money, but we could tell that they were all beautiful and so different even from the outside.

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After the tour we spent part of the afternoon at Park Guell, which was also one of Gaudi’s creations and had a beautiful view of the city.

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Saturday evening, Megan and I met back up with the rest of our group at the Magic Fountain on Montjuic, one of my favorite places in Barcelona. We saw a wonderful view of the city and walked around to see the Olympic Stadium from 1992. Before watching an amazing Magic Fountain show, we got tapas and Sangria at an awesome restaurant down the road. After watching the fountains for a while, we had a fun last night out in Barcelona before heading to back to the hostel.

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A few of us started out Sunday morning with mass at the Barcelona Cathedral, a very beautiful church near our hostel.

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We then headed over to Sagrada Familia and actually went inside this time! I’m not exaggerating when I say that it is probably the most gorgeous building I have ever seen. It was started by Gaudi, but is still nowhere near finished; it is expected to take at least another 20 years before it’s all done.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around Christmas markets around Sagrada and down La Rambla then relaxed by the pier since the weather was being so nice to us! Before heading to the airport, I finally got myself some gelato, and it was super delicious!

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The ride home was smooth, but long. We took the metro and a train to the airport, flew out of Barcelona at 10PM, then waited in a super long passport check line back in London. We spent yet another night in the Stansted airport, and I got maybe an hour and a half of sleep on the floor… Don’t worry, I probably got another 2 hours on the train ride back home. We made it back to Harlaxton right in time for breakfast before our last Monday morning British Studies lecture!

Barcelona was definitely one of my favorite cities I’ve visited; it was so beautiful and unlike any other place I’ve seen this semester. I hope to make it back one day, hopefully during the summer! I guess I should start saving now…

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