Molly Ballenger
March 2, 2022
The view from Park Guell

This weekend, for my spring break, I flew over to Barcelona, Spain to meet up with my friend Hallie! She’s studying abroad there for the semester and has a spare bed in her apartment, so I got to enjoy a free place to stay and a wonderful tour guide for the weekend. 

My first day was very touristy: after brunch, we of course started off with La Sagrada Familia, the iconic and stunning cathedral designed by Gaudi, the infamous Barcelona architect. Hallie hadn’t been inside yet, so we got to discover its wonders together. Our jaws dropped when we walked in; the ceilings stretched up taller than we could comprehend and the stained glass windows cast every color imaginable onto the walls. It’s the most popular tourist site in Barcelona, and it definitely lives up to the hype. 

Then, we went to Park Guell, also designed by Gaudi! It was a beautiful walk and gave us amazing views across the city all the way to the Mediterranean. 

We walked for a bit along Las Ramblas, which apparently is the most popular boulevard in Europe. We stopped to explore the Market Boqueria, then got tapas and mojitos for dinner, including tomato bread, croquettes, and a Spanish omelet. 

The next day, we tried out another brunch place called Picnic that a friend of mine recommended, then explored the Gothic Quarter! It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. The weather was beautiful and sunny and the streets were narrow and quaint, apartment balconies hanging over us filled with plants and greenery. I could wander around there forever!

We stopped to see the Barcelona Cathedral then headed down to the beach! On the way we stopped at a little market and tried honeycomb for the first time, then bought some really tasty sangria. The beach was incredible; the sand doesn’t stick to you, which is awesome, and the sun gave me more vitamin D than I’ve had in months and a welcome sunburn. After we finished our sangrias, we got acai bowls and enjoyed them on the beach, trying to soak in as much sun as possible. It was a big culture shock, though, to realize how accepted public nudity is on the beach… very different from America. 

For dinner, I met another friend of mine who’s studying there and we went to a place called the Pasta Market! You can build your own pasta bowl and it was delicious. We finished the night with gelato and then turned in for bed. 

On my last day, we got up early so Hallie could get to class and we got churros and chocolate on the way! It was amazing!! 

While Hallie was in class I walked around the Gothic Quarter some more, then we went thrifting before I had to catch my taxi back to the airport and we said our goodbyes. I had a long and stressful travel day - my layover in the Milan airport was unnecessarily confusing - but I made it back to Dublin so thankful for the best spring break I’ve ever had! Barcelona was so perfect and I’ll be dreaming of that day on the beach forever!

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Molly Ballenger

<p>I'm an English and Religion major at Furman University from Lookout Mountain, Georgia. At school, I'm on the leadership team for several campus ministries, I work at my school's farm, and I play club ultimate frisbee! In my free time, I enjoy being outside, climbing, and playing guitar, as well as spending time with friends.</p>

2022 Spring
Home University:
Furman University
Lookout Mountain, GA
Religious Studies
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