Sunday, July 3, 2011

Barcelona or bust!

After moving, online classes, and running Ragnar (which I will post about one of these days), I made it on a plane that whisked me away to Spain! After three plane rides and time travelling, I was painfully reminded about how flying and jet lag quickly kills the magic of going to a foreign land. But, stick around long enough and the magic comes back. And it doesn´t take long in a place like Barcelona.

Yes, my reason for coming to Spain is for a Study Abroad program through Utah State in La Rioja, but I figured I would visit some friends since I was in the neighborhood. Meet Susie:

She was one of my roommates when I lived in Costa Rica studying Yoga. She lives in Barcelona teaching dance and yoga, and it was so lovely to meet up with her after two years of being apart. She was my saving grace while I recovered from travelling, and she helped me learn the ways of the Spaniards. Honestly, if you ever need someone to help you kick jet lag where it hurts, Susie is the one to do it. Man oh man. But I loved her for it. 

Barcelona really is a magical city. It seems that each brick in the cobblestone streets has centuries worth of stories to tell. Majestic cathedrals mingle inbetween restaurants and shops, and each round about is home to a fountain or statue of some explorer or war  hero. Palm trees wave with the breeze coming in from the Mediterranean, which you can get a peek of if you leave the narrow streets. Susie lives in a neighborhood called Gracia, which is more like a village that hooks onto the bigger city. Sadly, my time there was short, and I was mostly in a jet lag haze, but here are a few things that I got to do.

The weekend I arrived was the weekend where they celebrate the saint San Juan. People of all ages gather in the streets at all hours of the night to eat, drink, and set off fireworks. I had the pleasure of being startled by cracks and booms many-a-time while walking around and while I was trying to sleep. One of Susie´s british friends, Kate, had a few of us over for dinner to celebrate.  

Dancing in the streets happened, of course. Here is Madalena and Susie shakin´it.

Gaudi is a famous Spanish architect who creates crazy buildings such as this:

And this:

One day we chilled at a beautiful beach right outside of Barcelona. Here is Kate and her adorable son Oscar enjoying the day.

Here is the beach, but this photo doesn´t do it justice. It´s near the airport so we could see airplanes come and go. They were so close I felt like I could reach up and touch them.

We went to a huge market that seemed to have every food under the sun.

This is a plaza where the royality used to live. 

One of the many cathedrals. We were able to see a wedding going on inside.

Susie and her delightful boyfriend Alejandro. I´m so thankful for them. They took such good care of me!

And that is a brief rundown of my time in Barcelona. I was so fortunate to have Susie and her wonderful friends there to show me a good time. 

Now, I am living in La Rioja and have a week of my program under my belt. But I´ll post more on that later. Feel free to follow me on this blog to stay updated on my time living in Spain and other European adventures.



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