Barcelona

Apologies for the major delay but my procrastination level is at an all time high while I’m abroad.  So over a month ago I had my (first of two) spring break and spent it the best way possible, in Barcelona with some of my best friends.  I booked this trip back in January and had been looking forward to it for months.  I was gonna get to see Sammy, my freshman year roommate and really close friend, as well as a bunch of my other friends that are abroad all over Europe.  I was able to celebrate by 21st birthday with friends studying in Rome, Salamanca, Prague, Barcelona, and Sevilla, pretty cool.

I wanna start off by thanking Sammy for absolutely everything.  She knew all the ins and outs of Barcelona, and thanks to her I ate some of the most amazing food and had an overall incredible experience there.  So as soon as I met up with Sammy, we had the first of many amazing meals, and obviously had sangria because what Spain without sangria with every meal…

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So after dinner we decided to go out, even though none of us were really dressed for it, we just strolled into a club called Sutton.  It was pretty awesome I just wish I wasn’t wearing jeans, oops.  The next day the weather was absolutely beautiful and my friends and I got to explore the beautiful city of Barcelona.  We saw the Arc de Triomfe, another beautiful park that I don’t remember the name of, and then ate ice cream on the beach.  Not too shabby.

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After that we took a cable car ride over the city to Montjuïc.  We were able to see some incredible views and take tons of silly pictures together.

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The next day was my 21st birthday, so we obviously had to start celebrating early and went to a bar called George Payne’s and ordered the famous “Blackout Platter” (sorry mom).

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The next day we had the most incredible breakfast at a place called “Brunch and Cake”.  Pretty much everyone who has visited Barcelona recommends this place, and now I see why.  It was absolutely incredible.  I especially enjoyed it because there’s no such things as “eggs for breakfast” in southern Spain.  If you tell them you want eggs for breakfast they look at you like you are absolutely insane.  Also, the concept of brunch just doesn’t exist in Sevilla.  Needless to say I was stoked to get brunch. And cake. It was my birthday afterall…. 🙂

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The most amazing french toast on earth.

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After a super filling brunch we walked around Las Ramblas, which is a famous street in Barcelona with tons of cool things, especially La Boqueria, which is a market with tons of fresh fruit and juices and meats and fish and really anything you could imagine.  After we walked out of La Boqueria, I saw a sign for the “Erotic Museum”, which weirdly peaked my interest.  What a way to spend a birthday.  You can use your imagination for what was inside, because unfortunately I can’t post pictures here.  This is a family-oriented blog after all. **If you’re dying to hear more about it, feel free to message me privately ** But for now enjoy pictures of the market.

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Then we did a few more touristy things around the center of the city, before going out to dinner for ma birthday wooooo.  Thanks to Sammy’s recommendation, once again, we had an awesome dinner at Da Greco.  It’s an Italian restaurant where for every main dish you order, the waiter brings a smaller portion of the food for everyone else at the table to try. Genius.  We need places like this in America.  After dinner we got ready to go out for my birthday and one of the most famous clubs in Barcelona. Opium.  Shoutout to Sammy (yes, again) for getting us a table with champagne and fancy sparklers and cool things that rich people do when they go out….fo freeeee. Perfect 21st birthday.

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I am so grateful I got to spend it with friends, because every college kid (in America) understands how huge turning 21 is, but in Europe it doesn’t really matter.  Now I can get into bars and all those fun things, but Europeans start doing that when they’re 14 so no one here really cares about turning 21.

The next day the squad finally made it to breakfast at around 4pm…oops?  We ate at a restaurant called Pudding, which was fantastic.  And then we got more cake because hey it was the day after my birthday so I was allowed.

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After finishing breakfast at 5:30pm, we did more touristy things and visited La Sagrada Familia, one of the most famous places in Barcelona.  While I agree it’s really beautiful, I have to admit the fact that every person who visits Barcelona posts a million pictures of it, it kind of ruined the magic for me.  That’s one of the major problems with social media in my opinion.  It takes away from other people’s experiences.

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That night we went to a bar called Chupitos, aka the Spanish word for shots.  This place had over 600 different types of shots.  The thing was, you never knew what you were ordering.  We got a Willy Wonka shot which had chocolate on it, so I was happy.  We also got the boy scout shot, and the bartender handed us marshmallows on sticks and then lit the bar on fire so we could roast them.  Once they were roasted she gave us shot glasses filled with a mystery mixture and we had to put the marshmallow in and take the shot.  Pretty awesome.

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The next morning was our last in Barcelona, no clue how we were still functioning at this point.  Skye and I had one last amazing brunch at a place called Milk, also definitely recommend it.

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Sorry this blog was basically just recapping on all the food I ate.  It was probably my favorite trip abroad.  It was so nice to be reunited with school friends.  That’s something they don’t really tell you about being abroad, unless you go with your absolute best friends (which I don’t recommend).  Sure you’re gonna be homesick and miss your family at times, but you also miss your friends from school, as Eryn put it when we saw each other “I needed a piece of home”, but luckily for us we consider UMiami our home.  It’s so nice to reunite with other people who are abroad in completely different places and talk about your experiences.  I loved Barcelona and for the 100th time I wanna thank Sammy for being absolutely awesome and the hostess with the mostest and making my 21st birthday weekend the best it could have been.

Barcelona and Sevilla are extremely extremely different.  People think of Spain as one distinct country.  They don’t realize how every area of Spain is completely different.  Barcelona is a very young city with the hustle and bustle of Miami.  It has such a different atmosphere than Sevilla.  Also, it’s in Catalunya, so their language, food, and culture is completely different.  The people look and act different.  If I had studied abroad in Barcelona, my “Spain experience” would have been wildly different.  I have no doubt in my mind I would have loved it, I would just come back to America with a different outlook on Spain.  First off, I would not be nearly as good at Spanish.   Not saying I’m currently fluent (or anywhere close) after studying in Sevilla, but I’m much better than when I first got here.  In Barcelona they speak primarily Catalan, and then English, and then Spanish.  I also wouldn’t live with a host family, so I would have very few opportunities to really practice my Spanish, unless I took Spanish classes there, which most people that study in Barcelona don’t do.  I definitely want to go back to Barcelona, and would go in a heartbeat, but at the end of the day I am still glad I chose Sevilla.

After we left Barcelona, we hopped on a plane and went straight to Amsterdam.  Stay tuned for that post…

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