Expectations vs. Reality: Arriving in Barcelona

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Hola! I have officially arrived in the beautiful city of Barcelona. After taking a plane from Tampa to Miami, a six-hour layover and another plane trip to Spain, I am finally here.

My first day in the city was definitely long. We arrived in the morning. My two roommates and I headed to a hotel to receive the keys for our apartment.

We live in a quaint two-bedroom apartment in the Eixample district of Barcelona. Lucky for us, it is located directly across the street from where we take our classes (meaning we get to sleep a little longer).

After settling into our apartment, we headed to La Rambla, a very touristy street in Barcelona. On La Rambla is the Mercat de La Bouqeria, a very famous market filled with sweets, fresh squeezed juice and delicious produce. My roommates and I grabbed an empanada and explored the nooks and crannies of this popular area.

Since arriving, I have visited the Sagrada Familia, went to Montserrat and (almost) mastered the underground metro system. It has definitely been overwhelming to adjust to a new city.

Before arriving to Barcelona, I was definitely expecting the city to be smaller. I imagined Park Guell, the famous park with much of Gaudi’s architecture, to be placed near La Rambla and other sites like the Sagrada Familia. In reality, Park Guell is over a twenty-minute car ride from La Rambla and almost a forty-minute metro ride. In itself, the Sagrada Familia is a fifteen-minute drive from La Rambla. This was surprising for me, as I expected everything to be pretty close.

I also thought I would be located closer to other students in my group. Our group is very spread out in the Eixample district. Besides school and planned trips, I rarely see other students from the University of Florida around the city.

Although some things are not exactly as I expected, I am still very excited to get to know Barcelona. In the coming weeks, I will also be traveling to Rome, Montpellier and Madrid. I am excited for new experiences and new adventures. Stay tuned for more!

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