Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spain - Castelldefels, Sitges, & Barcelona

I went to Barcelona for five days with another American.  Luckily she had a friend who lived nearby, in Castelldefels, so we were able to stay with her and her family.  I found Spain to be a nice culture shock, one that I was missing while in England (though it is nice to be able to return to England and have it as a sort of comfort zone while being so far from home).  Spain kind of reminded me of parts of California, and of pictures I'd seen of Mexico, but it definitely had it's own feeling to it.  I also put my language skills to the test here.  I studied Spanish for 4 years between Middle School and High School, but, having never formed a strong basis in the language, I had a hard time building on the basics I was lacking, and never got very good at speaking Spanish.  Going to Spain I realized I knew more Spanish than I thought, but it definitely helped that most people knew some English.  I also found myself answering some people's questions in Italian, which I had studied more recently (but only for a semester at college).  While I have a larger vocabulary in Spanish, my minimal Italian is stronger and was often the second language I referred to after English, and before Spanish.  After traveling throughout Spain and France, and meeting more people in my life who know two or more languages, I'm realizing I'd really love to study and become fluent in another language.  I know it would require a lot of work, but it would be fun to study how another language works and functions, and could be useful in the future (especially if I re-study Spanish and decide to live in Southern California).

Anyway, back to my travels throughout Spain.  I went to three cities while in Spain - Castelldefels, where my friend's friend and her family lived, Sitges, a small (posh) beach town, and Barcelona, where I spent most of my time.


My Catalonian Thanksgiving Dinner!  (My friend and I arrived on Thursday night, Thanksgiving Day in the States.)

The meat, cheese, and tomatoes were amazing! Never thought I'd enjoy eating a tomato, but they were delicious here.

The beach at Castelldefels.  As usual in Europe, the water is much cleaner here than what I'm used to in California.

Hills & buildings behind the ocean.

Best churros I've ever had!  Chocolate dipped on the left, and regular on the right.  Got them from a churro stand near the beach - muy delicioso!

Got to see more Christmas decorations as it was late November.

Oh yeah, there is a Castle in her hometown.  No big deal.

Seafood paella that our friend's family made for us.  Words can't sum up how good it was!


Posh beach town :)

Old Cathedral.

Inside of the cathedral.

The Sagrada Familia

Inside the Sagrada Familia.

View from the tower.

Backside of the cathedral.
Casa Batlló

La Pedrera

Top of La Pedrera

Model of La Pedrera

Old cathedral near the Gothic Quarter (can't remember the name).

Gothic Quarter.

Columbus pointing to America

Magic Fountain.  Very pretty, two of the three songs & fountain choreography are done to classical, operatic music, and the last one is a mash-up of cheesy '80's songs :)


Paella (with noodles...I forget its proper name).

Park Guell

The house Gaudi lived in at Park Guell

My last meal in Spain - tapas :)

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