Lauren and I flew out of Chicago on Wednesday January 6th. We flew to London’s Heathrow and then finally to Barcelona!
We got picked up by our AIFS coordinators and taken to the apartment we would share with 6 other girls! We got a chance to meet everyone and unpack before we had to meet for a walking tour of the city and dinner with everyone in the program.
Barcelona is beautiful.
I have to admit, when I was first on the bus from the airport to the apartment Barcelona struck me as just an uglier version of Paris. but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We visited the Sagrada Familia the next day. It was designed by Gaudi and is absolutely breathtaking. I will never forget walking around a corner and just being awe struck when I saw it for the first time. The entire thing is so detail orientated and stunning. The inside is the same. Gaudi was a genius, he designed everything to have a meaning. Each direction that each specific side of the church faces is for a reason. And the mosaic windows on the inside are stunning.
While in Barcelona I was taking a Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage class everyday from 9-1. I was lucky to have teachers who knew that the best way to experience these aspects of Spain was to go there. We took a lot of field trips during class. One of my favorites was to the Bunkers from the Civil War. It was a hike to get up there but the views were spectacular.
One of the trips that AIFS took us on was to Park Guell. It’s the place that you automatically think of when you think of Spain. Also designed by Gaudi, Park Guell is full of Mosaics, beautiful views, and amazing architecture. This is also where the Cheetah Girls performed “Strut” in their second movie.. so that’s a plus.
Later that night we went to IceBarcelona. It’s an Ice Bar located right on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea! It was definitely one of my favorite things I got to do while in Barcelona. It was 17 euros to enter and that included one drink. Then they provide you with nice warm coats and gloves. The entire room was made of ice! There was an ice throne, a detailed ice bench, a ice bar and even an ice knight! Even the glasses the drinks came in were made of ice! It was a really cool experience and everyone who we went with really enjoyed it!
Everything in Barcelona is later than it is in the US. They don’t normally eat lunch until about 2p.m. and then dinner is typically around 8 or 9p.m! And the night clubs don’t really get crowded until 2a.m!
It’s a very different but exciting lifestyle that I had the pleasure of getting to experience it! Barcelona will always have a piece of my heart and I can’t wait until the next time I get to visit.
I never knew that it would be possibly to love a group of strangers in such a short amount of time as a did with the people in the AIFS Barcelona J-term study abroad program! As one of my friends Georffry said, “Barcelona was wonderful but experiencing it with this group of people was the best part!”
Here are some other highlights from my trip!