Strut Like You Mean It

I absolutely cannot believe I just spent the weekend in Barcelona. I honestly don’t even know where to begin with recapping it.  So many questions, I know. “What did you see?” “What did you eat?” “What did you do?” “Where did you stay?” Well, let me fill everyone in:

Day One: Barcelona, meet two very homesick girls. Mary and Nicole, meet Barcelona.

Day One was both an amazing time and a huge struggle. After landing, we found the bus, but once off the bus, we couldn’t seem to find our apartment. Then we found the apartment and it looked only slightly similar to what was advertised online. (I’m trying to be polite) We decided to head to out to find some food and a beach – we had our hearts set on a restaurant on the water with amazing tapas, but we couldn’t find that either. We ended up at a wok restaurant eating stir fry on our first night in Spain. This kind of homesick was the “if my parents were here I’d be eating tapas and staying in a real hotel” kind of homesick. It was completely different than what I’d felt in London, but on the super super plus side – feeling this way in Barcelona made London feel like my home. For the first time I was really thinking, “I want to go home to London.”

We did a lot of walking on our first day, and even though I felt crappy at times the sun was SHINING (and with such vigor), it was amazing. We ran into some street performers which was a blast to watch, saw an abandoned circus thing which was horrifying, but most importantly we saw the beach, and ate churros which made Day One more than worth it.

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Day Two: Pounding the pavement, kicking through the streets, to wander like Picasso in the Barcelona heat. – The Cheetah Girls

Okay, so Day Two rolls around and we were ready to kick the homesickness crap to the curb and see the city. We had a walking tour planned, so we decided to walk La Rambla. We literally just happened to pass by this AMAZING food market. The first stand we saw had more candy than one could imagine (and more candy with nuts than a person with a nut allergy could imagine so that was fun), then as we went back we saw fruits, vegetables, fresh eggs (yessssss), fish, meat, tapas bars, and (our favorite) fresh baked bread.

One time as a kid my grandfather took me with him to get some of the fish for Christmas Eve. This happened to be the year that he got eel, and it happened to be the day that he needed to pick it up. So, into the shop we went, and I watched wide-eyed as they decapitated the slivering eel right in front of me. It’s just as horrible as you imagine it, trust me. Another thing about Papa is that every fruit the man touches is the most delectable in the world – the man would have had a field day in this place, and I would have loved to watch him navigate it (because 1. he would know what to order, and because 2.  the fish were already dead).

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On our way out we stumbled across a feast. Whose feast? San Antonio Abad – so not the Saint Anthony, but pretty crazy nonetheless. It was different from our feast, but at times it sounded the same, and the people in the parade were just as excited as I think we are for the feast. Except in Barcelona they throw pellets of candy at you. Personally, I’d prefer to pay for zeppoles but maybe that’s just me. Also, not a huge fan of whistles.

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Our walking tour was also a great experience. We learned so much about Barcelona it was wonderful. After that, we hit up the Sagrada Familia. We were in awe of how huge it was, Mary and I were fawning over it, until she realized that we were actually looking at the back … Around to the front we went, and oh my god how. It’s absolutely breathtaking! For dinner, we had paella that we literally could not stop eating. That night I was lucky enough to meet some friends from Babson, after a great time with them – we headed home. See yaaaa, homesickness.

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Day Three: It’s been real, Barna.

Our time in Barcelona ended with a trip to Park Güell, followed by some amazing sandwiches in a plaza. Park Guell was also unbelievable (even though we climbed hundreds of stairs to get there). I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I am so glad we didn’t miss it.

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Barcelona taught me so so much about how to travel, about why I chose to study abroad in Europe, and about myself. I’m so grateful we had the opportunity to go, and cannot wait to see what we can stir up somewhere else in the world!

All my love,

Nicole

Feel free to check out some of my older posts! You can find them all here!

Other amazing things that happened this week?

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2 thoughts on “Strut Like You Mean It

  1. 1) The Cheetah Girls reference is the best one yet.
    2) Papa and his fruit. Enough said.
    3) paella is the beeeeest I’m so jealous! Funnily enough, I tried it for the first time at a tapas bar called Barcelona. 🙂

  2. Nic – you are a beautiful writer. Im getting to know you in a whole new way. Your posts have made my rather dreary few weeks, smile a little smile and giggle a little giggle. I got your message – thank you for your heartfelt condolences. I’m all caught up now. Keep posting! I love it.

    I love you like a flying fit! Auntie Kelli

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