This week marks a few things… first it is officially midterms here at IES in Barcelona. I wish I could rant and rave about taking midterms like I have been about everything else in Spain. Unfortunately, I have nothing for you! Studying is somewhat challenging when living in the best place in the world (seriously though) and especially when the weather is improving dramatically. Another thing this week marks is the halfway point of my time here. So basically what I am saying is that this week is not the best! I cannot believe I have already been living in Europe for seven weeks. The time is flying by and while I still have tons planned I fear it will be over before I know it. Now that I’ve been here for quite some time I thought I would give a list of my five favorite “musts” in Barcelona. I still have many things on my list to see and accomplish before I leave but here is what I have so far…
#1) Favorite Site-Seeing Attraction = Park Güell
There are tons of famous sites tourists are told to visit… La Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Gaudi’s houses, and many others. Surely Park Güell will also be on the list and for good reasons. The views of Barcelona are incredible and on a nice day this is a definite must. Not to mention the hike to get up there will provide you with a little exercise too!
#2) Best Bar = L’Ovella Negra
Barcelona is known for its crazy nightlife. There are numerous bars and clubs to choose from and each is very unique. However, if you want to hang out with friends, talk, and taste literally the best sangria in the world… this is your place. They sell “towers” of beer and sangria for a great price so it's easy on your wallet. Be warned though that the sangria is deceivingly strong!
#3) Attention All Girlie Girls: Best Clothing Store = Kling
Europe has some of the best shopping and Barcelona is no exception. In general, I find the Europeans to be extremely fashionable and find myself trying to emulate their style. I came across this store on one of the tiny side streets off Las Ramblas. Anybody who watches Gossip Girl – the clothes all look like they came straight out of Blair Waldorf’s closet. If you don’t watch the show - no biggie - but definitely check this place out if you love girly, lacy outfits and accessories!
#4) Best “Fast Food” Ever = Bo de B
Within one week I was told about this wonderful little place. Apparently so were the rest of the study abroad students because it took nearly an hour to get food. I really cannot even describe how awesome this place is and give it the justice it deserves. You just have to trust me on this one and go. A bit of advice though – go inside and sit down to eat. This will speed up the time it takes to order and get your food versus waiting outside and taking it to go.
#5) Best Cultural Experience = La Boquería
I know I have mentioned this market before but once again it has made the list of things to check out. It is always packed with people grabbing a snack, grocery shopping, or just walking around. There is literally every vegetable, fruit, seafood, meat, chocolate, and nut anyone could imagine. Some aspects of the market are specific to Spanish culture, such as their appreciation for literally seeing where the food comes from. This means fully dressed rabbits hanging on a string are the "norm." This is a little gross in my opinion considering I do not see that too often in my local grocery store back home! Nonetheless it is a great experience and something to see.