Strutting through Barcelona

 

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The view from the bunkers with my mejor amigas !!

 

Last weekend my travels took me back to Spain! Ally and I left the cold Parisian weather for a warmer, sunnier city and spent the weekend visiting Sydney and Sammi in Barcelona! I’ve been so excited to go to Barcelona and let me tell you, the city really did live up to all the hype.

We flew in late Friday night, so the real fun started Saturday! Each day was jam packed with cool things to see and do. First, we went to the bunkers, which had the most amazing panoramic view of the entire city! Despite tripping and falling in front of an entire class of small children, it was still one of my favorite things about the weekend. I would definitely recommend it, I don’t know how you could find a better view, plus it was free! After that, we took a quick bus to Park Guell and walked around there for a while! Gaudi’s architecture is so different than anything else I have seen, I felt as if I was walking around a gingerbread village.

At around 3:00 (I will never get used to the late meals in Spain) we headed over to the beach to have the most amazing lunch ever. Sydney made us reservations at a restaurant called Xup Xup, and we sat and ate paella and drank sangria on the beach! The weather was beautiful and the food was delicious; all in all it was the perfect afternoon. That night we fully embraced the Barcelona lifestyle and went out to some of our friends’ favorite bars.

The next morning, we got up and ate brunch at a place called Milk. It was so cute and cozy, and the food was amazing! We then made our way to the Arc de Triomf, aka the Spanish Arc de Triomphe. It was interesting to see how the two cultures designed two similar things in such different ways! After, we then spent a few hours sitting in the Ciutadella Park enjoying the beautiful weather. Before turning in for a chill movie night back in the apartment, we continued to eat the most delicious food at a really amazing tapas bar that I can’t remember the name of to save my life. I’ve decided that tapas are the best invention ever because it means I don’t have to decide what I want to order, we can just eat everything on the menu!

Our last day in Barcelona started off with a tour of the Sagrada Familia while our friends were in class. I was so shocked when I walked inside; it was nothing like I imagined! The rainbow stained glass windows were my favorite part. We then met back up with Sydney and walked down La Rambla, including a quick pit stop at a bakery called Choke, where I got a cronut, aka the cross between a croissant and donut! 10/10 would recommend. Sydney took us to the biggest market ever, where we wandered around for a while and tried some fresh fruit and empanadas. After we were finished we headed down to the marina and walked along the water until lunch, when we met up with Sammi and got sandwiches from the famous Bo de B. I didn’t think I was that hungry after the market and bakery, but it was so good that I ate almost the entire thing.

The weekend was spent with great food and even better friends, so it really could not have been better. If you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with Spanish food, so I was pretty much in heaven all weekend. There is no way that was my last time in Barcelona!

P.S. If you don’t know what my title is referencing, click here and enjoy. You’re welcome.

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Thanks, Syd and Sam for being the best hosts/tour guides/friends ever!!

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Park Guell

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Arc de Triomf

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The huge fountain in the park we went to on Sunday

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The Sagrada Familia, under construction for 135 years and counting!

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The marina

48 Hours in Seville 

0s8a9960We took our first weekend trip! Yes, I know we have only been in Paris for two weeks, but we just couldn’t wait to start traveling! So after class on Friday, a few of my friends and I packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Seville, Spain. We were only there for 48 hours but we did so much and had such an amazing time! The seven of us stayed in the Black Swan Hostel in Seville. It was everyone’s first time staying in a communal hostel, but we were all pleasantly surprised! It was in a great location and was extremely clean and nice and everyone we met was super friendly.

To be honest, I had never heard of Seville until someone suggested going on this trip, but it is such a beautiful city! Saturday morning we got up and walked to the Alcázar of Sevilla, a huge Islamic palace. The architecture was amazing; I was in awe of everything I saw. My favorite part was the gardens, there was even a big maze you could walk through. There were peacocks wandering around and there was ivy everywhere (my favorite); it felt like I was in a movie, that’s how beautiful it was.

We then walked to the Cathedral de Sevilla,  which was probably one of the most beautiful and outrageous things I have ever seen in my life. It was HUGE! As students, we could go inside for just 4 euros (you just had to show them your student visa). I was amazed. We saw the grave of Christopher Columbus and climbed up 17 stories into the Giralda tower, which had the most breathtaking views of Seville. It was worth the climb.

For lunch, we ate Paella and had Sangria in a little restaurant near the cathedral. The food was so good and we were very hungry (because apparently, everyone in Spain eats all their meals really late) so we devoured our food. After lunch, we wandered the streets of Seville. This was one of my favorite parts! Everything was so colorful and the 60-degree sunny weather was a nice change from the 30-degree rain we left in Paris. We ended up near the Guadalquivir River, so we bought churros and just sat at the water’s edge for a while. It was beautiful, and a nice break after a day of walking.

That night, we ate tapas and met up with some girls from Clemson that are studying in Seville. It was fun, but I quickly learned that the Seville way of life just isn’t for me. Apparently, their nights begin at around 2 in the morning, and they stay out until 7 AM. I was proud (and completely and totally exhausted) when we stayed out until around 2:30.

On Sunday, we got up and started exploring again! We walked to the Metropol Parasol (AKA the giant mushroom), which is this HUGE wooden structure that spans blocks and looks vaguely like a mushroom. We took an elevator to the top and got to walk around on top of it, which was amazing! We had a great view of the city, and it was the perfect place to take a picture (or 50…). I’m not really sure what it was or why it was there, but I am not complaining because it was amazing!

After that, we made our way to the Plaza de España! When you google Seville, this is usually the first picture that pops up. It was beautiful, and I was extra excited because part of Star Wars Episode II was filmed there (so geeky, I know), so I was excited to walk where Anakin and Padme had once walked. The Plaza was huge and we spent about an hour just walking around in awe of the architecture.

Finally, we ended our trip by going back to the river and taking a relaxing boat tour! The seven of us got a boat to ourselves so we got to just float along the river in the sun enjoying the afternoon. It was warm enough to take off our jackets and just enjoy ourselves. We all agreed that we could not have ended our quick getaway in any better way.

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The gardens of the Alcazar de Sevilla

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Tomb of Christopher Columbus in the Cathedral

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The view across the river

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The view from the top of the mushroom!

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The Plaza de Espana!

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All 7 of us at the Plaza de Espana

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Our favorite part of the trip: the boat ride!

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We bring our Tiger Rag everywhere!

 

Needless to say, we had such a great time in Spain! Our first trip could not have gone any better. It made me so excited for all the other amazing cities that I am going to travel to in the next few months. I still cannot believe that this is all real and that I actually have to opportunity to do all of this. Thanks, mom and dad! Oh, and GO TIGERS!