I've hit the one month mark! Officially a month of hanging around Barcelona. What a great time to be here, the weather is perfect and sunny every day and I get to witness the Catalan independence events! When I’m not studying or trying to improve my spanish with my host mom, I’ve been enjoying all the wonderful things that a semester abroad has to offer.
Here are some highlights:
- Attended a Barca game with great seats right behind the goal!
- Day trip to Sitges, Spain which is an amazing little beach town about an hour south of Barcelona.
- Weekend trip to Milan, Italy with friends from high school! I got to visit the famous Duomo, eat real Italian pizza and pasta, and try the amazing gelato. I don't know any Italian, but it turns out that speaking spanish is pretty close - a resident even complimented my ability to speak Italian. Final tip - don't order a latte unless you want a frothy glass of milk… I probably should have done some more research before that trip!
- Spending a lot of time on Rome2Rio which shows the easiest and cheapest methods to get anywhere! I highly recommend this website to anyone trying to get around Europe on a budget. I have trips planned to Madrid and Paris in the upcoming months thanks to this helpful website!
- Seeing the amazing castellers - human towers that can be up to 9 levels high!
- Witnessed a pickpocket on the metro!!! That was pretty eye-opening. He stopped when he saw me looking but I’m guessing he kept at it after I ran off to class…
- Listened to my friends back home worry about midterms and the cold weather while I eat cafe con churros in shorts (since, according to my host mom, the weather doesn’t get cold until January!!)
- Each week I volunteer an hour to help a Spanish child learn english! Well, it actually turns out she knows english pretty well so we end up just playing games with her brother, but its fun to see how much they know!
- Hiked up to Mount Tibidabo, Barcelona’s mountain with an incredible church and amusement park at the top! Great views from the top of the church, I’m hoping to get back to the amusement park before I leave.
And, of course, I’ve been learning Catalan! The staff at Arcadia in Barcelona are great teachers, though its a bit confusing learning two languages at once. Catalan is a funny mix between spanish and french (as I’ve heard some people describe it), but my host mother thinks its hilarious whenever I say ‘Molt bé’, which means very good!
Off to Madrid for a last minute weekend trip, bon dia!