My first week studying abroad in Barcelona, has been quite an adventure. Unfortunately, I experienced travel difficulties, but that did not stop me from remaining positive and excited about arriving. Eventually, I made my way to Gracia, the area I would be living in for the next four months. I was so overwhelmed, jet lagged, and overly thrilled that it did not take me long to drop my bags and explore the area. I quickly realized how beautiful and authentic the town was. It reminded me so much of Soho in New York City. I think that Gracia is the perfect mix between residential and city living. There are so many amazing shops and restaurants that are open most of the day besides for siesta.
The first few days I was busy getting adjusted, making friends, and starting to get my bearings around the city. I went to a few amazing restaurants. One of which was a cute brunch place that made me feel like I was back in New York City. It is called Travel and Cake. There, I was able to get scrambled eggs, which has so far been impossible to find.
Another one of my favorite places I visited was La Boqueria, which is a huge food market located in the city of Barcelona. It reminded me of a few other markets I have been to in other countries, but this one stood out to me even more so because of how organized and clean the produce was. Everything looked so delicious and I treated myself to some candy and fruits. I plan to go back a few more times throughout the semester.
Last week, I accomplished two major sites. The first was La Sagrada Familia. I did not have time to stay for too long but for about an hour I was able to tour the inside of the church and museum and was blown away by its beauty. Even though I do not practice the Christian religion, it is such a wonderful thing to be able to become more educated about other practices. The second site I made sure to go to was Park Guëll. When I arrived I was very surprised by how different I have pictured it from researching and seeing other people’s photos of Barcelona. However, that did not make it any less special. Not only did it have a stunning view but even the park and trails itself were so enjoyable to roam. I hope that once the weather gets a little nicer I will be able to run the park seeing as I live just down the hill.
Between the last two weeks that I have been here I can proudly say that I have conquered the metro system, Ejemplo and Gracia area, and already have found so many great restaurants that I would gladly go back to. I can already tell how big of an adjustment being here is. I know that by the end of this entire experience I will be more independent, well rounded and appreciate things that I never would have otherwise.