May 1, 2018

My friends and I arrived to our study abroad program a day early. We did a lot of walking today. I thought walking from Central Campus, like the Union area, to the hill was a lot, but try walking 10 miles in one day! Yep, my friends and I walked 10 miles in one day without realizing it. 

I discovered lots of interesting and cultural differences on the first day. I learned that there is a law stating you are not allowed to make loud noises past 10pm, if you do so, you can get fined. Showers should not be longer than 10min because of the limited water supply here. The streets are very narrow! Everyone drives really fast, so you cannot j-walk!

The main language in this area is Catalan, which is completely different from Spanish. We went into a restaurant wanting to order juice, we said “jugeo” but that is not the word for juice. The term for juice is ‘zumo’. Also, I found out water is not free! If you go to restaurant and order water, you have to pay for it. Also, they do not serve it in cups like in the US, but they deserve it in fancy bottles (like old fashion coke bottles) and give you a cup on the side.

The best part of today was going to watch Infinity War! The movie theatres here are really small and close knit. Oh yeah, personal space does not exist here. The seats are half the size of the movie theatre seats in the US. The elevators are maybe 1 yard long. In essence, everything is tiny and more conservative.

May 10, 2018

Today was an adventurous day. More walking today. I bought so many sandals on my trip, but I just end up wearing my sneakers because there is so much walking involved! But walking around in Barcelona is breathtaking because behind each street there is a beautiful and rich story being told and sight to be discovered.

In class we learned the history of the Olympics. We did not learn about the Greek Olympics, but instead the ‘modern’ Olympics. In other words, we were learning how the Olympics became a competitive sport event across different countries and the reasoning behind it. The main reason was to unite countries! But, in an effort to get a visual representation of the evolution of the Olympics we went to the Olympic Museum.

At the museum, we saw the different sporting competitions over the past centuries and amazing stories. We also got to visit the Olympic stadium! This is a historial stadium. It is practically the place where the modern Olympics started and legends were formed!

Later that day, my friends and I decided to do something outside of our comfort zone. We went on a teleferico. It's like a moving cart that goes over the ground and allows you get a beautiful view of the city. We took the teleferico to Castell de Montjuic. It was my first time in a castle! On top of the castle, you could overlook the entire city.


May 12, 2018

In part of my study abroad trip, we went on a weekend trip to Madrid (this trip was paid for through the trip). We went to Madrid, to see the cultural difference in both society and sports. Trust me there is a major difference! Personally, I liked Barcelona better. It was less crowded and people were nicer there. In Madrid everyone was busy and throwing things in your face. It is like the Diag, but two times crowded and people passing out flyers.

We explored the castle in Madrid, Plazzo Reale Di Madrid. It was one of the most elegant buildings ever! I found out the king had 3 different eating rooms. In other words, for this three meals he had for the day, he had a room dedicated to it! The current Royal Family does not live there because it is way to big, but they still host royal events in there.

We also went to the famous museum in Madrid, where we learned the rich history of Madrid.

The best part of today was that I went to my first soccer game! My first soccer game was in Madrid! So, now I know what to say when someone acts me for an interesting fact about me. I can say that my first soccer game was in Madrid, and Real Madrid won that game! (FYI: I have no preference over teams, Im not a huge soccer game).

May 17, 2018

Today in class we learned about the different types of sports practiced in Spain. We learned about bullfighting, and why that was highly praised back then but later banned in Barcelona. Barcelona is more of a Catalan place and Madrid is supposed to represent Spain more. So in order to further understand this, we had a field trip to a bullfighting museum in Barcelona.

At the museum, we learned the history behind bullfighting in Barcelona. We saw actual bullhead figures hanging around the museum, the evolution of bullfighter clothing, and olds newspaper articles advertising the competition.

After the field trip, my friends and I decided to go canoeing. The activities in Spain are really cheap. To go canoeing for 30mins cost about 9 euros, and you could split that among 4 other people. While canoeing, we were able to see the non-industrial side of Spain. We were able to see the true beauty and nature.

After our canoeing activity, we had to attend a cooking session that was planned through the program. At this cooking sessions, my classmates and I learned to cook classic Spanish dish from scratch. For example, we cooked paella and creme catalan.

As you can see, when in Spain, you are constantly doing something!

May 18, 2018

Today, we talked about football (soccer) and why it is like their national sport. We talked about why a rivalry started between Madrid and Barcelona, and why it is so serious. Later that day, we went to Camp Nou.

Camp Nou is the stadium in Barcelona. It is the home for FCB team. We got a tour of the entire stadium, starting from the trophy showcase to actually being on the field! It was a cool experience for me. It was nice knowing that I was walking on the same grass as the famous football players.

Later in the day, my friends and I went to Timbiabo. It is an amusement park that is on the top of a very big hill, where you can overlook the beautiful city of Barcelona. Also, on top of the hill is a big chapel. We had to catch a train and take a bus to get up there. While we were going up, we saw a proposal happen right in front of our eyes! Not only that, but there was a wedding happening at the chapel! So, we know right away that this was the Eiffel Tower of Barcelona.