Winter Break in Spain: Barcelona

Hello! I have been gone from the blog for a while because as you may have guessed from the title of this post, I was away on winter break! I had a whole week to travel and the possibilities of where I could go were endless. However, the idea of going to Spain had been on my mind for a while, so I asked some friends from my program if they were interested in going, and they said yes! This was the first time I ever planned a trip like this somewhat on my own, but it was fun planning where to go/where to stay with a group instead of by myself. We eventually settled on three cities in Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga. I will begin with the first city we spent the most time in: Barcelona!

The best part about traveling within Europe is that most countries are close enough to go by train, bus or airplane! We found a good deal for a one way ticket to Barcelona, so that was the fastest option to get there; It was only an hour and 30 minutes! ***Also, quick shout out to Vueling Airlines for having zero delays/problems with luggage (it is common for European airlines to be strict about carry ons)! I highly recommend flying with Vueling the next time you’re in Europe!***

what a beautiful view! #windowseat
what a beautiful view! #windowseatisthebest

We arrived in Barcelona at around 10 and met up with the rest of the group who flew in on an earlier flight. From the airport, we took a taxi to the apartment we rented through Airbnb, which is an awesome resource to use if you want to find unique and cool places to stay not just in Europe, but anywhere in the world! We found an apartment that was located close to the downtown shopping area, so we took advantage of walking around the city. I am still kicking myself for completely forgetting to take pictures of the apartment, but luckily my friend Amaya took a few (thanks girl!) We were the only apartment that had a terrace, which was so nice at night when we wanted to relax or eat outside. The only downside was that it wasn’t well equipped for six people, but we made it work! Overall, I enjoyed where we stayed.

The highlight of my trip was checking out Parc Güell, which was designed by the renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. His presence is seen throughout Barcelona, as he is known for his eccentric and modernistic approach to his architecture. Here are a few pictures from the park/other buildings he designed:

up close detail of the main terrace, which stretches into one long bench!
up close detail of the main terrace, which stretches into one long bench!
entrance into the parc
entrance into the parc
La Sagrada Familia, a church that has been under construction since 1892!
La Sagrada Familia, a church that has been under construction since 1892!

We had the best weather while we were there, so much so that we were able to walk to the beach and sit nearby while we planned the rest of our day. Afterwards, we would walk along Las Ramblas, which was a long stretch of stores/outdoor stalls, mostly geared towards tourists. It was also where I had wanted to visit one of the biggest indoor markets in Barcelona, La Boqueria. We went rather late in the day, so many of the stalls were closed, but we were able to buy some fresh poultry and bread for the dinner we made later that night!

fresh fruit!
fresh fruit!
#freshisthebest
#freshisthebest

Barcelona is truly a lively and fun city to visit if you ever have a chance to go! I hope that I will be able to go back someday soon. To end this very long post, I will leave you with a short clip I recorded while walking through Parc de la Ciutadella. If you can hear it in the background, the song “J’y suis jamais allé” from the French movie Amelie is playing! I guess Paris has to follow me along wherever I go 🙂


Stay tuned for my next post about my time in Madrid! Thanks for reading!

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Marisela Meraz

Hello! My name is Marisela, but everyone knows me by Mari. I am a senior at Hope majoring in English with an emphasis on writing and minoring in French. I am also part of the Theta Gamma Pi Sorority on campus. In my free time, I enjoy baking, taking photos, watching Netflix, and making music playlists for my friends. I am so excited to share my Hope experiences with you all!

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