There’s nothing like a weekend trip to Barcelona to wear you out, but I’d definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat. This past weekend was spent drinking great Sangria, eating amazingly fresh food, and lounging in the sunshine. Thanks to my three friends from Penn State, I was able to see tons of the city and relax all at the same time.
Lifestyle in Barcelona is extremely different from Dublin, to say the least. The first night we were there, we stayed up until 6am just chatting with our friends. I dreaded having to get out of bed when I woke up at 10am the next morning, but was pleasantly surprised when no one even moved until 12. It was so nice to sleep in that late with nothing to get up for. We got some brunch once we were up, and walked around to see some of the typical tourist attractions. All of the architecture was absolutely beautiful and so unique. Everywhere we went I saw something that caught my eye. Seeing the sunset over Barcelona from the top of Park Güell was definitely a great moment for me. After a long day of walking around, we decided to get tapas at a restaurant near their apartment. The food was so good, and it was really fun to share everything with each other. The highlight of the meal for me was definitely the sangria, though.
As dinner ended and the sky started to get darker, I kept thinking we had to rush home. Even after walking back to the apartment and getting dressed, we still had plenty of time before they even thought about going out. We ended up hanging out until around 2am and getting to the club shortly after. I am pretty much a grandma when it comes to staying up, so I was super surprised at how well I handled it. The energy is so great at night that you barely even realize how late it is.
The next day, we got to sleep in pretty late again. Then we walked to a nearby food festival near where I pretty much ate my morning away with lots of meat, rice, juices, and empanadas. Then, we finally got to do the thing I was most excited for- visit the beach. The view was unreal from the shore, with nothing but a bright blue ocean in front of us. People were selling tapestries to sit on, but we found a bar with lounge chairs instead. We all bought our sangria, mojitos, and daquiris then plopped ourselves on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Sounds great, right?
After a few hours of just sitting and chatting, we decided to get a late lunch on the boardwalk then make our way back home. We walked around and talked until it was dark, then got ready to go out. That night we had a little more casual time, choosing to go to an Irish pub instead (as per usual, we just couldn’t stay away).
We started our last day by going to a market to get awesome paella and fresh fruit (still great even though I dropped all my dragon fruit slices). Then we went shopping around the city and saw a few more sights we had missed, including some characteristically Spanish-looking side streets. After enjoying some final tapas and sangria, we said our goodbyes and headed for the airport.
Although it was really sad leaving my friends and this amazing city, I got to bring some great memories (and a nice tan) back to Dublin with me. It’s so crazy that I get to just jet set over to Barcelona and spend a fun weekend with my friends from back in the states, but that’s a huge part of what makes studying abroad such a special time. Before having this experience, I could never imagine loving some of the places I visited as much as I do. But now there are so many places I’m already dying to go back to. Barcelona is definitely one of those places, and I really hope I get to visit again soon!
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<p>Hi! My name is Rachel Marini and I am a Junior at Penn State University. I'm majoring in Elementary Education (with an English focus) and plan to minor in special ed. I am a huge book nerd, but when I'm not reading I like to hang out with my family and friends, go to the beach, and just spend time outdoors. Traveling has always been a big part of my life, because I love exploring new places. Going to Dublin is something that I know I won't regret, and I can't wait to share my experience with all of you!</p>