Spring Break Part One: Barcelona!

Killian Gilvary
March 31, 2014

This year for spring break, instead of going back home to Pennsylvania and working at my local grocery store I got to travel the world. Over the course of a week, I was lucky enough to visit both Spain and France. In this blog post I will be writing about the first half of my trip in Barcelona, Spain.

After an extremely hectic morning of catching buses and running through airports, we finally arrived in Barcelona around noon! My friends and I stayed in a nice little apartment right across from the beach in Barcelonata. It was absolutely beautiful! The water was so blue, and it was so sunny our first day that of course I had to take a million pictures. Because we were up so early that day, we mostly just explored the beach and the area around Barceloneta.

One of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen.

The water was the prettiest shade of blue.

The next day, which was Sunday, we went to the Els 4 Gats cafe which is where Picasso had his first solo exhibition! It was so cool to be in the same building and area that Picasso got his start. At the cafe we tried a selection of different tapas, my favorite was definitely the patates braves, which were potatoes cut really thin with a delicious sauce on top. After eating at the cafe, it was only fitting that we went over to Picasso’s museum. Lucky for us, the museum is free on Sundays. Even though the line was long, it went by quickly and was so worth it. I loved being able to see Picasso’s progression as an artist. With his start in classical styles all the way to his signature style of cubism. I also had no idea Picasso started painting so young, one of the paintings in the museum he painted at the age of 14! That night we went over to the area of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc to see the show, but unfortunately the fountain didn’t go on, on Sundays. So we went home to our apartment and watched a Barcelona soccer game and called it a night.

It was so neat to sit and eat in a place where Picasso spent so much of his time.

On Monday, we went to Parc Güell and the Sagrada Familia. Parc Güell is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I could have sat at looked at the mosaics all day, and the view of the city of Barcelona was perfect. I honestly could have spent all day there, but there is too much to see in Barcelona! Our next stop of the day was the Sagrada Familia basilica. Even though I am studying in Rome with some of the most spectacular churches in the world, the Sagrada Familia is definitely the most stunning church I have ever seen. The way Gaudi used elements of nature throughout the church, like turning the columns into trees, was so neat and so different from the churches here in Rome. Also, the color of the stained glass windows made the whole church glow.  I loved every second of it.

The view from the top of Parc Güell was absolutely amazing. You can see the entire city, all the way over to the ocean.

I could have stared at these mosaics all day.

I had to get the classic picture in front of all the mosaics!

The glow from the stained glass windows was magical.

On Tuesday we went to La Boqueria, which is a huge market full of fresh meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, cheese, basically every type of food you can imagine. The market is known for it’s vendors with fresh fruit smoothies, so of course I had to get one. I had a pineapple, strawberry, and orange smoothie and it was absolutely delicious. Some of the fruits the vendors were selling looked like little pieces of art, and like nothing I have ever seen before. I was feeling adventurous, so I tried a pink looking fruit with a white inside and it turns out I ate a cactus fruit! It was not exactly fruity, but still very yummy. After all our fruit we were somehow still hungry so we stopped at an organic and vegetarian stand with so many types of Spanish food to choose from! The spicy taco with the vegetable paella was hands down the best meal I ate in Spain.

The fresh fruit smoothies were so delicious, I could have had one of every flavor!

Here is my cactus fruit, also known as a prickly pear!

The perfect way to end any day in Spain is with churros and chocolate.

On Wednesday we left bright and early for Paris, France so we made sure to walk to the beach for a last farewell to the lovely city of Barcelona. I can only hope that I will one day have the chance to go back and visit Barcelona again!

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Killian Gilvary

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am currently a junior at the Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Art History and Criminology. I am an active member in the service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma, and I enjoy giving back to my community and school. In my free time, I enjoy photography, cooking, reading, and spending time with my friends. Traveling to Italy has always been one of my goals, and I have been lucky enough to receive the opportunity to study abroad in Rome. I look forward to seeing all of my favorite works of art in person, as well as being able to immerse myself in the Italian culture. I hope my blog will not only allow you to view my experience in Rome, but that it will also allow you to immerse yourself in the Italian culture through my photos.</span></p>

2014 Spring
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Art History
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