a Broad

Here's to hoping you see, feel, taste, and learn all I do as if you are here with me

Posts tagged food

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Marvelous Madrid Day 1

The weekend excursion to Madrid was packed with activities for the entire group! First our walking tour of Madrid! I decided to do a Spanish tour for the first time!  Every activity we do is offered in both a spanish and english option. Usually i do english but i was feeling extra adventurous today. I was able to understand the total message of what she was saying but not every word.

The tour was not only working out my brain with trying to understand, but also a physical workout because Madrid is a lot more spread out than Barcelona. We covered a lot of area in our walking tour, here are a few highlights: (lets jump right right in! shall we? hahaha)

There are tons of street performers and vendors everywhere! The most I’ve ever seen in one area! Some of them were especially entertaining like the one below. He/she actually played the guitar very well hahah!

Almudena Cathedral was awesome! It was so different from any other church I’ve seen. It was very eclectic and vibrant. The articles inside were the mix of the old and the new. The construction started in 1879 but did not finish until 1993! Sagrada Familia is still my favorite though.

Mercado de San Miguel was pretty awesome! They had tons of a wine and tapas bars plus all of the fresh produce and carnicerias. Definitely a bit nicer than the boqueria in Barcelona. 

We were told Bocadillos de Calamares were a specialty in Madrid so we had to try them! They weren’t bad! I actually enjoyed them (no surprise I love all food) but a few of the others thought it was lacking in taste because there was nothing but the calamares and bread, some sauce would have been good too.

For dessert we had torrijas, another specialty in Madrid. It’s basically a spanish bread pudding. (click our image for the recipe I found) This on the other hand, was BOMB!! Our tour guide pointed it out and said it was the best bakery and famous for their torrijas so we made our way back there for dessert after debating between chocolate con churros and torrijas, Abe and torrijas won. It was a great choice since i’ve already had chocolate con churros in Barcelona.

Now the Palace! Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside, but if anyone goes to Madrid, the Palace is definitely a MUST SEE!! The ornamentation on the ceiling and walls were as if they were growing off of it! The fabrics were so lush and rich and the trinkets were the fanciest things I’ve ever seen! 

After all the walking, Barcelona SAE was nice enough to treat us out to tapas! We broke out into smaller groups each group with someone in the staff. It was the largest tapas portions I’ve ever seen! The tortilla española was amazing.

Filed under madrid barcelona SAE Study Abroad travel food guide palacio real

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Leap Day

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!

Filed under barcelona BarcelonaSAE study abroad tapas food flamenco protests raval barceloneta

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Filed under pastries yum barcelona braso de gitana study abroad barcelona spain food

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Eye Opener-Orientation week!

Lots of you have been begging for updates so here you guys go! I saved sometime after everyday to write about my day so this can be a souvenir to myself years from now.

A post will be published every Sunday while my laundry is going to fill you all in with what’s going on out here, so add thegirlabroad into your Sunday paper :).

The past few days have been insanely awesome. A bit cliché but that’s the only way I can think of how to describe it! Last time you heard from me I was just settling in with no idea of what was in store for me…

Miercoles- Hike up Tibidabo

Woke up without hitting the snooze button with no clue on what to wear to the hike. And mi primero desayuno prepared for me by my house mom Señora Blanca: 

Since it is pretty cold out here (around 50F), i went with comfy stretchy jeans, a thermal, and my North Face jacket. Good call. We all met in front of the Hard Rock Café and took the metro then train to Tibidabo. (You can see the train exit behind us):

The hike was very refreshing and good exercise! I was also able to get to know more of the people in the BarcelonaSAE and CIS program. The views were spectacular and it was so awesome to start off my trip seeing Barcelona as a whole, before seeing really anything in the city I’d be living in. While looking at the big picture, the small details definitely sparked my curiosity!

After reaching the top of the mountain we had a feast with a bunch of traditional dishes waiting for us. One of which was a spring onion: Calçot. We had to peel the burnt outside off then dip into the sauce then eat it. It tasted sweet and garlic-y with the dipping sauce. It got pretty messy haha.

Also, in spain there is a tradition involving a communal drinking thing (haha i forgot was it was called but it was pretty cool) with a kind of juice (the name again, I can’t remember). This is Rich our program director showing us how it’s done.

Jueves- Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona

Woke up early to make my trek to the University for their separate orientation. I definitely got lost a bunch getting there but hey I was able to practice my Spanish! When I finally got to the university it blew my mind!

After orientation I walked over to Sagrada Familia from the university with some friends and was captivated by it’s size and beauty (cheesy i know, oh well).

Then the same day we were given a tour of the gothic quarter, learning about the history of Spain, Catalunya, and Barcelona. It was so interesting to hear what I read in history books and see and feel the buildings I saw only photos of.

Then I grabbed a bite and my first cerveza en Espana with a friend from home also studying abroad but sight seeing on his winter break. It was nice talking about life, home, school, and our careers!


Woke up bright and early for our trip to Girona! The place was absolutely beautiful! It reminded me of The Secret Garden and the stuff you would picture from fairytales. We also had a very fancy meal and I tried more traditional foods.

We then went to the Dali Museum which was the most interesting museum I’ve ever been to! My amazing experience is also because we had an awesome tour guide that knew everything about him! It wasn’t one of those typical boring facts but she talked as if Dali was her homie hahaha. Dali’s love story is a little obsessive but quite romantic you should look it up!

After a long day, my night was even longer haha. I have no pictures of my own because I wanted to carry as little as possible. (once the others post up pics I’ll edit it again) I met up with some friends and headed off to dinner where I had my first Paella (bomb) then Shoko a nightclub off Barceloneta. It was a trek, and by trek, I mean a trek!!! haha the huge group of us walked so much! But it was awesome to experience the nightlife and meet people from all over!


I decided to sleep in, which felt amazing! I did some shopping in Las Ramblas, which is a main shopping area with tons of cute boutiques and recognizable stores like Zara, H&M, United Colors of Benetton, all of which are currently having their biggest sales of the year. Think Black Friday on Steroids! First stop, official Barça store to get our tickets! Yup, I’m talking about FCBarcelona. I’m going on Sunday!

I have been freezing the past couple of days and was in need of a thick winter coat! After tons of stores, Ashley leaving, and few hours later, Averyl and I finally found success in Zara (and H&M haha got a tad bit carried away)!! (In a future post I’ll need to talk all about Barcelona Fashion, I’m falling in love with it.)

I’ve never walked this much in my life haha so by the time I got back I was exhausted and decided to spend the rest of the night talking with Señora Blanca. She is a talented painter and well travelled herself! Then catching up with the family and boyfriend back home!


Started off the day with a tasty breakfast then got ready for church! Senora Blanca told me of a close by church so I walked over for the 1 o’clock mass. The church was absolutely beautiful and the community’s participation was captivating. Also, a couple named Mauricio and Rosa got married in the middle of the mass. Pretty cool!

I am now getting ready to go to watch Barça! Until next Domingo!

Filed under food sights views art landscapes barcelona study abroad barcelona SAE culture photography cool