Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Last day!

Today is my last day in Barcelona, and it is bittersweet. I am excited to go home, but I know I'm going to miss all of the wonderful people I have met here. I was lucky enough to have an amazing host family and a wonderful family. They have influenced my life in more ways than they will ever know and for that I am eternally grateful. I can honestly say that I feel like the luckiest person alive because of this amazing opportunity that I have been given. As my teacher was explaining to the students that I was leaving she said that I didn't come to say. I just came to say hello. This quote is all that I have thought about since she said. I came to say hi to Spain, but now I have to leave. Although we will be in different countries I hope that the people I have met here have come into my life to stay not to just say hello. I will miss each one of them terribly and I hope they know how much they have come to mean to me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Last Weekend in Spain

I cannot believe my time here is almost over. I feel like I just arrived. I have been here just long enough to establish a good relationship with everyone and now I have to leave. Santi and Blanca saw that I was starting to pack and both gave me very angry looks. I was so lucky to have the host family that I have and I am really going to miss them. I love Barcelona, but I am ready to get back to the bluegrass.

I stayed in Barcelona for my last weekend here and saw all of the sights that I still wanted to see. On Saturday, Carley and I headed up Mt. Tibidabo. We took a funicular to the top of the mountain and I was terrified the entire time. Once we made it to the top we walked around the park for a bit before heading into the church. Inside, there was a nice older gentleman who told us the history of the church for free. He told us his English was very bad, but in reality his English was excellent. I loved talking with him and learning a little bit more about this amazing place. Then, we made our way to The Sacred Heart.
I was at the very top!

Being up there really felt like being on top of the world. We were able to see all of Barcelona from the top. After Tibidabo we went to Placa Catalunya to walk to Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. Both houses were designed by Antoni Gaudi. Casa Mila is the one I have always wanted to see, but it was covered up so they could clean it. I was extremely disappointed when I realized this.

Before the day was over, we hit up Courte Ingles and the Bull Ring mall, and Carley let some fish nibble on her toes.
They eat the dead skin off of your feet.
To end the day we ate at Hard Rock Cafe. We had to wait for over an hour to be seated, but it was worth the wait.

On Sunday, Javier took us and the children to Monserrat. This is a monastery in the mountains. We took a cable car to get to the top, which was even more terrifying than the funicular at Tibidabo.
I didn't really get to see any monks but we were lucky enough to see some castellers. This is something I have wanted to see since I learned what they are. Castellers are people who create human formations. It is a tradition of Catalonia. The largest people are on the bottom and the smallest ones climb to the top. The very top is small children. Tradition or not, I just don't think I would ever let a child participate in this. It was an amazing sight to see though.

While in Monserrat we walked through the cathedral and visited the image of the virgin. We spent most of the day there.

It was nice to get out with the family and spend more time with them as my time here is coming to an end.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sights From the Classroom

Our class started the Native American unit right after I arrived to Barcelona. We have been working hard on learning all about Native Americans. We have watched videos about Native Americans, danced to Native American music, made our own dream catchers, made Native Americans out of clay, and made our own totem. The students have also been bringing in objects from home for our Native American unit. We have lots of Native American outfits, a bow, Native American books, and a Native American village. I can't wait to see what we do next.

Our Native Americans

creating our own zoo habitats

making self portraits

animals for our totem

Mountains and Parks

After I returned from Ireland I started to feel extremely homesick, so Carley and I went to the History Museum. Javier informed us that it was free the first Sunday of every month and since we are both broke college kids we took advantage of this opportunity. At the museum we were able to go down to the Roman ruins and get an idea of how the Romans might have lived. Once we left there we found the cultural center to find more ruins. I have always loved history, so I am trying to see and learn as much as possible while I am here.

On Monday, I stayed at home. I had noticed that my feet were really swollen, so I was afraid to go anywhere. I think it was probably the nine hour hike through Howth. Before the night was over, Cristina and I took the mtorbike up Mt. Tibidabo.

It was nice to just stay at the house and spend time with the family.

Tuesday afternoon, Carley and I went to Parc Ciutadella. This is a huge park in the middle of Barcelona. I did not realize this much greenery existed in the city. While walking through we found a gorgeous fountain that we had to stop and stare at for a long time. It was a nice change of scenery.

Wednesday night, I stayed at home to spend time with the family before Cristina left for London. I completed some of my tutoring hours with Javier and Blanca and showed them WKU through Google maps. I really enjoy spending time with them. I am the only one at home right now and I am going crazy.

On Thursday, Ellie, Autumn, Tiffany, Carley, and I made our way up Montjuic. We arrived to the cable car at 7:30, which was 30 minutes after it closed so we began trekking up the mountain. We walked around the park before making our way up to the castle. After hiking around the castle for a while we decided to make our way down to the Magic Fountains for the light show. We made a wrong turn somewhere and still managed to stumble upon everything we wanted to see. We found the Olympic Stadium, the Catalan Art Museum, the 1929 Fair Expo Grounds, and the Magic Fountains. The light show is definitely something everyone should see in Barcelona.

Olympic Stadium
Art Musuem
Magic Fountains Light Show
Bull Ring Mall

Friday, May 9, 2014

Last Week

I just realized that I didn´t have a post about the beginning of last week. I didn´t do very much before heading to Ireland. On Monday I spent time with my host family and worked on some of my tutoring hours. Right after school on Tuesday we went to Sagrada Familia which is a cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. It was breathtaking. As soon as I saw the building my jaw dropped and didn´t come back up until we had left. It was like walking into another world. Everything was extravagent. Construction began on this building in 1882 and they are still working on it today. The building process relies entirely on donations. It was absolutely spectacular.

After Sagrada Familia, Carley and I headed back to Park Guell to see the areas that we did not get to see on Saturday. Park Guell was also designed by Gaudi so we thought it was fitting to go to both places on the same day.

On Wednesday I stayed at home to spend some time with the family before I left for the airport Wednesday night.