This past weekend, I traveled to Barcelona with some friends. It was spring break for Tufts, and many of my volleyball teammates traveled to Spain to spend the week with us. As the majority of my classmates studying abroad are located in Barcelona, this weekend was the perfect opportunity to explore a new city in Spain and meet up with some good friends.
On Friday, we had tickets to see the Sagrada Familia. Our entry time was in the middle of the afternoon when there was peak sunlight, and we had tickets to go up in the tower. We got to see the construction team in action while they were working on one of the domes. The views of the city were absolutely breathtaking; I truly could have stayed up there all day! Then, we spent some time admiring the stained glass windows and how the church felt so magical with all of the colorful lights.
Then, we met up with another friend of ours who took us to her favorite place for lunch before walking up to Parc Güell and to the Bunkers for the sunset. On Saturday, my friend and I walked through Las Ramblas and did an audio tour of Palau Güell. Palau Güell is not something that comes up on Google as a “must see” in Barcelona, but I thought it was fantastic! Gaudi designed the house at the request of the Güell family and the details in the house are absolutely fantastic. The rooftop boasts a panoramic view of the city and is complete with Gaudi’s domes.
I was constantly reminded throughout the weekend just how lucky I am to be a Tufts-Skidmore Spain student because I was able to do as many cultural and museum visits as I wanted, all thanks to the cultural visits reimbursements!
On top of all of the fantastic cultural sites I visited this weekend, I got a chance to see what I had learned from the Is Spain Different class. Many Catalonian independence flags were hanging from many balconies and yellow ribbons spray painted on the street in support of exiled Catalonian independence politicians.
In class, we learned about the importance of the Catalan language. For example, all street signs are in Catalan primarily with a small Castellano translation below. In the Palau Güell, there was an exhibit with captions written in only Catalan.
All in all, it was a great weekend where I got to apply my learning from inside the classroom and do some cultural exploring!