To start out this week I attended my classes as usual with CIEE and then was able to visit Spain leading into the weekend. I got to use my Spanish language skills as I spoke to the taxi driver from the airport driving us to Barcelona. For a late lunch, we had some great chicken tacos before traveling the short distance to check into our Airbnb. We then walked around the shops and ate more food, the best of which was some amazing gelato!
The next morning, we ate at the cutest place for brunch called “Zenith Brunch”. I had a caramel iced coffee, and we shared an Oreo Pancake with a bacon and egg sandwich. It was delicious! Probably one of the best pancakes I’ve had in my entire life! Our breakfast meal spread was gorgeous, and my friends and I decided that Barcelona knew how to do brunch.
Afterward, we headed towards La Sagrada Familia and saw the chapel. It was so cool to see in real life. The church was much larger in person and held so much sentimental value to Spain. It is evident that the Roman Catholic Church is prominent in Spain. We saw the designs of the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and how the progress of restoring and finishing the church is going. The stained glass was so pretty, and the architecture was so different from most of the churches I’ve been to. We went to the Arc de Triumph and saw some street performers. I made sure we took some fun videos and tons of pictures! For dinner, I tried croquettes and paella for the first time! It was for sure a different cuisine than I am used to!
Our Airbnb for this trip was right near the Plaça del Pi, one of the most stunning walkways in the world which has a beautiful bridge over it. It is in lots of articles about the prettiest places to visit so of course, I had to see it for myself. It did not disappoint. We ate burritos and guacamole for dinner, which was amazing since it was the ONLY Spanish food I had since being abroad. My friends and I cleaned our plates in record time!
On our last morning, we ate at Benedict for breakfast. I had huevos rancheros and guacamole! Again, absolutely delicious! We made our way to the famous Park Güell where we sang the Cheetah Girl’s song “Strut” which was filmed in the exact spot we walked in the park. It was so funny because my friends could not stop making connections to the film as we walked around the city center. I used my Spanish again to speak with locals and make valuable connections. Then we hopped on our flight to go back to Rome for classes that week. I felt super happy to use my Spanish outside of school and use it in an educational environment.
Also, I visited the Isle de Capri on one of my off days from school in the middle of the week. The water was bright turquoise and so clear. We stopped in Naples to then get on a ferry to the island. After our ferry ride, we ate lunch overlooking the water and the dock. We got on a boat tour and Mackenzie, and I went to the Blue Grotto. We rode a speed boat to hop into a small boat where we had to lie down to enter the cave. It was pitch black in there until you turn around and see the water glowing. It glows only from sunlight and the reflection onto the cave. It was quite a learning experience about solar power and reflection. The rower sang songs that echoed into the cave, and it was so cool. After the tour, we shopped and returned to finish our week’s classes. It was cool to be able to do a simple day trip to another beautiful place in Italy. I would say this was another successful week studying abroad!