My Year Abroad

Barcelona

Barcelona was a city of dreams. I’ve never been in a place where the people are so friendly, relaxed and welcoming. There was also excellent food, spectacular buildings and  I had plenty of opportunities to practice my Spanish.

We booked our accommodation via Air B & B and it worked out a lot cheaper than even a hostel would have been. It was also in a prime location, in the middle of everything that we would see during our visit.

Our hosts were a Mexican couple and nothing we asked was too much trouble. They are, in part, the reason why our trip was so successful.

Before we even arrived, they were eager to share details of what were, in their opinion, the best Barcelona attractions. This meant that before we even got there I could research, plan and book how we were going to spend our holiday.

Booking was an absolute blessing for all of the Gaudí tours. Online, you can buy ‘skip the queue’ tickets which allow you to enter the building at a certain time and avoid the monster of a line at the ticket office. It was so much less stressful to be able to know that at 11:30 you would be in Park Guell and by 14:00 you would probably be finished there and could move on to the next attraction.

Apart from the Gaudí attractions, everything else we decided to do during our four days there was free.

Our greatest find whilst in Barcelona was definitely The Bunkers. Following a map, we managed to climb to one of the highest points in Barcelona. The Bunkers were difficult to find, the map seemed to point to roads that didn’t exist but then, just as we were about to turn back, I noticed a sign at the bottom of a set of steps.

Fuelled by curiosity, we continued our climb until we arrived at the most breath-taking view I have even seen in my life; a full 360-degree view of Barcelona with even the Sagrada Familia as a tiny blob in a sea of buildings.

We also went to explore las Ramblas, a long strip within Barcelona where there are stalls selling souvenirs and then, hidden on the left is a large market where they sell all types of delightful food. We bought portable fruit salad and Gazpacho Andaluz and began browsing the many items each stall had on display.

Next, we visited the gothic part of Barcelona, home to the famous Barcelona Cathedral.  Stupidly, I hadn’t realised that the Cathedral would have a strict dress code and that my sleeveless dress and Sophie’s backless top would never be acceptable attire, regardless of the 33-degree heat just outside.  However, the exterior of the cathedral still served as an interesting contrast to the Sagrada Familia that we saw earlier that day.

The Sagrada Familia was wonderful. I didn’t think that I would love it quite so much as I did. The inside also really does look like a forest. I find it really hard to comment on the beautifully complex architecture but information points told me what I already knew; Gaudí used nature to create this wonderful masterpiece and took advantage of all the spectacular things that he believed God created.

You cannot capture the magic of that place in neither video nor photograph, although many tourists, including myself, were trying their best with the cameras, mobiles, and tablets. It was a very busy place, but I think that is what Gaudí would have wanted. Having dedicated the last few years of his life to this breath-taking place I was glad that there were thousands of people milling around trying to capture some of its beauty.

Park Guell is also spectacular. You can enter a part of it for free but the main part, with the famous salamander, has ticketed entry. Again, the park is very natural and you can see many elements of nature in it, including the many tree-like structures that are dotted all around the park.

Travel to the city wasn’t too costly either. We used Bla Bla Car on our journey both to and from Barcelona. It was a really relaxing experience and we were lucky enough to find someone who would drop us off directly at our door when the tiredness and holiday blues were slowly starting to sink in.

Barcelona was even better than I thought it would be, I can only dream that one day I’ll get to go back and do it all again.

 

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Uncategorized

Univesity Expectations – #3

Total Freedom.

Night-long parties,

Sleeping late,

Living alone and no parents.

Never missing school,

Endless days studying a favourite subject,

Plenty of time before the deadline.

Lacking fresh milk,

or fresh food completely.

A few arguments over dirty plates.

The Social outings,

More partying,

The best 4 years of my life?

 

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50-Word Stories

The Harbour – #2

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He said he loved the harbour;

That the gathering of boats

Stretching infinitely out of sight,

Like hundreds of soldiers before battle,

Brought order to his chaos-stricken life.

The harmony of sea and sky formed

peace

Along with the reflection in the water,

Where he could see our hands intertwined.

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Zero to Hero

Writing my first 50

So I’m rather new  to reading content on other blogs, but today I found this amazing blog about a boy with a hat, that everyone else has probably seen before; but if not it’s definitely worth a read!

I also found a related writing challenge and just could not resist having a go at it because I know how much I blab on when I blog. But I think I actually managed it, my first ever fifty word blog post.

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Zero to Hero

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog.

I blog because I find it hard to express myself to people in person. It’s definitely been a very handy tool for me when trying to arrange and process my own thought pattern. In all honesty I normally start with a phrase and then bulk up the post around that idea until hey, I’ve got enough material down that someone else might actually enjoy reading it, or trying to relate to how I feel. I like blogging because people don’t judge me. I feel I can talk about whatever I want to and no one is going to embarrass me by trying to discuss my rant of the month. Nobody can ‘dislike’ my posts and everyone here has always seemed very positive with their feedback. If my blog was  going to exceed my widest of dreams I’d post every day. I always feel better when I hit

POST.

It’s like I’ve grabbed a giant iron from the shelf and smoothed out the current problem that’s been eating away at me. I’d love to have followers, but I’d really just like people to like what I’m writing about. Or, if they don’t like it, I’d like them to tell me what I could change. So here are my three concrete goals that I want to achieve. 1. Post often. I always said I was going to try and make it at the very least I weekly thing! I want to be comfortable in the topics I  write about and then actually get round to writing about them. 2. Comment more. I always say I wish more people would comment of what I write, but then I think I’ve only ever posted a handful of comments on other peoples blogs. I’d like to comment more so people are encouraged to continue pleasing me with their blog posts. 3. Gain some followers. Because I’ve always been so hopeless at this on every other social networking site. I mean how do people actually become Facebook famous? It’s beside me. I’d like to gain more followers so I actually feel like people are pleased to read my blog posts. I already feel better for blogging, but I’d quite like people to say they’re backing me on this blogging journey, that they too are in it for the long run. So,

Let the challenge begin!

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40acts, Uncategorized

Day: 10- Talent Show

So today I had to post my list I made on day 3… Ermm, I already did that… Bit of a cop out? Anyway, I could at least still do the second part of the act so I chose to (admittedly indirectly) use my computer skills.

I always forget how hard it can be for older people to understand computers. I mean don’t get me wrong, I myself was not born in an age where everyone had one. I’m not even sure if my folks had a computer when I was born… I’d probably say they didn’t, although I do remember our first.

I was talking to my mum about it the other day and she said that we barely used it for the internet! I can barely believe it now, the internet is pretty much my life now, and I know my mum couldn’t live without it. She said the internet was connected to the phone bill? So you were charged more per minute or something, but I really have no recollection.

Anyway, my first computer spent its days in our study and it was a beast, absolutely huge! My favourite game was Noddy which you needed a disk for, and I loved painting pictures on, wait for it… Colour magic, anyone? However I did grow up learning or sort of self-teaching myself about computers, the internet and programs so I get on rather well with technology and I can normally figure something out in the end.

Now back to my day 10 act. I study Spanish and I’m time tabled to have conversational classes with a Spanish man, who I think would be in his latte fifties. Oh and bless him, he didn’t know that you could set a language preference on Word so every time he typed something in Spanish to his wife (or whoever) he’d battle with the computer to try and get it to stop changing his words.

I’d never noticed. I felt so bad it took less than 1 minute to save him hours of frustration and he was so grateful. Honestly, if someone had waited that long to tell me I’d have been so disappointed, but he was just so thrilled to have his problem solved.

So to all you people out there, who aren’t sure if they can set the world on fire with a small talent, just find the right person at the right time and they’ll see to the rest. Chin up and keep trying to make a difference!

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40acts, Boys

Day 8- O. T. T

So by Day 8 I was lagging a bit (as I am with updating my acts) but someone’s act of kindness really made my day so I thought I’d stick to talking about that instead.

Free cake.

A boy throwing Asda muffins at sleepy, confused 17 and 18 year old faces during the early hours of form. Not everyone’s ideal, but for me it was simple, yet ingenious. And although your fellow friend looked like she wished the ground would swallow her whole, you did it without looking the least bit uncomfortable!

An amazing start to any morning, free food and a good old giggle; a great way to bring a smile to my face. Thank you to the fellow Y13 form class who so kindly selected our form to be on the receiving end, if I wasn’t so shy I’d thank you all again in person.

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