Posts tagged barcelona
Posts tagged barcelona
I did go out at night and pick pocketing is very common. I know so many people who lost stuff but I fortunately never got pick pocketed. I only brought an MK wristlet that zips when I went out. It’s cute, compact and discreet! I could hold it in my hand while dancing and it fit my ID money and iphone (i’ll post a photo of it in another post).
These are the tricks I used to make sure I never lost anything: If you do take your iphone/camera out to a club be careful who you ask to take your picture and when you take your own pictures. Pick pocketers love these things! Also, don’t bring too much money/credit cards whenever you go out, because if you do get pick pocketed you won’t be losing everything (it’s a huge pain to get everything replaced). Have emergency money (just enough for a taxi ride back home) stowed away somewhere safe just incase (i would put it in my sock since I wore boots in the winter). I Hope I didn’t scare you, don’t be scared!! Honestly just be aware of your surroundings, follow my easy tips and you’ll be fine. :)
I hear in the summer it can get pretty hot and humid so i’d bring light clothes but still no daisy duke shorts if you want to blend in or else you’ll get lots of unwanted attention. Casual dresses /skirts and airy tops will be perfect for the upcoming season.
For night time people do dress up a bit. Usually only Americans show up super skimpy looking to nightclubs and bars. Locals look more put together usually with tights/stockings on if they are wearing a shorts or short dresses but a nice top and dark pants is totally normal. A good trick to lessen the amount of clothes you bring is using different accessories with the same main pieces to make your outfits look different. (no one knew I used the same black dress over and over!)
Comfortable heels/shoes are a must! You will be walking everywhere, my advice is take no more than 2 or 3 heels. I’d recommend bringing cute comfy flats as substitutes. Also, know your shoes are going to take a beating!
No one really warned me about how much walking you’ll be doing so here’s my warning to you hahaha. Also, Barcelona has great shopping so if anything, shop less before you leave to save you money to shop when you get there. You’ll have a much better idea if what you’ll need/want to use once you’re there.
This is something I was clueless about before coming here, Barcelona Fashion. As I was packing I was told a bunch of different things: lots of layers, boho, normal clothes. All of this was pretty vague and when I googled “barcelona fashion” I was taken to a tourist website with a girl wearing a skirt past the knee and a top. No help.
There are tons of different styles here in Barcelona so don’t feel you need to totally change your style before you come here. I took it upon myself to take some random photos of people on the street to help you out. (It’s a good thing my iPhone is discreet. Excuse the blurry ones, I usually take these as I’m walking to class haha.)
These are examples of typical barcelona women. Not over the top, but put together. As you can see lots of layers, scarves, and boots or flats. Pack comfortable shoes that can take a beating! I’ve walked more here than I ever have in my life! Spanish women hardly ever show their bare legs. Many of them wear dresses, skirts, shorts but all with different colored/patterned tights or leggings underneath. Leather, Jean, and Canvas jackets are also pretty big here.
You hardly ever see spanish women in yoga pants and a sweatshirt on the street so if your plan is to look like a local, you’ll probably only need a pair to go to the gym, if any.
If you like nothing that they’re wearing, know purses with zipper closures are a must here! Beware of pick-pocketers!
This past month was the best month ever!
I can’t wait to tell you guys all about each of them (once I have time)! After all of these trips and as my program is almost coming to an end, I’ve realized and can honestly say the best way to learn is to travel. I think i’m at my “Aha! moment” haha. The people I’ve meet, the history I’ve learned and seen, experiences I’ve gone through, beats sitting in a classroom.
Castellers Practice (human tower)
This night was the most culture enriching night in Barcelona! A friend heard about the Castellers practice from class so we decided to stop by. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into! We entered and sat in what looked like a restaurant with a view of the practice down below. All of a sudden a woman comes up to me, speaking in spanish and asked “do you guys want to join the practice?”. I respond with a nervous and scared “No, gracias solo quiero mirar”. Then she explained oh it’s so easy and she did it since she was a young girl. She was a feisty one with a hilarious sense of humor (we found out later she was known as big mama). She was adamant about us going down so she took the liberty to go down to ask if we can join the practice herself. She then motioned to us to go down so we had no choice but to hesitantly walked down the steps. Meanwhile, we were all thinking we were doomed and going to crack our heads open. She laughed at how scared we were and said don’t worry it’s easy, you will be in the piña (the support at the bottom of the tower).
We finally gave in and it was the most amazing experience. The view from being in the piña and amongst the Castellers was absolutely insane!! I was so moved with the pride they had. That’s not all folks! They kept insisting I try climbing up to the shoulders (probably because I was the smallest one) of one of the castellers. I finally gave in and after a little instruction on the technique I was climbing my way up! With some assistance from them and support from the ladder, I was standing on his shoulders. It felt pretty awesome doing something I was scared and intimidated to do. So glad I did it! They were all so welcoming and made us feel like apart of their family.
Hey @uncertainkriscee! I’m so excited for you! Getting your parents to say yes is the first and most important step! Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made so I highly recommend you go abroad.
The study abroad program I decided to go with was BarcelonaSAE.
The steps I took to studying abroad with BarcelonaSAE were:
This is super extensive, whoops, I got a little carried away! (haha) If Barcelona is one of your options, I highly recommend BarcelonaSAE. I love this program so much. Feel free to reach out at any stage of your study abroad process!
When student’s study abroad they have tons of options for housing: apartment, residencia (dormitory style), or homestay. I must say I made the perfect choice for me! I couldn’t have been placed any better!
I had 2 main reasons for choosing to do a homestay:
1) I would not have to buy groceries for 4 months. Paying for groceries and all the essentials adds up! I knew it would be much more difficult to budget and I would end up spending more than the difference between how much it costed for an apartment and a homestay which was no more than $400.
2) I’d be exposed to the Spanish language and culture much more when living with a family/señora. I wanted as much exposure as possible to spanish since my classes are all taught in english with an exception of my spanish class of course.
Like everything that’s new, it was an adjustment my first few days. Of course in the beginning you want to meet the others and be surrounded by them, but with a homestay and in an individual room you don’t get that experience from the get go, so the first few nights were a little rough. But with the constant group events with Barcelona SAE, it was so easy to make friends with everyone. Hanging out and going out with friends is only a metro ride or even a walk away and now everybody is jealous of all my amazing food and having my own room. AND I’ve made friends I’ll have forever :)
My sister made me a checklist before I left. I figured I’d show my progression as the days go by :)
Every 4 years this day comes, this one in particular was pretty eventful.
On my walk to class I ran into a protest, later finding out they were college students protesting tuition increases. There were probably a thousand people! It was a very peaceful protest from what I saw but there were police and helicopters everywhere. They were communal in their chanting and it was actually a pretty cool site to see because I’ve never seen a protest of this magnitude (VIDEO TO COME). Of course I observed from a safe distance (don’t worry mom and dad :). There were protests when we were in Madrid as well so I wanted to dig deeper and actually find out what is going on. After reading a few articles, there has been not only protests around the city but also all around Europe showing their rejection of the austerity treaty.
“Union leaders and workers called on EU leaders to find an alternative to cuts to social services and welfare.
In Spain, thousands of schoolchildren and university students left the classroom and took to the streets to protest against education spending cuts.” - BBC
I made it to class (E-commerce and Online Businesses) then went straight home to get ready for the night ahead.
First I went on a “get to know the neighborhood” of the Raval area then a Flamenco show with my program. Raval (the renovated and good parts) is an awesome area. There is tons of diversity and the young people have a cool urban/skater/hipster/hesh (haha) look. It was originally known as the slum area but after the 1992 Olympics it was brought back to life and renovated in an effort to improve the city so there are tons of cool cafe’s, bars, and boutiques. MACBA- Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona is located here and there were tons of guys skating out in front of it. The wall next to MACBA (below) was really interesting. From what I understood, the people of the city made up their own word for just the people of raval because of their reputation.
(sorry picture quality isn’t so great, very little lighting no flash and in a hurry, no bueno)
Then we made our way to the Flamenco Show(VIDEO TO COME). It was pretty awesome! I’m glad I was able to witness it with the program because I wouldn’t have known other wise.
After the flamenco show I headed straight to the hotel my cousin and cousin in law were staying in. I was so excited to see faces from home :). We headed over to a recommendation they got from someone and I knew of that restaurant so I lead us over there via metro.
Cervecería El Vaso de Oro in Barceloneta was so yummy! The ambiance made it the best tapas place I’ve been to so far. It was really packed and narrow so we were worried we weren’t going to find seats but got lucky and were sitting in the best seats in the house, right in front of the cooks! I was about to order cerveza out of habit because it’s cheap but they stopped me and said we were drinking vino tonight :). The food was amazing!! I wish I remembered all the names of the tapas we ate but more the reason to go back because they had awesome prices!