As expected, Barcelona was an experience filled with unplanned adventures, unanticipated detours, and the unwitting commitment of several cultural faux pas.

Like the time we thought we climbed Montjuic, but really I think we just climbed a small hill that is potentially specifically cordoned off for old men to play bocce ball. Or the time we went the wrong way down the boardwalk, all the way down, and were almost too hangry (hungry + angry) to make it back to the market in a civil manner. Oh, and we cant forget the time that Emily almost had a panic attack in the air taxi that she insisted we took across the bay. In addition, we stood out literally where ever we go. While everyone around us is in black or muted earth tones, Emily’s jacket is stoplight red and I am in tangerine orange. Together we looked like the start of a rainbow in search for our missing colors. Plus, we were convinced that it is considered rude to show your ankles at this point in the season, as we were both the only ones walking around in capris and flats.

But we embraced Barcelona to our fullest potential: we saw some of the coolest buildings, had some divine food, and thoroughly enjoyed the Spanish tradition of the siesta. We were awed by the Sangrada Familia, a behemouth of a Catholic church that commenced construction in 1882 but wont be completed until between 2020 and 2040 (quite a range if you ask me), with its extensive stained glass windows and natural windows. Personally I was most moved by the Casa Batllo, an Antoni Gaudi creation, a house constructed with few straight lines as possible, rife with colored glass and tile. Emily loved the Park Guell, another Gaudi brainchild with architecture that appears to spring from nature. We both fell in love with the bustle of the La Boqueria, not to mention the cheap and delicious food. Post-siesta hunger drove us to experiment with tapas and paella, which I am happy to report are delicious.

All in all, it was a great spring break and wonderful start to the adventure that will be 7th block abroad of our senior year.

Published by Tori Frecentese '13

I am a Senior Anthropology major with an African Studies minor from Stillwater, Minnesota. On campus I am involved in Salsa club, IM Hockey and Broomball, a student worker for Athletic Marketing, and a member of the Mortar Board and Blue Key Honor Societies. With varied interests and passions, at any give point you can find me at the library late night, tearing up the dance floor, or adventure-ing in the mountains.

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