Upcoming Website Maintenance

Early this Wednesday morning U.S. Central Time the IES Abroad website will undergo scheduled maintenance. During this time some or all features of the site - like login and account creation - will be unavailable, but we expect this disruption to be brief. Thank you for your patience.

The Week I Became A Tour Guide

Rachel Thompson
April 22, 2014

When I decided to study in Barcelona, my family made plans to come visit for spring break. I was super excited to show them around Barcelona and all the things I’ve discovered since I’ve been here.

Naturally, we hit all the necessary spots, like Sagrada Familia (still awe-inspiring the second time around) and Parc Guell (the view never gets old.) We also took a day to go to Montserrat Monastery, a one-hour train ride outside of Barcelona, for a nice hike and stunning views.

But my favorite part of the week was showing them my Barcelona, the places I walk to every day and my favorite spots. I started by taking them to my school, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and walked them around campus. Our next stop was the Parc de la Ciutadella, one of my favorite spots in the city and the perfect place to relax in the sunshine. I took them past the Arc de Triomf, Barcelona’s beautiful brick arch that was built for the World’s Fair in 1888. I took them to my homestay, up the five flights of stairs I climb each day. I showed my dad and brother my running route along the beach and we all jogged together. We went to the beach and dipped into the chilly Mediterranean Sea.

Parc de la Ciutadella

I also took them to some of my favorite food spots in the city, like Nap, a small pizza place in El Born, and Bo De B, a hole-in-the-wall sandwich place in the Gothic neighborhood that always requires a bit of patience while standing in line outside. We tried a few new places I’d had my eye on, too, like 4Gats, a historic café Picasso used to frequent, and 7 Portes, where we had scrumptious paella.

A Picasso-crafted menu at Els 4Gats

Testing my parents’ patience at Bo De B

As I led my family through the city’s narrow streets, I felt a small sense of accomplishment that I knew my way around and could explain what things were. The week I became a tour guide, even if it was just for my family, was an opportunity to share all I love about my city with my family and certainly a highlight of my experience abroad.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Rachel Thompson

<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);">Hi there! I&#39;m a California native studying journalism in one of the coolest cities in the world, at The University of Texas at Austin. I&#39;m a fan of chocolate, watching sports (go Giants), nice people, anything vintage and pretty much all music. I write as much as I can, whether it&#39;s a news article, a blog, or just a journal entry. When I&#39;m not writing, I love to run, try new recipes in my little kitchen, take dance classes and catch up with friends. My goal is to see every continent someday. I&#39;m getting there!</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2014 Spring
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
Major:
Journalism
Explore Blogs