Exploring España


Throughout this month, I’ve had an amazing opportunity to visit different parts of Spain! I have visited Girona, Tossa de Mar, and Madrid. All three cities were so great and unique in their own way, and it was amazing to experience different aspects and cultures within Spain.

Starting with Girona, it was about an 1.5 hour road trip from Barcelona. The city is northeast of Barcelona, and is quite small. The city tour helped me learn about the historical importance of this Spanish city since it was a medieval town and held significance during multiple Spanish/European wars. The medieval architecture of the plazas, churches, homes, and just about everything was beautiful. I was able to see how a Spaniard would live throughout the medieval times. A fun fact about Girona – there is a specific building Game of Thrones was filmed for an episode! I loved seeing it and thought that was very cool. We also saw the old watchtowers and the Roman remains of the Forca Vella fortress. Girona was so interesting to say the least!

Tossa de Mar was about an hour long road trip from Girona. This coastal city is also northeast of Barcelona, and is also small. I spent most of my time at the beach, of course, and it was amazing! On the left we had a view of the mountains, and on the right, we had a view of this beautiful tower along with many cliffs. This was the first time I cliff dived, and it was definitely an adventure. I love beaches, so this was one of my favorite trips yet. Considering Tossa de Mar is another small coastal city, we were able to see most of the town during our time there. Along the boardwalk, there were plenty of restaurants and shops to visit. The neighborhoods within the town were adorable, and all the locals were so kind to us, as always. I would have never thought Tossa de Mar would have been such a memorable trip, since it is a hidden gem, so I’m really happy I visited.

This past weekend, I visited Madrid, the capital of Spain, with my program. There were so many similarities to Barcelona, and of course many differences.

The first thing I noticed about Madrid was the weather. It is so much hotter than Barcelona! Barcelona is much more humid but that’s not a big deal for me since I come from a humid city anyway. Madrid is a much bigger city as well, and has about 2 million more in population. This hit harder especially since not everything is super walkable, but our hotel was in a great location so that helped us be closer to main attractions.

On the bright side, I enjoyed local spots in Madrid a lot. The city did not move as “fast” as Barcelona, meaning it felt very relaxed, so it was a nice break.

Madrid is also known for their bocadillo de calamares, which is a calamari sandwich. I’ve never had it before, so of course I wanted to try, especially hearing how amazing it is. And it was amazing! The sandwich was different, but very delicious.

Finally, I visited the Museo de Reina Sofia, where it featured many Picasso paintings and modern art. This was one of the highlights of my trip because of how interesting it was to learn about the history and analysis behind Picasso’s legendary pieces.

Barcelona has a special place in my heart, but I wanted to make sure I experienced Spain as a whole. I absolutely enjoyed visiting these three cities, and I can’t wait to see more. ¡Te amo España!