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When we first arrived in Porto, we walked around the area and along the river running through the middle of Porto. That evening we sat and watched the sunset at the park overlooking the river and at the colorful buildings. In the morning we wanted to go on a walking tour but went to the wrong meeting spot but there was a lady giving a tour, so we tagged along with her group. I’m not exactly sure what we saw but they were beautiful buildings. For lunch we ate a Francesinha which is a traditional Porto dish. That afternoon we visited the Library that Harry Potter is based off of and then we walked around a market. The next day we took a tram car to the beach and I ate a crepe at the market near the beach. That night we found one of the many wineries that are in Porto and did a wine tour and tasting.

 

My friends and I in Porto

On Friday the program took us to Montserrat, where we took a tram car up and then a funicular to the top and then hiked down. It was a beautiful day and from the top of the mountain we had the most beautiful views of Spain. Early Saturday morning I headed to Castellon, which is South of Barcelona, to stay with a friend of my dad’s. We drove through the mountains and he took me to see the ocean. That weekend they were having a festival called Magdalena and so we went both nights to the main street and watched the parade. The parades consisted of people dressing up in traditional clothes, floats decorated to a set theme, and a parade dedicated to each area creating a float of lights. It was sunny and hot during my time in Castellon so on Sunday we spent the day at the beach with his family and some of their friends.

Me on Montserrat Mountain

I thought the day would never come when my mom and sister came to visit. Not only was I excited to see them, but it also meant the ending of the semester. Our first day together we decided to take a day trip to Girona. In Girona we visited the Cathedral, Basilica, Museum, the wall surrounding Girona, and some Game of Thrones sites. Day two we walked to the Arc de Triomf and Citadel Park, and then we ate Paella and Tapas at a near by restaurant. In the afternoon, my sister and I got the chance to see a Barcelona football game. In the evening, my mom’s two friends arrived from England and that night I took them to the Magic Fountain, sadly we got the time wrong and missed the light show, but it was still beautiful seeing Barcelona at night. Day three we visited Park Guell and the Barcelona History Museum to see the Roman ruins. Day four we took the cable cars up to Montjuic and walked around the castle, and then day five we spent most of the day at the beach. The next few days I had to go to class, so my mom and sister went to Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, and walked down La Rambla. On Friday we went on an all-day tour that took us to Baga Spain, Ax Les Thermes France, and Andorra. The last day we went to Montserrat where we took the cable cars up and then walked the rest of the way to the top of the Mountain, and then afterwards we ate churros and chocolate.

My sister and I at the Barcelona Football game

My mom and I in Andorra

As the semester comes to an end and I prepare to leave Spain, the place I have called home for the last three months, I am excited as I prepare for my next adventure. For 6 weeks I will be in England where I will be seeing friends and family, as well as traveling. This experience has allowed me to go on so many adventures, to see many new places, to try many new things, and to learn so much about myself. Advice I would like to give to others is have an idea for the places you want to travel to. Do research of those places such as check the transportation system, how to get to and from the airport, what they are famous for; sites, food, drink, people. Plan your trips at the beginning of the semester. Check the weather, events, and prices of traveling for where you want to go, this will help with your decision for knowing where to go and which weekend to go. Other things are making the most of every moment you have as time really does go fast. Don’t just say you are going to do something, just do it otherwise you run out of time. Purposefully get lost, meaning walk around without a map, see where the place takes you, and see what you happen to just run into. I am so thankful for my time here in Barcelona and for all the things that I got do to while I was studying abroad.

 

Last modified: April 22, 2019