My Semester in Barcelona, in Photos

Marisa Ross
June 10, 2013
If you want to know what a semester in Barcelona really looks like, let me show you.
On January 7, 2013, I arrived, and this was the view from my homestay.
But it was even more glorious at night.
Actually, the entire city is pretty exquisite, and each neighborhood or area is unique in its own way. For instance, there is the Gothic Quarter:

The beach:
The port:
Castell de Monjuïc:
Plaça Espanya:
El Raval:
Even a walk down Passeig de Gracia, the main shopping street branching from Plaça Catalunya, is full of grandiose architecture and elegant structures:


And there are all these really cool parks everywhere, like Gaudí’s famous Parc Güell:
And can’t forget Parc de la Ciutadella. Who needs Paris and Rome? Barcelona has its own Arc de Triomf and impressive fountain:
Seriously, this place is just downright beautiful. No matter where you walk, there is always something to see. Like this:
And this:
And if there isn’t a parakeet around, there is definitely one of these:
You might even see Rapunzel’s Tower:
There might be a guy break dancing in the street:
Maybe you’ll hear an opera face-off or sultry Spanish guitar in El Born or maybe this man singing, “Ooohh give me the beat boys and free my soul…”:
Seeing something weird like this is also not uncommon:
No, really. Seeing horse-headed men roaming around Barcelona happens quite often:
And this strange sight from my class field trip to a local photography exhibit is also ordinary (yes, those are live chickens in a photography exhibit):
Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of a national rugby team:
Or some famous teen dream sensation that all the teeny boppers in the land will crowd around:
There is always something going on. Like an an art sale:
And lots of protests:
And if nothing is going on, there is always something to do, like go to the Chocolate Museum:
Or go to Plaça Reial to catch a flamenco show, dance the night away or pop into a jazzy pool hall:
Shopping (or window shopping):
You can go sample food at La Boqueria, or you can just admire from afar:
There might even be a movie being filmed, and you can be an extra, like I was in Panzer Chocolate:
If there is a fútbol game, you can go to Camp Nou to see it or watch it on TV in the bars with screaming locals, like I did at this awesome place:
Honestly, there was never a dull moment. Except maybe when I was waiting for the metro to come:
Or when I was bored in my Universitat de Barcelona class, but I still entertained myself by doodling the kid sitting in front of me:
Really though, if you’re bored in Barcelona, you have no one to blame but yourself. And if you really are that stubborn, there are plenty of day trips right outside of the city. For example, hiking in the mountains and Montserrat:
When Carnival is just around the corner, Sitges is the place to go!
If you’re a foodie, you can visit Alícia in Món St. Benet to learn about world-renowned chef Ferran Adria like I did in this five senses tasting workshop:
Which is where I also saw snow!
And where I tried unusual chocolate flavors, like this one:
If you’re a history buff, the picturesque city of Girona, close to the gorgeous Costa Brava, had an interesting role in the Spanish Inquisition:
And every city seems to have one of those “do this and you’ll come back” sort of things. So, of course, I had to kiss the butt of a monkey (that looked more like a ferret):
And just a bit further from Girona is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, where you can see works on display in his personal theater:

But if art is what you want, then why leave? Barcelona has its own art scene:


And there is always some sort of celebration going on. Whether it’s something small, like my roommate’s 21st birthday (even though the rest of Europe has been drinking since they could tie their shoes):
Or something big, like the Catalan holiday Día de Sant Jordi, in which women receive roses and men receive books. I purposely stayed longer than my program just to see Las Ramblas overflowing and the city covered in rose petals during this April festivity:
But it’s not just Día de Sant Jordi. Catalan pride is celebrated all year:
And if you love this place so much that you just can’t stand to leave, drink from La Fuente de Canaletas. If you do, legend says some day you’ll return: 

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Marisa Ross

<div><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);">Marisa is a sophomore at the University of Florida, majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. She is an active writer and photographer for her school newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, and a varsity rower on the UF crew team. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, volleyball, cooking, shopping and hanging out with friends. Traveling is Marisa&rsquo;s biggest passion, and she has wanted to study abroad in Barcelona for some time now. She is most excited to master fluency in the language, immerse herself in the culture, sample exotic cuisines, and explore cities throughout Europe with new and old friends.</span></div>

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