After two months abroad in Barcelona, Spain (not to mention a grand total of 11 hours on a plane and a stressfully-short layover in Canada), I’ve finally made it back to the beautiful state of Massachusetts. In fact, I’m writing my final blog entry from the computer lab at school as I wait for other students to arrive on campus. It’s really strange being back in the USA—I’m not used to everyone around me speaking English yet and food portions here are out-of-control. Nonetheless, it feels good to finally be home.
My last week in Europe was a hectic one, as I found myself caught between studying for my course’s final exam and scrambling to do all of the things I missed in my first seven weeks. Still, I managed to prepare for the last part of my course, while making sure to do at least one thing every day that I won’t be able to do at home.
Camp Nou was first on my list of mandatory last-minute visits. The home of FC Barcelona (the city’s professional soccer team) turned out to be even more interesting than I anticipated, despite being a little on the “cara” (expensive) side. In case any of you are planning on traveling to Barcelona, definitely remember to bring your college ID with you—it’s an easy way to get discounted entrances to almost every major museum around the city. In addition to allowing me to see the stadium, the tour of Camp Nou took me through a hall of trophies, the visiting team locker room, and a hands-on multimedia history lesson. I even got a picture with Messi’s golden boot and ball (see right).
A big part of my last week was dedicated to souvenir shopping, and Passeig de Gracia—a central spot for any kind of shopping located just west of the Ramblas and very close to the center of the city—proved to be the perfect place to pick up last minute gifts for my siblings. As an added plus, my journey took me by a lot of the modernist architecture I’ve become so fond of in my eight weeks abroad, including Casa Batlló (see right), Casa Amantller, and the Pedrera. It was really nice to see these beautiful buildings one last time before my departure, and my shopping was a huge success. I haggled down the price of a Messi jersey and found some cute jewelry and other trinkets to give to my family.
On one of my very last days in the city, I unintentionally embraced European culture as I found myself in the middle of a nude beach (Mar Bella), which is located dangerously close to the stretch of beaches I frequent. I had yet to stumble upon it in my many travels to the coast, because it’s a pretty substantial walk from the Barceloneta metro stop. Luckily, I quickly recovered from shock and spent the rest of my penultimate day in Spain taking in the sun and the sites.
I went back to the Sagrada Familia (shown right) and wandered through the Gothic Quarter—allowing myself ample time to meander around the various rooms of the Picasso museum and get coffee in one of the many cafes in the area.
Overall, it’s been a whirlwind eight weeks and I’ve had a fabulous time abroad. I hope to someday head back to Spain, but for now it’s time to snap back to reality and begin my junior year.
Thanks so much for reading!!