Barcelona!

This weekend I travelled out to Barcelona, Spain for a weekend that I’ll never forget.  Seeing FC Barcelona play live at Camp Nou, sleeping at the airport, and going to the beach are all memorable experiences that supplement what has already been an unforgettable semester.

Earlier this week I went and saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That play was so great; I wrote a blog solely dedicated to it.

On Thursday, I played in my first ever organized volleyball game. We got on a bus and drove to Lincoln.  We lost all three of our games but it was a cool experience untheless.  I am particularly excited for this coming Wednesday because the Harlaxton basketball team has our first away game in London. Not only that, but it is a semifinal playoff game.  The team we are playing has a 5-point handicap against us, so beating them by 5 or more will be the goal. We’ve played this team before and I believe we can get the W.  Winning this game will mean we’ll be heading the finals!

Barcelona:

We got to Barcelona on Friday around 4 PM. We first checked into our hostel which was really nice and modern.  I would definitely recommend Meeting Point hostels to anyone visiting Barcelona.  From there we went straight to the beach, but since we weren’t accustomed to the language or the public transportation system there, it was kind of tough and we got to the beach with little sunlight remaining.  It was really windy but the views were worth it.  From there we went to a street called La Rambla where we walked around into the stores and got dinner at a Tapas restaurant.  Not knowing what tapas meant, we ordered our food and we’re surprised by the portions.  Regardless, the squid I got was really good!  We walked down La Rambla more after dinner and stopped by McDonald’s (guiltily) to fulfill our appetites.

Saturday was by far our busiest but most eventful day.  We woke up early and departed for Sagrada familia, a HUGE cathedral.  It’s still under construction and has been for 400 years I believe.  The inside was really beautiful with its large colorful stained glass and its modern architecture.  From there we head over to Parks around Parc Guell.  Here we got to climb up the hills for some amazing views of Barcelona.  After we left there, we got lunch and head over to the beach again to take advantage of the nice weather.  At the beach we saw some Italian guys throwing around an American football with some terrible form.  I went up to them and asked them if I could hop in their triangle to play catch.  They were blown away by my ability to throw the ball and asked if I would teach them. Of course I did and Nikil and I taught them how to play Jack Pot.  The Italian dudes were super friendly and playing with them at the beach was memorable.  It’s the simple things like that that make me happy.  After they had to leave Nikil, Logan, and I chilled at the beach for a bit since we got tickets to see FC Barcelona play. (We literally got these tickets 2 days before and were all ecstatic) Seeing Barcelona was surreal.  Seeing the greatest futbol player of all time play was unbelievable.  Messi scored twice, and the entire crowd bowed to him after each score. Seeing Neymar score was awesome too! Barcelona winning the game 5 nil was exactly what we wanted.  The FC Barcelona match was the highlight of my weekend.

Being dumb, we only booked one night at the hostel and said we’d sleep at the airport when we initially made our plans.  It would be ok if our fight was at 6 or 7, but it was at 9! We spent nearly 10 hours at the airport.  I needed to check in at the airport so we couldn’t even get to the gates until I did that.  But the check in desk didn’t open until 4:45 AM.  We slept in the ground by a pillar that had outlets to charge our phones until the security walked around waking up all the people sleeping at the airport at 4 AM.  From there we sat/slept in front the check in desks waiting for someone to occupy it.  Finally, at 4:45 AM, the Norwegian airlines workers opened up.  After checking in, 5 hours before my flight, we got to through security and into the area by the gates.  Online we had read that gate U was the best place to sleep.  And it was. It had long benches without armrests so we could lay down.  I knocked out at gate U for a solid 2 ½ hours.  You might be wondering why we slept at the airport, but literally EVERYONE who studies abroad does it. Anything to save some cash I guess.

From Barcelona we got to London where we allotted 8 hours to explore the city.  We of course went straight to Shoreditch where we went to beigel bake and had poutine from one of the many Street vendors.  I honestly love Shoreditch. I also had Jalebi here.  That filled my Indian sweet void that’s been there for a while.

Now, like many train rides from London, I’m writing this blog. I’m looking forward to sleeping tonight!

Until next week,

Afsar

 

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