Monday, May 6, 2013

Last Day

Today was our last day at the school. Our cooperating teachers brought us food and T-shirts, and we were all very sad to leave. We have one more day to say goodbye to Barcelona and our host families.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My "Little" Side Trip to Rome

Must See Locations in Rome
(to be updated)

The Colosseum, Inside and Out.

Trevi Fountain: Night and Day

This was by far my favorite site in Rome. Don't forget to make a wish and throw a coin!

Vatican City?

If you love lines, elbow-to-elbow crowds, lots of walking in elbow-to-elbow crowds, and not being able to take pictures once you get to your favorite part (The Sistine Chapel), then, sure visit The Vatican. However, be wary of the tour traps. If you're willing to wait in the hour or so long line to enter the Vatican, you can pay under 10 euro for admission (that's what some of my friends did). I paid 40 euro for a tour, and the tour guide left all but about five members of the group behind about halfway through the tour, and we lost communication (but we got to skip the line!...not worth it). Don't underestimate the amount of walking, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Sagrada Familia

I was lucky enough to get free admission to Gaudi's Sagrada Famila (compliments of the school), after some of my students invited me to go with them on St. Jordi's Day. It's a beautiful, unique cathedral and a must-see if you're ever in Barcelona.

Front view.

The columns look like trees!

Back view.

Park Guell

Park Guell was designed by Catalonia's favorite architect, Antonio Gaudi. It's the most beautiful, elaborate park I've ever seen. It's one of my favorite sites in Barcelona, despite the constant crowd. For more information on the history and tourism of the park, see the links below:

Gaudi's House

St. Jordi's Day

St. Jordi's Day is the Valentine's Day of Catalonia. It's a day to celebrate a legend involving dragons and royalty. In order to celebrate it, men buy roses for the women and the women buy books for the men. There are book and rose stands set up on just about every street corner on St. Jordi's Day, which brings even more life to the beautiful city or Barcelona.

La Rambla on St. Jordi's Day

Book and rose vendors.

My host dad got roses for all the ladies in the house!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mount Tibidabo

Mont Tibidabo is about 20 minutes from the school by car, and it offers a view of all of Barcelona. There is a huge cathedral at the very top and a small amusement park for kids.

La Rambla

Souvenirs, Haggling and Gaudi at La Rambla

La Rambla is a street in Barcelona that is notorious for tourism, as well as pick-pocketing. It's one of the best places to find souvenirs and post cards. You can haggle with many of the English-speaking merchants of souvenir shops to get prices up to half off. If you think an item isn't worth the tagged price, it probably isn't, and the merchants obviously know this too. Many of them expect you to haggle or will even initiate it, so paying full price can be a big waste. For example, I got a 6 euro wallet for 4 euros and my friend Christy was able to get two 12 euro T-shirts for 10 euros each, even though they were already reasonably priced. (Warning: the merchants might actually try to chase you down while shouting out their best deal if you try to leave without purchasing something).

This street gets very crowded on the weekends. Mind your money!

Antoni Gaudi is one of the most famous architects in Barcelona, and the locals love him. Some of his buildings are located near La Rambla. See the link below for more of his work.

Gaudi's curvy ingenuity. 
More Gaudi

Sculptures and other Architecture

The Cathedral

The Mayor's House