After a month of relentless homework, assignments, and mid-terms, I was finally able to go on a mini vacation to Barcelona. Meeting with a friend from back home in the states, we were fortunate enough to explore the city for four days. However, I felt when we were leaving that we had barely scratched the surface. Barcelona is such a large, lively, and beautiful city. We could roam around the city randomly and always discover something incredible. On the first couple days we checked out the main tourist attractions such as the Sagrada Família church, La Rambla walkway, Rambla del mar, and the Barcelona Olympic stadium from the summer of 1992. Each of these attractions were unique and beautiful. Even secret gems such as the Jardin de Aclimatacion park were breathtaking. We capped off our visit with a trip to the Barcelona Zoo and an FC Barcelona game at the incredible Camp Nou stadium. Although Barcelona lost, the game was electrifying with such a different feel and atmosphere than that of most sports games back home. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Messi play in person!
For me, the trip also gave a unique perspective. I have now lived in eastern Europe for two months and going back to western Europe gave the feeling of a different atmosphere. Although Spain and Hungary are located on the same continent, Barcelona felt a bit more different than Budapest and Prague. There is a notable difference in atmosphere between western and eastern Europe. Most differences I saw were in the architecture and history. Spain had its own unique buildings, monuments, and other attractions. The differences between the eastern European cities and Barcelona no undoubtedly are in large part to the history of each country and region. Taking three history courses while I’m here has been eye-opening. The effects of two World Wars and the Soviet Unions communist takeover of eastern Europe have had different impacts on eastern and western European countries.
But even with the differences, I enjoyed Barcelona all the same! The city is beautifully laid out and well kept. Whether it was walking along the harbor or rallying with the Camp Nou crowd to cheering on FC Barcelona, I felt like I was always immersed in the culture of the city. I highly encourage anyone who takes a trip to Europe to stop in Barcelona, even if its just for a few days. The city is unlike any I have ever been to on this trip, as it has its own personality. I cannot wait to return to the city and see what else it has to offer!