Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Tu español es…horrible!

A few short days after our adventures in Northern Ireland, my friends and I headed for Barcelona! The weather was much warmer, which was a nice change, but the language barrier proved to be a bit difficult at times. Even though I took Spanish for eight years, I struggled understanding the rapid conversations that I overheard. We got to Barcelona at about 10pm on Friday night, and since we had not had time to eat dinner, we were hoping that there would be some place we could grab a quick bite to eat. Little did we know, Spanish people do not usually eat dinner until at least 10 or 11 at night, so there were many places to choose from! After a delicious dinner outside (because it was so warm!), we headed to our hotel, which turned out to be an apartment! Hotwire is our new best friend! We got a two bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, bathroom, and living room (and even a balcony!) for a price that was cheaper than most hostels!

The next day, we decided to walk around the city and see what we came across! Of course, our first stop was a mall that was in an old bull-fighting arena! We all spent way too much money, but at least I came home with a gorgeous leather jacket! Next, we stumbled across la market de boqueria, which is a massive outdoor food market with tons of different stalls offering all types of food you can imagine! From fresh fruit to vegetables to pasta to candy to fish to meat and even to cow skulls, la Boqueria had everything you could possibly want to eat.

img_1979 (Just one of the many food stands at La Boqueria)

We ate so much at the market, and we’re even able to buy two bottles of wine for less than 7 euros! We just couldn’t say no to good Spanish wine at that price! After walking around the market, we made our way down to the pier. We were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather for the day, not to mention the fact that when we got to the pier, there was a pretty big rowing race going on. We spent a lot of time at the pier, soaking in the sun and enjoying the culture around us!

1470419_10200986512287511_523528738_n (A picture of me by the pier in Barcelona!)

After a wonderful day in the city, we decided that it was time to get ready for a fun night out. We started the night at a place called Chupitos, which is a very touristy bar, but also very fun! They have hundreds of different types of shots, all for 2 euros each. The shots were all very unique, some of them were flaming, some had whipped cream and chocolate on them, and some of them even used a marshmallow as a chaser. We met some very friendly people there, some who actually studied at UCD for a year! However, my favorite person I met there was William, the bouncer. I tried to speak to him in spanish, but he kept telling me that my spanish was horrible! Even though he made fun of me for my spanish, he did save my friends and I from getting buckets of water thrown on our heads. Apparently, the people who live in the apartments above Chupitos do not like it when it gets loud, so they dump buckets of water out of their windows! Luckily, William warned us just in time, and we were spared. After Chupitos, we headed to Opium, a club on Barcelona Beach. After we were all tired of dancing, we went outside the club for a walk on the beach! The water was so warm, and felt so good on my feet that were in so much pain from my shoes! Overall, it was a very fun night out, but unfortunately we could not stay out as late as the spanish do. We went home at 3:30am, but most people don’t leave the clubs until 7 or 8 in the morning!

The next day, we headed to La Sagrada Familia, a massive church in the middle of Barcelona. We took the metro there, but we got a little lost so when we asked a man in a store for directions, his response was “straight, straight, straight, then big!”. We were a little confused at first, but once we got there, we understood exactly what he meant. The church was absolutely massive! There was no way you could miss it. Even though we didn’t go inside, I still felt a complete sense of wonder and awe looking up at the intricate designs all depicting biblical scenes. It was absolutely gorgeous.

img_2033 (La Sagrada Familia!)

After walking around La Sagrada Familia, we went to Montjuic Castle, a castle that offers gorgeous views of the city of Barcelona as well as the surrounding ocean. We spent a lot of time there taking in the spectacular views of the city!

965386_10201866593722994_311027533_o (Tracy, Chloe, Vanessa, and I at Montjuic Castle!)

The views of the city and the surrounding water was a great way to end our trip to Barcelona! Unfortunately, to say that our return flight on Ryanair was horrible would be a complete understatement. Not only were the people at the gate extremely rude, forcing people to pay to check their bags even though they fit in the overhead, but we went through a lot of turbulence and even a 10-second free fall! It was one of the scariest experiences of my life, and by far the worst flight I have ever been on (and I have flown quite a bit). Luckily, we made it back to Dublin safely, and have so many amazing stories and memories from Spain!

That’s it for now!

xoxo, Maggie

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