Today’s post comes from SBCC Madrid’s Student Blogger Rachel Sevy, who describes a trip the group took to Barcelona. Rachel describes the sights and sounds, the delicious cuisine, the refreshing ocean water, and the excitement that comes from visiting one of Spain’s most beautiful cities.
For one of our planned excursions, my fellow SBCC students and I traveled to Barcelona for the weekend of September 22nd-24th. The entire week I felt extremely excited, I couldn’t wait to see all that Barcelona had to offer, including the beach! Since this is my first trip to Europe, I have been eager to explore as much as possible. With every city I visit, I feel there is no other word to describe how I feel other than awe. Being surrounded by all new architecture and new cultures opens my mind to new lifestyles, new histories, and new lessons. Although this is the beginning of my third week here, I continue to learn new lessons every day.
The train to Barcelona was about 3 hours long, and it was my first time traveling by train. Once we arrived and checked into our hotel, the group went out for lunch before our tour of the city. The first stop on our tour was of Gaudí’s first buildings. If you are not familiar with Gaudí, he was a famous architect during the late 1800’s who influenced a new style in Spanish architecture. On our tour we saw two of his buildings, and later Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral in Barcelona. Construction on Sagrada Familia started in the 1880’s and is yet to be completed. The goal is to finish it by 2026, marking the 100 year anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
The rest of the tour included walking through the main downtown area of Barcelona as well as a street with many high fashion stores. We were able to experience the largest outdoor market in Barcelona and also had the chance to try sangria gelato.
The next morning we had an admission ticket to the Sagrada Familia. Once I entered, I felt overwhelmed. There is nothing in America that can compete with the detail I have seen in the cathedrals here in Spain. The inside of the church was filled with tons of stained glass artworks and amazing interior architecture. The outside of the cathedral was just as amazing. It was so hard to believe that the construction of the church began in the late 1800’s, and it still wasn’t finished. It speaks for all of the hard work that has gone into making this church so beautiful. I couldn’t stop looking up when I was inside, I saw everything on the inside probably five times because I kept walking in circles. It is the kind of place that makes you realize you cannot fully appreciate how beautiful something is only through pictures, being inside was a completely different experience.
After Sagrada Familia we visited Park Güell, a park with many structures and mosaics designed by Gaudí. Our group walked up to the top of the park and saw the spectacular view of Barcelona from above. After the park, we went to the infamous Barcelona beaches. This was my first time visiting the Mediterranean Sea , and I found the water was warmer than I was expecting.
After a quick dinner we made our way to to see the light show at the famous Magic Fountain at Montjuïc. It was about 45 minutes long and was accompanied by a musical score from a concert being played near the fountain. It was really beautiful, I would highly recommend it to anyone who goes to Barcelona.
Our final afternoon spent in Barcelona was at the La Mercier parade. It happens once a year and is known for the human pyramid that takes place at the end of the parade in the town square.
Being in Barcelona made me think about how much of the world there is for me to explore. I don’t want to waste any of my time focusing on things that aren’t important or helping me grow in some way. I want to live my life spending time only on what is adding to it. The whole time I have been in Spain I have felt so lucky. There is something about being taken completely out of your comfort zone and placed in a new environment with new people that makes you reevaluate the way you are living your normal life.
I’m also happy to say that my internship at Central Joven is going great. I can tell the difference it is making in my Spanish and I can’t wait to see how much I have improved by the time we go home. Thank you for reading, I’ll be back with another update soon!
~Rachel Sevy, SBCC Madrid
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