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Friday, July 1, 2016

Beauty in Barcelona - Abbey Wilson

My Summer in Barcelona
                I have had so many different experiences in the last 28 days, it’s almost impossible to choose my favorite. From traveling to the top of Tibidabo, to diving into the beaches of Barcelona and realizing how high the salt content actually is, and eating a whole lot of gelato in between. This place is pretty incredible.
                One of my top experiences here in Barcelona had to be our excursion to the Sagrada Familia. The first surprising aspect of this famous piece of architecture is its location. I expected it to be much further out of the city than it is, much like the cathedral at Tibidabo. But, no, it was smack in the middle of buildings, restaurants, etc. I thought it was interesting that people can just casually walk by one of the most beautiful buildings on the planet on their way to work.
                The Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi, was just beyond words. I expected it to be magnificent, but not to the extent that I saw. Even standing a block away, I could make out the detail and extravagance of this building dedicated to the Holy Family (which is the literal meaning of Sagrada Familia). The building is actually still under construction, and I can’t imagine what it will look like when it’s finally finished. I can’t even conceive how much talent and imagination must have been in that scruffed up head of Gaudi’s, because designing a place like this takes nothing less than genius.
                A group of us also went down to the room that contains Gaudi’s memorial. It was a solemn and beautifully silent sort of atmosphere, one that makes you wish you had known this artist and all that he was so you could thoroughly appreciate it. After that, we walked around in the museum and looked at Gaudi’s prototype models, a video featuring his life and what he created, and much more. I felt like the museum closed way before I wanted it to, and I wish I had all night to keep discovering more about this enchanting building (pictures featured below).

The Lord's Prayer in Catalan 

That ceiling though 

Some of the plethora of detailing surrounding the Sagrada Familia. 


Boiler Up! 

                While the Sagrada Familia was my favorite excursion in Barcelona, here are a few honorable mentions!
                    Abbey’s Top Ten Favorite Things on Barcelona Study Abroad
              10. GELATO. Nuff said.
                9. Camp Nou! If you like European Football, this is the place for you.
                8. Tibidabo. It’s a lot more than an amusement park on a mountain!
                7. ALL THE FOOD. Particularly Patatas Bravas and Catalan Sausage.
                6. Plaza Espanya! This stop is a 10 minute walk from my house, and I go every day for a                     bit just to hang out and look at the scenery.
                5. DA BEACH. It’s salty, but sweet.
                4. Park Guell. It looks kind of Gaudi at first, but you get used to it.
                3. Touring the Gothic Quarter! There’s so much history and culture behind this place, I                          could just stay there forever.
    2. Dali Art Museum! If anyone could rock a mustache, this dude could.
                1. Girona! Because Game of Thrones.

I am so glad that I had that opportunity to come abroad to Barcelona with Purdue. It is an experience that will stay with me the rest of my life! I learned so much, broadened my cultural insight, and allowed myself to become a more independent and confident traveler! I’ll miss you, Barcelona!

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