Hola! Barcelona!

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Spring has shown its face in this part of the world and you can notice it everywhere you step. Quite literally! Right outside my residential community housing there are rows of purple and white crocus’ and you can see them all the way until you reach the nearby metro station. You can say that me being excited is an understatement. But this week’s antics took me outside of Denmark’s borders and into more southern one’s. This week marked the second travel week at DIS, and the week that my sustainable core course took our study tour to Barcelona, Spain.

Now you can imagine my classmates’ excitement to find that we get to escape the cooler Northern European weather, but that was not so much the case. When we arrived in Spain, the weather ended up being cloudy and roughly the same temperature as Denmark. Big bummer! I was hoping to get a good dose of Vitamin D, something that Dane’s tend to have to buy in pill form over the counter (since it’s always so cloudy over there). Well the Danish style weather just happened to follow us down to Spain and we had mostly cloudy days and cool weather, (mid-50s fahrenheit). But the weather didn’t stop us from our several academic visits planned throughout the week. On our itinerary we ended up having a variety of guest speakers, tons of interesting local Spanish cuisine, visits to nature preserves, wineries, and several wine tastings. So not your typical American college semester experience to say the least. But you can imagine what the crowd’s favorite visits were.

My favorite experiences would have to be more of the sightseeing one’s as well as just getting to know my classmates. It is these sort of trips that everyone is able to really relax and show more of their personality because of the more social experiences throughout the week. One of our group activities included seeing the UNESCO world heritage site, Basílica de la Sagrada Família. Having been in Barcelona before, I’ve never realized how large the cathedral was since I hadn’t gone to visit it in person. I’m glad that I was able to have the opportunity to be with my class because it was certainly a memorable one. Not only was the cathedral so intricate, but the fact that they are still working at building it really surprised me. This cathedral has been under construction for around one hundred and forty-four years and has been slated to be finished in 2026 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudi’s (the original architect) death. I think my favorite part of the Sagrada Família has to be the beautiful rainbow colored stained glass windows. When we had our tour the sun was moving lower in the sky so the lays of light showed through the warmer toned side of the cathedral. The sight was absolutely breathtaking and I ended up taking quite a bit of time admiring the detail of it all. If you get the chance to visit Barcelona, I highly recommend you visit Sagrada Família and take some time to sit and admire the detail put into such an important building to the Catalan people.