Hola aus Barcelona!

[Originally written on Saturday, the 29th]

Right now, I am on the plane flying back from Barcelona. Arrival at the airport and check in for our flight was much more difficult than it needed to be but here we are. Our class went to Barcelona because a biennial landscape architecture conference was happening, but also because we wanted to go to Barcelona.

We landed in the city after a very early flight and took a train to the subway station where we sweat our way to the hotel. After dropping off our bags, we headed over to Park Guell, designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudi.

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Our coordinator took us on a tour around the city, down busy streets and through lively plazas and parks. Las Ramblas, a busy pedestrian walkway, and the Barcelona Cathedral. He left us to go do work and we explored a bit, then had lunch at a tapas place.

In the evening, we went to the opening ceremony of the conference. A bunch of my friends had spent last summer in Barcelona, in a study abroad studio, and all lefter after the opening to get food. But an another classmate who speaks fluent Spanish and already knew her way around the city took a few friends an I to a less-touristy seafood place. We ordered appetizers, a pitcher of sangria, and an absolutely fantastic seafood paella!

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The next day, we attended some presentations in the morning, then went to an open air market for lunch. It was bright and colorful, with vendors selling fruit, juices, pastries, and meats. One stand had samples of salsa and chips. Without reading the label, I took a scoop of salsa and popped it in my mouth. Then Logan told me the salsa was made with ghost peppers. They are very hot.

A few of us then decided to go see the Sagrada Familia (also by Gaudi) which is a very famous cathedral. There were no tickets available to go inside so we just looked at the outside which was quite spectacular.

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Instead of taking the sweaty subway back, we walked around the city and through the Arc d’Triomf park by the hotel.

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For dinner our AIB coordinator, a lovely man, made us reservation at a tapas restaurant. We didn’t have to order anything, they just brought s a bunch of pre-ordered tapas. All delicious.

On our last full day, we went to a presentation before lunch, then took a trip to Casa Batllo, a house designed by Gaudi. It was cool to see, but all the rooms were empty to make space for the tourists. And there were a LOT of tourists!

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Before the closing event and reception for the conference, a group of us decided to head down to the beach. I looked for cool rocks while a few people swam in the ocean.

In the morning, before heading out, Logan, Haoran, and I went with our AIB coordinator to a walk around the park. No one else came because they were all sleeping. Anyway, it was an enjoyable walk.

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