BARCA baby!

It’s Tuesday afternoon and we just got our wi-fi back in our apartment! SO exciting! We’ve been without Internet since last Tuesday night and have had to go to bars/cafes with hotspots in order to just check emails! There has been so much I’ve wanted to blog about but couldn’t because of no Internet. Last weekend I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and drank lots of sangria and ate lots of calamari. Delish! Our hostel hosted a mojito night on Friday so we went there for some cheap drinks then went to a club. Luckily, our friend who is studying there had told us a Spanish phrase to say at the door otherwise we wouldn’t have been let in…either because we were American or extremely underdressed I’m not sure. We were like the only people in the club so we obviously got the party started by being the first to dance!! It wasn’t until 2:30-3 that the place filled up – European time is too crazy for me!

Saturday morning we took a very long walk around the city and visited Park Guell, which has the most scenic views of the city and you can just see the Mediterranean over the buildings. As I said, the walk there was really long so we got some waters and sat at a picnic table for a couple hours, just taking in the sun and view. It was the first time we felt warm sunshine since we’ve been here!

The view from Park Guell

The view from Park Guell

We left the Park to see La Segrada Familia a huge church in Barcelona that’s typically under construction. It was ENORMOUS and the architecture was so unique and just really different than any of the churches in Italy. That night we went out for more tapas and I had fried calamari that was the best I’ve ever had! So fresh and SO GOOD! We went to a couple bars that night and found this place called Chupitos which means “shots” in Spanish. The place had over 500 kinds of shots and probably over 500 people in the tiny place. We squeezed our way to the bar and got the most delicious shots that were chased with marshmallows that we roasted ON THE BAR! Ok enough about my night life…I know you don’t want to hear it mom..

Sunday morning we finally made it to THE BEACH! Once we were there we all kind of regretted not spending the entire day there Saturday. The sun was out and we got lunch and I just layed my head back and tried to get my first glimpse of a tan, which I actually did! I have some color on my cheeks and nose now (and because we layed out all day Monday since it was 64 in Florence and we do have a roofdeck). We got paella and my friends from New York had some zeppoles – kinda like fried dough balls/donut holes (?). We stayed at the beach until we had to take our bus back to the airport at 3. Side note – the metro system in Barca was so nice and so easy! Also, this was my first RyanAir trip and I have to say it was not what I was expecting. Everyone says the flights are so scary and you think you’re gonna die the whole time but our flights were completely painless and quicker than expected! Of course I was sad to leave Spain, it was beautiful and definitely not what I was expecting – at all! I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but it was really just amazing. If I studied abroad there I wouldn’t go to class ever, I’d just be at the beach! The nightlife is insane and I couldn’t handle it for more than a weekend but everything else is wonderful! I ❤ Espana!!

The BEACH!

The BEACH!

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Piazzale Michelangelo

The past few days have contained school work, walking, eating and more walking. On Wednesday I had two classes with the same teacher, then Thursday is an easy day with only one class in the afternoon. On Saturday me and my roommates walked around and went to the Piazzale Michelangelo – it’s has the best views of the city! I took some pictures but then my camera died so I had to take the rest with my iPhone, which actually probably takes better pictures than my digital camera anyway. It really felt like being in a postcard because the views here are what comes up when you Google “Florence, Italy” for the most part. Besides the incredible views, we walked a little farther up hill to an old cemetery and church. Inside the church was so beautiful and peaceful. There were a lot of people, but you couldn’t talk or take pictures with a flash. The pictures from there are a little hard to see because it was so dark.

It got cold out really fast so after about an hour of sightseeing we left to go back into the city center…but we obviously had to stop at the chocolate festival! Luckily, the festival is right near our apartment and is going on for 8 days, so I’ll be a frequent customer. There were a ton of booths set up all with different themes and I got this amazing freshly baked donut filled with chocolate and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Michelle and Kayla got waffles on a stick dipped in chocolate fondue and then Hannah got a cup of strawberries with hot chocolate and whipped cream. We learned that “hot chocolate” in Florence isn’t a drink like in America. It’s basically chocolate melted and you eat it with a spoon. OH and also there was a group of people in tights that were throwing flags around JUST like in Under the Tuscan Sun. I took a video of it and will try to post it on here!

We also found a place that we can take out pizza and we get a discount so it’s only 5 euros and I found a bottle of red wine that was actually really good for only 2.50 euros. I’ve been trying to mostly eat my groceries and so have had a lot of fruit! Something I don’t usually get enough of at home. And I’m basically living on Frosted Flakes and PB&J. The jelly is weird in that it has little grapes in it. Tomorrow starts the first week of classes where I’ll actually have to take notes/listen/and do homework so that’s a bummer, but whatever because I’m in ITALY!