A Travellerspoint blog

Cava Freixenet y Sitges

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Today we went on a day excursion to the Cava Freixenet (pronounced Free-Sha-Nay) and Sitges (pronounced Seetchays). The first place we went to was Cava Freixenet. It was this beautiful house where they make "Cava." Cava is champagne in Spanish. We took a tour through the cells where they keep the barrels of cava and the bottles. We went really far underground, there were probably four stories of stairs leading to the downstairs. We then had a cava tasting at the end of the tour. It really wasn't as interesting as it could have been because our tour was in spanish, I tried to understand what she was saying in the beginning but but the middle I was tired of trying to figure out what she was saying so I stopped listening. The experience was still really cool though!! They had sooo many bottles of cava and then they took us on a tram to get us back up which was fun! We then made our way to Sitges. This is a beach resort type town. It was really pretty, but we only got about two and a half hours there. My friends and I went out to lunch when we got there. We split a pizza, which was amazing, and we also split patatas bravas y patatas all i oli. We then walked down to the beach where we swam in the MEDITERRANEAN SEA! I hAd never swam in that sea before so it was really cool. The water was much, much warmer than the water at the cape. The beach was incredibly crowded (and the vast majority of the people on the beach were men). The trip wouldn't be complete without a scoop of gelato, so it ended the day well. Now I am sitting in my room, watching the FC Barcelona game on TV. Go Barca!

Posted by kerryeaton 09:38 Archived in Spain Tagged sitges Comments (0)

Una Noche Bueno

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I didn't post anything about last night but it was really fun that I figured I would write about it. I met my two friends in the Pl. de Catalunya. This is one of the main plazas of the city and a very easy meeting point because almost all metros meet there. My friends and I went to this outdoor eating area for dinner. We split paella, a traditional spanish dish made of rice and different types of shell fish. We also got some tapas, which are small spanish dishes. We got calamari, patatas bravas (potato wedges with spicy sauce), and a traditional spanish sausage. We also got a pitcher of sangria (traditional spanish wine mixed with fresh fruit) for the table. The total was a little expensive, but it was our first meal out all together and we didn't mind paying a little more to celebrate. We then met up with my friends friend from school at home who is also here with the same program I am but a higher level. We walked down La Rambla and went to a different L'Ovella Negra. It was pretty crowded so we went to another little place on one of the streets off La Rambla where they have 1 Euro shots. We didn't stay there very long becuase we wanted to go to more of a bar scene rather than the little shop. We pretty much spoke spanish the whole night because two of the guys we were with are from Barcelona. The boy is the "host brother" of one of the guys we met up with. It felt really cool to understand and have a conversation with someone completely in Spanish.

Posted by kerryeaton 09:27 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

El Mercat!

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Today we went to the opening ceremonies at the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra. It's pronounced Pom-pay-ew (thats the closest pronunciation I can try to spell). It was kind of boring, but we learned a lot about the background of Barcelona and the massive transformations it has undergone in the past few years (particularly after the 1992 Olympic Games). After the session we had to go to our second day of the intensive spanish class. Half of the class was spent in the classroom then we went over to La Rambla where we had a scavenger hunt in El Mercat. The director of the program and our spanish teacher took us. The director of this program is one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. She is so interested in your life and your experiences here in Spain and you can tell she loves showing international students around Barcelona. We walked to La Rambla and into the Mercat. We were supposed to walk around and find all these different things with a partner. Luckily, one of my friends Jessica was my partner, which made it really fun. The Mercat is HUGE. It is pretty much a covered street food vendor market with everything you can think of: meats, fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, smoothies, chocolates, everything. You just have to be REALLY careful on La Rambla and in the market because there are tons of "profession pick pocketers" and they are very good at what they do. Some of the girls in my program were walking down La Rambla, in two groups of two, and one girls bag was cut (they cut the straps so that it falls and pick it up before you can), and the people walking with her didn't notice who did it and she didn't see it happen, so they are very quick. I then went to El Corte Ingles. It is the biggest department store I have ever been in. There are eleven stories. You can buy whatever you want. I had to buy a towel because I only have one. It cost me 23 dollars, rip off. Now I am back in my residencia but I am going out to dinner with my two friends in a little while and then tomorrow we have our excursion to Sitges! Its a beach resort to the north( I am guessing) of Barcelona. There is a beach there and they have set up a "cava" tasting tour, which is similar to champagne. I've heard its gorgeous and I can't wait to go!

Posted by kerryeaton 09:26 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

First day of class

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Today I had my first day of class. It was just an intensive spanish class, but it was three and a half hours long, and it was smack in the middle of the day, which is really annoying because I really want to go to the beach. After class my two friends and I walked around the city. We didn't have any destination in mind, we just walked around for about four hours. The city is so beautiful. We went and had tapas for lunch. We tried to find the plaza de catalunya but we got lost and it was getting a little late, so we ended up just coming back home. Then I sat in bed, and went to sleep!

Posted by kerryeaton 09:26 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

mucho espanol

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So today we went for a bus tour with the whole group. I overslept, because my alarm didn't go off and showed up a half an hour late. It was fine though, because a bunch of other people did that also. We toured the city and it is huge! We went up to the olympic park, Sagrada Familia, etc. We weren't able to get out and walk, but I have four months to do that. We then went out for lunch with our GAs. I got gazpacho, then some chicken dish (which I didn't like) and then a pineapple with chocolate dessert. After that I wondered around with my two friends and we bought new spanish phones! They are the old flip phones that I thought were cool when I was in seventh grade. Not cool now, but so much cheaper than using my other phone. The only problem is now I can't figure out how to use it because it is all in spanish, awesome. We then went to El Corte Ingles, which is a HUGE store that sells pretty much everything. Clothes, furniture, electronics, shampoo. The trip wouldn't be complete without a stop for gelato! I got bon bon y cookies. It wasn't my favorite, but still, I was eating gelato in Spain. Then the tricky part came, I was to get home to my residencia all by my self on the metro. So I walk in, feeling all cool thinking that it will be a piece of cake. Who knew that in Barcelona, there is train that is red and a metro that is red. Guess which one I went into, yep the train. So I kept looking and couldn't find which track to be on, so I wonder up to the police man standing there and in my broken spanish ask him where "marina" is. He responds, in spanish or catalan, yo no se, that I have to take the metro. In my head, yes I realize that, hence why I am here trying to get on the metro. I wander around more and then decide that I will walk outside and find another metro stop. Well, I cant get out because my card for the metro doesn't work in the train station. So I wonder around more loooking like a freak, trying to figure out the way out. Finally, I find a group of girl who are having the same problem, sneakily follow behind them and find out I have to go to the information desk to get out. Finally I get out, find the metro, and like a champ, find my way back to the residencia. I now have to find some way to make dinner, which means going to a grocery store, which means probably getting lost. Here's to being abroad!
ps. speaking here in spanish is very hard! trying to get the phone, getting back to my residencia, or just interacting with people es muy dificil!

Posted by kerryeaton 09:55 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

UPF and Melon District!

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So today was my first full day of being in Barcelona! Today we took a trip to see where I would be taking classes. Our first stop was the CIEE building.It is located at Passatge Permanyer. It is the most beautiful street I have ever seen in my entire life! It is only a walking street nestled between two bustling streets. It is lined with pastel colored houses all connected. Even the GA's (guardian angels) who live in Barcelona said that it is the best street in Barcelona and before they were connected with CIEE they had no idea it existed. We then took the metro to the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. It was a lot smaller than I expected, but it was really pretty. The building had a very "modernismo" feel to it, very rectangular but with lots of windows and weird architecture.
Now I am writing from my very own room in the residencia! We are in the buidlings, and I am assuming the part of town, which is called Melon District. It is composed of four buildings. The room itself is super small, but I love it and I think that it is really cute. I have my own private bathroom with a shower, which is a huge plus. I have tons of little shelves and knobs where I can put stuff. And all my luggage fit! The best part of the residencia: rooftop pool! Actually four rooftop pools, one on each building! I went up there tonight and the view is amazing! I am probably two blocks from the Sagrada Familia and two blocks from the Torre, which lights up at night. The beach is also about a ten minute walk from here. Living the life? I think so. The only down part about the residencia is I need to cook for myself, which I dont know how to do. But I figure that if I can learn to cook on my own in Spain, I can cook anywhere.
Anyways, I am getting ready to go out for my first night in Barcelona! Yes I realize it is 1030 and I am not even dressed to go out, but then again, we dont go to the clubs until 1, so I have time, and I can get "cena" (dinner) now if I wanted.

Ciao!

Posted by kerryeaton 13:28 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona Comments (0)

First Day in Barcelona!

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View Bienvenidos a Barcelona! on kerryeaton's travel map.

I finally arrived in Barcelona! There is only one word to describe it: exhausted. I got into Barcelona airport around 10:30 Barcelona time, so about 4:30 in the morning Boston time. I eventually found some other girls in my program and we made our way, with over 100 pounds of luggage, all the way to the other terminal, where we found our "guardian angels" waiting for us. We piled into a bus and made our way to the Hotel Havana! It is a super nice hotel with a rooftop pool, with an incredible view of the Sagrada Familia. Later our gaurdian angels (Students at the University Pompeu Fabra) took us around some parts of the city and showed us how to use the metro. Then my friends and I went exploring a little bit. Got gelato! yum! stracetella and dark chocolate! so good! After 31 hours of no sleep, it's time to go to bed! hence the reason this post is very sub par!

Posted by kerryeaton 12:35 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona Comments (0)

Packing Up and Getting Out

Last day in the USA for four months


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I have a little over six hours left at home before I climb in the car and hit the road to Logan Airport. I have pretty much everything packed, except for the few things I need to bring in my carry-on. I finished packing yesterday, and I have to say that I am pretty proud of myself. Both bags weigh less than 50 pounds, 49 pounds to be exact, but hey it's still under the limit! Packing wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. (I did get a very helpful tip, always roll the clothes, don't fold, its saves space) I am usually a pack rat, and some people would probably still say that I am with the amount of stuff I brought in my suitcases, but if you know me well enough you would know that I did a great job, even my mom said so. The hardest part of packing was trying to cut down what I didn't need to bring (big difference between the words need and want. If I could I would have wanted to bring the 19 dresses I originally picked out, needless to say I didn't bring that many dresses.... I brought 14 instead... and I know what you are thinking, pack rat). So I just have to get a few more things ready and then I am all set. Just have to twiddle my thumbs for six hours before I leave.

PS. The thing I am looking forward to most right now, is changing my current city on Facebook. So worldly.

Posted by kerryeaton 07:52 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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