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

Barcelona week 3

I had another great and busy week!

First off, I want to say how much I love living in a residencia. I have met so many people from so many different countries that it is unreal. They also know the places to shop, the sites to see, and the local festivities. Every night, you see people cooking in the kitchen or studying in the living room, and it is really easy to hang out and learn what other cultures have to offer. Also, it is fun to go out with them and making more friends! Plus, my best friend Sammy lives in a residencia too, so my friend group has enormously expanded. I have 4 groups of friends- my residencia, Sammy and her residencia, two friends from back home, and another abroad program here from Maryland. I was telling Sammy the other day that I am so happy that I don’t live in an apartment like the other abroad program, or with my two friends from back home. All those people live together, go to the same school, and hang out together. Everyday. I, however, am not getting tired of anyone, always have someone to hang out with, and get invited to all these different events.

I went on some cool random adventures this week. First, on Tuesday, after another day of long classes, I asked Sammy if she wanted to go to the beach. She said yes, and so after her classes we headed to Drasseneus- the La Rambla metro stop. We walked along to find Port Vell, the Port of Barcelona. We actually went at the most perfect time- sunset. The pictures I have of Monjuic and the Mediterranean are absolutely beautiful- worthy of a postcard (which, as a matter of fact, I did send them via Postgram- a cool app that sends a personalized postcard for pretty cheap). It was so cool! They also have a real shopping mall there, and I definitely want to go get tapas on the shore. We then walked to Barceloneta- the beach. It was a little farther than I thought, and it was dark when we got there, but it was still beautiful.

Another adventure that I went on was seeing the Festa Major in my district of Gracia. My Italian and Egyptian residencia friends invited me to go “see a bonfire,” and we walked about 5 minutes to this giant festival. They had bonfires, dancing, music, shows, devils, even a human tower (a big Spanish tradition)! Apparently they celebrate a Saint and also “honor” the devil. People dressed as devils lit fireworks and scared people there as a part of the show- very interesting!

My last adventure of the week was running to the Mediterranean and back. It was our first time together, and she is definitely above my level. We ran to Port Vell, and it was such a beautiful day that we just sat down and chilled for an hour and a half. Crazy! We then ran back (La Rambla to Passeig de Gracia) and it was really cool to see some places I hadn’t noticed before. I was proud of myself. Sammy kept having to slow down and wait for me, and at the end she had to cheer me on so I wouldn’t give up, but I am definitely proud.

I also had some good food this week. I also found a place that has 1 euro tapas on Sundays and Wednesdays, and .50 euro tapas on Mondays!  So, on Wednesday night, me and some of my friends from Maryland (Kiara, Blair, Maggie, Lauren, Alec, and Sam) went to 100 Montaditos! I got 3 sandwiches, a desert sandwich, a beer, and chedder fries for 6 euros, and it was pretty decent!

I had two “potluck” dinners this week- one with my Maryland friends, and the other with Sammy! I only brought some vegetables and chips, while they cooked rice, chicken, tortillas, sandwiches, spinach, mashed potatoes, and pizza. Then, the next night, I taught Sammy how to cook. We made chicken fettuccine alfredo with vegetables and bread. She was proud, and I was too!

Finally, on Saturday, my Maryland friends, Sammy, and I went to Ripoll, a city an hour and a half North of Barcelona. The city in the mountains was really cool. It was the first time I left Barcelona and it reminded me so much of Italy- random towns and hills and houses at the top of a green mountain. At Ripoll, we went to this pretty church and ancient monastery. The courtyard was beautiful, and it was neat to walk around and see the city- even though it was freezing. It was poorer than Barcelona, and a lot of it was run down, but it was pretty in its own way. Plus, it had so much history. It was the capital of Cataluyna at one point (I think), or at least where it originated, and the church we went to started construction in 870.

We had lunch at this awesome place- I had veggie soup (because I was cold), rabbit (complete with the kidney and lungs), and we had a special Catraluyan cake for desert. After, I had a 1 euro European brownie with my program advisor- worth it :)

My internship is going pretty well! I am currently working for a potential client, and making a Prezi for my company’s pitch, as well as researching more background information. I like doing the work, and I get to listen to music while I do it :)

This week for night life, I went to Otto Zutz, Hot Bar, and Bling Bling. Bling Bling had a chocolate bar (for free), which was obviously the highlight of my night. Otto Zutz has 3 different music rooms, so you can choose what music to dance too. I really enjoyed it!

I might go to France this weekend, and then Portugal in two weeks. The weather will hopefully be nicer here soon, so I can be outside more, go shopping, and hit the beach!

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