Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reflection

Unless I find some pictures that I missed, this is my final post about Barcelona. Instead of writing a long rambling essay about how much I enjoyed myself and how much my life changed I'm going to do a highlight and low light list about my time in Barcelona. Just like what I used to do for my posts about Ultimate Frisbee at St. Andrews.

Highlights:
-My host family: They made Barcelona a home for me. They helped me with directions, they kept me fed and my Spanish definitely improved with their help. I will be staying in touch with them for a very long time.
-Frisbee: My theory was proven right again. You can find friends through frisbee anywhere in the world. I got to meet new people, travel and enjoy the city as more than a tourist for three months.
-Traveling: I didn't really get the chance to travel while in the U.K. because it wasn't as convenient. But I definitely made up for lost time while in Barcelona. Paris, Pyranees, Santander, Girona, Milan, Venice and Figueras/ the DalĂ­ museum. I would say that's a pretty good list right there.
-Living in a city: I have never lived in a city before and Barcelona was a good one to start with. If they weren't striking, the public transport was reliable and easy to use. The city is small and compact so I could figure out my way most of the time. I always felt pretty safe because guns are completely illegal there. It was nice not to have to worry about those things and to know that it was okay to be out after dark in the city. It meant I could focus on enjoying the culture and the beauty of the city without constantly looking over my shoulder.
-Food: I decided to stop being a vegetarian for my study abroad experience in Barcelona. It was a fantastic choice. It meant I could enjoy everything that Carmen put in front of me and let me tell you, she's a good cook. Sometimes stuff got a little too exotic for me, but I made sure to try everything at least once.
-Politics: I hate them, but I was super interested in what was going on in Spain. I think it's because I could physically see how everything was effecting Spain and it affected my every day life, too.


Low lights:
-Strikes: Everything is always striking in Barcelona. The public transport most of all. These strikes could double my travel time or have me walking pretty far to get to where I needed to go. It was the bane of my existence there.
-The men: rude, aggressive, vulgar. If I have one more thing whispered in my ear while I am minding my own business and walking to school, someone will get punched.
-Classes: I've complained enough about them on this blog. Suffice it to say, I learned more outside of the class room.

I can't think of anything else. I'm sure I'm missing both highlights and low lights. But this list will do for now. I miss Barcelona a lot and hope that I will be able to make my way back soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Last Days in Spain

Welp, I'm home now. Mixed feelings but it's nice to be with my family. My last couple of days in Spain I had the lovely balance of spending time with Knox friends and playing some frisbee. Kayla and I went to The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Between all of my travels I've seen more cathedrals than I'd care to admit. Quick list: Sagrada Familia, the one in Girona, the Duomo in Milan, Notre Dame in Paris and this one in Barcelona. I've seen my fair share. This one we went to pretty fast because it was free and there wasn't a whole lot to see. But it was beautiful and I got some cool pictures.
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After my friends left for their various travels, I spent my time in Barcelona playing some frisbee. On Sunday, the day before I left to go back to the states, I played in a day beach tournament with the Liga Catalana. It's the league of Catalunya, so just the teams in Catalunya play. I played for the Bravas B team because I had to miss the first two games to pack. We ended up winning the two games I played and because they had done so well in the other two games, we won the division 2 tournament. It was a great way to end my stay here in Barcelona. After the tournament we went to get some drinks and I had to give a speech...in Spanish. So of course I forgot all of the Spanish I had acquired. After that I went home to my final dinner with Carmen and Teti and went to bed so I was ready for my 4:30am wake up call.