Barcelona! June 27, 2012Posted by tsteindorf in Travel Log.
Tags: Barcelona, gtl
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This was originally posted around June 7, 2012 at http://tinysteinygoestofrance.wordpress.com
Oh hey, I’m back from Barcelona!
So Spain in general, and Southern France, for that matter, was gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. Please check my photos out on facebook- I didn’t load them all because I took so many but really it was awesome. We got to Barcelona around noon on Saturday, and met up with our friend Corrigan who is studying abroad there this summer. He took us to his apartment, and we proceeded to devour some Chinese food before heading off to the Sagrada Familia, as shown above.
The Sagrada Familia was started in 1882, but taken over by Gaudi in 1883. Now you can see his unique style in almost every aspect of the church. There are snails, lizards, a nativity scene, and fruit all over the place, and it is just huge. It’s actually not set to be done until around 2030, but already it is quite impressive, as you can see in the above photo.
After a long day of sightseeing we tried our luck at Corrigan’s favorite sangria place, only to find out they were out. So we wandered and found some tapas, which were tasty, but not at all filling. Then we went out and experienced the Barcelona night life. That evening was highlighted when I tried to jump over a shoulder-high pole. Lucky for me, my body cleared the pole, but the somewhat-baggy jeans did not. My jeans (and boxers!) were ripped completely through and we had to go back to change. The rest of the night was very fun, but was super late- I guess that explains why they have to take naps during the day!
Sunday we walked around Barcelona and went to several museums. The Picasso museum was completely packed because apparently that day it was free to get in, but we did go to another one of Gaudi’s works- La Pedrera. It was very cool- again, be sure to check out the pictures. We didn’t do much that day, but we had some awesome dinner at the place we tried yesterday.
Monday we tried the Barcelona beach! Unfortunately, it was windy, overcast, and not very warm, so we only stayed for about thirty minutes. But we then tried some seafood paella before hopping on a bus tour to catch the rest of the city. We stopped at Parc Guell, another work of Gaudi’s, as well as the FC Barcelona stadium and several other stops along the way. Really there is only one way to describe Barcelona: beautiful.
Coming up next: Paris! and then Munich, an Italy trip, and Interlaken
Keep in touch!
Barcelona, tapas, and free hotels!!! July 19, 2011Posted by Andy Barrenechea in Travel Log.
Tags: Barcelona, Georgia Tech Lorraine, gtl, Spain
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Buenos dias, amigos!
It’s been a few weeks since we last talked, but just yesterday I came back from Barcelona for my last 4-day weekend and I have a few things I’d like to share, because to tell you the truth it was a fantastic trip!
So, the journey began with an early departure on Thursday morning via a TGV to Paris for Bastille Day, otherwise known as the French Independence Day. All GTL students had been informed that there would be much celebration in the nation’s capital, so we figured it would be a great experience to see how the French celebrated their “4th of July” on the 14th of July. We arrived in the morning and immediately started searching for a good spot to watch the parade down the Champs Elysees, and it was surprisingly difficult to find a good viewing spot, but thank goodness we didn’t need one to watch a magnificent display of French planes that flew over the crowd – check out some pictures:
We were not able to stay for the concert and the fireworks because we left early to Perpignon, where we would spend the night and depart to Barcelona early Friday morning. We arrived to Barcelona shortly after noon and went straight for the hostel, which turned out to be a very nice place (Sant Jordi Sagrada Familia) and then walked “5 manzanas”, which actually means 5 blocks, to Sagrada Familia, the famous Gaudi-designed church in Barcelona. Take a look:
From there we went to visit Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s giant soccer stadium (the best team in the world, in my humble opinion) and participated in the Camp Nou Experience where we got to see the FC Barcelona museum, the stands, the locker rooms, and even a chapel located in the players’ tunnel. Check it out:
On Friday night we went to a hilltop where we saw the sun set over all of Barcelona and it was beautiful – unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me! On Saturday we had planned on going on a bike tour, but were late to the meeting point, so we walked around the city instead and were able to explore the beach, the main port, Las Ramblas, and enjoy a fine Spanish lunch consisting of “paella” and “sangria”, a classic Barcelona combo! Here’s a picture:
In the afternoon we visited Gaudi’s park, where we saw some of his masterpieces, and then had dinner at an excellent “tapas” restaurant, and ended the night by listening to a street performer play his guitar who ended up being an American citizen himself! Here are some Gaudi pictures for ya:
Finally, on Sunday we went as a group to mass at Sagrada Familia, which was quite a moving experience, and took one last group picture in front of the Spanish “Arc de Triomphe” with our excellent tour guide, Mo Khosravanipour:
Finally, no story is worth telling unless it ends on a happy/funny note, so it turns out that we took a train back to Paris to then take a TGV back to Metz, but the train to Paris got delayed 50 minutes and made us miss the last train back to Metz. However, and thankfully, there is a man whose name is Andres Borda who negotiated with the conductor and amazingly managed to get the SNCF (French train company) to pay for a night at a free hotel and breakfast so that we could leave the next day on the earliest TGV back to Metz! Thus, although at first it seemed that 21 GTL students would be hopelessly stranded in Paris, the story turned out just fine and yet again we completed another week in Europe, all members accounted for. I will be writing my final post in about 2 weeks, so stay tuned to see how this crazy Euro trip ends…I promise it’s going to be an exciting finish to the “Tour de Europe”
Hasta la proxima,
Cruisin’ in the Mediterranean Sea June 18, 2011Posted by Naomi Robert in Travel Log.
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One of the great things about the Barcelona program is that we get two whole weeks just to travel around Europe! I just returned from the first week break, which I spent on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. It was a great way to relax and take a break from school work, as well as a great way to tour France and Italy!
First, the ship stopped at the quaint French town of Toulon. It was absolutely gorgeous (see photo below).
On the second day, we toured Monaco and the ritzy Monte Carlo. We saw the Grand Prix speedway and the famous casino. Next we visited the beautiful city of Florence, home of Pinocchio and fine leather. There I had my first real Italian pizza and gelato (yum!). However, my favorite city was definitely Rome. In Rome, we saw the Pantheon, the Trevi fountains, the Spanish steps, and the Colosseum. We even saw the Pope, from only ten feet away! It was amazing to be in a city so rich with history – and even more amazing that the ruins are still there today.
I also had the chance to meet crew members from all over the world. It was very interesting to hear the stories behind people from all over the world – and get to know a little bit about their cultures. The cruise was definitely a lot of fun and I’m a little sad it’s over!
The Champions League Game May 29, 2011Posted by Naomi Robert in Travel Log.
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Last night was a great moment for the city of Barcelona. The Champions League finals was played (for those of you who aren’t that into soccer, this is basically the European Championship). The game was Barcelona versus Manchester United, but it wasn’t going to be played in Barcelona, so we couldn’t go watch it. However, the city put up several big screens to watch the game on. One was put up right next to our residence, at the Arc de Trimof. I went with several friends to go watch.
It was a great game. Barcelona scored first, and the crowds went wild. But then Manchester United scored, making the game a tie again! After a well fought for goal from Barcelona, things were again looking up. The crowd was cheering “Ser de Barca es, lo mejor que hay!” (Basic translation: Barcelona is the best!). After a third goal from Barcelona, we knew we were going to win. Nonetheless, when the game ended, everyone went crazy! Fireworks went off, and people screamed in celebration. Late into the night, I could hear people out in the streets chanting the fight song and honking their horns. The city was definitely proud.
The game was such a great experience because it gave me a chance to be a part of Barcelona culture. It is truly amazing to see how soccer (or I should say, futbol) connects people together here. The city was brought to life – and brought closer together – as a result of the victory.
Barcelona! May 23, 2011Posted by Naomi Robert in Travel Log.
I can hardly believe that I have already been in the beautiful, exciting city of Barcelona for over a week now! The program has gotten off to a great start. We arrived about ten days ago to Residencia Onix, a long term hotel that’s only a short ride away on the Metro to class each day, and a shorter ride away to the beach! My roommate and I lucked out with a spacious corner room that’s probably twice the size of a room at Tech. The facilities have all kinds of study and entertainment rooms, and even a pool on the roof (it’s been quite nice to sit by the pool and read my textbooks after class). Here’s a picture of my room:
I haven’t been here very long yet, but in this first week of getting adjusted to a new city and a new lifestyle, I’ve observed a few things about Barcelona. There are lots of little “quirks” about the city that really give it life and culture. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
- Every street corner is beautiful. I’m not really sure how this is done, but the architecture is very well done and elegant here, to the point where it’s noticeable. A little fun fact I’ve learned: all of the intersections here are not squares but octagons, each side approximately the same length.
- Love is all around. It seems like everywhere you look, there are people holding hands while walking down the beach or enjoying a picnic together at the park. There are constantly vendors walking around trying to sell roses.
- Donde esta?! doesn’t always work. The majority of the population here speaks Catalan, a dialect of Spanish. Even if you’re fluent in Spanish, it can be next to impossible to read or understand the Catalan on signs and in some neighborhoods around.
- This city never sleeps. People here have quite different schedules. It is normal for Spaniards of all ages to have dinner as late as 9 or 10 o’clock, and to have long, leisurely dinners that last late into the night.
- The markets are closed on Sunday! This is one of the more frustrating facts I’ve encountered, because Sunday is the day I’m used to running errands and buying things I need. And apparently Spaniards don’t eat peanut butter!
A typical city street:
Plaza Catalunya, home to a nine-story department store (!!!):
May 29-31: Spain August 10, 2010Posted by Stefanie Olivier in Travel Log.
Tags: Barcelona, Georgia Tech Lorraine, Spain
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Our second weekend in Europe included a trip to Barcelona, Spain. This trip was an adventure even from the very beginning, with our very first experience with the couchette, the train compartment designed for sleeping. Let me tell you, there is few things as comfortable as sleeping while listening to the periodic sounds train wheels make on train tracks, and thus, I was almost disappointed when our train reached its final destination at Portbou, Spain. Our temporary layover in this town couldn’t have been more pleasant, with the most extraordinary freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever tasted and a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea. It was during this layover that most of the members in our travel group made their first contact with the body of water that separates Europe from Africa.
This contact was solidified during the rest of the day in Barcelona: our group decided to postpone sightseeing to the following day and to instead spend the rest of the day baking in the Spanish sun on a beach and splashing in the Mediterranean’s waters. (Believe me, it is true when they say the waters of the Mediterranean has a very pleasant temperature!) Afterwards, we bought Spanish paellas for dinner and walked past the numerous lighted cathedrals, one of which was the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, back to our hostel.
We saw the cathedral the next morning. This Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1883, is difficult to describe in words even in its unfinished form (it is predicted to be finished in 2015) and is what made the whole trip worthwhile for me. Afterwards, we continued to peruse Gaudi’s architecture in Park Guell. We had to mount several escalators to get to the park, and so we were able to enjoy a remarkable view of the entire city as well as the interesting Gaudi benches, tunnel, and sculptures. Only our craving for more Spanish food was able to drag us away from Park Guell.
After satisfying that craving, we visited the Maremagnum, which is a huge mall that was built on the water of the Mediterranean Sea, and we were surprised to see that such ordinary and familiar stores are to be found in such an unusual mall. We spent a couple of hours there until finally deciding that the prices the mall offered were a little too steep for us and settled instead for the free live Spanish music presented in a park very close to the mall. Needless to say, we stayed there until very late into the night and then walked along the La Rambla back to our hostel.
We decided that the La Rambla, with its many souvenir shops and moving statues, is to be experienced in the daylight as well, so we spent the majority of the next morning there. Next, we jumped on a train that was headed to a small town in southern France, where we were planning on catching our couchette back to campus. The sights in this town are undoubtedly some of the prettiest I have ever seen: the stormy harbor, the colorful houses, the landscapes… A picnic (consisting of Brie and baguettes again) in the middle of a screaming group of French kids was the perfect end to our weekend in southwestern Europe.
Home Again… July 18, 2010Posted by Emi Leonard in Travel Log.
Tags: Barcelona, Geneva, Munich, Paris
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So I have returned to the U.S., and now I miss my many homes in Europe. After our program ended, Lexie and I took to the road (or the train tracks) and began our adventure.
First we travelled to Barcelona, Spain. After some troubles with the trains and hostels, we finally settled in and celebrated with sangria and the beautiful beach. We spent most of our time in Barcelona on the beach, however, we had a hard time enjoying the water since we were constantly worried about being robbed. Still, we had a wonderful time in Espana! (more…)
Barcelona: A City in Motion July 12, 2010Posted by tcotton6 in Travel Log.
Tags: Barcelona, Motjuic Castle, Sagrada Familia
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If you are reading this, then I hope you get a sense of the vast opportunities that we travelers have to be thankful for. It is really a gift that we can be where we are.
- from the top of Motjuic Castle
That being said, I want to paint a quick picture of what it is like to be in Barcelona for 10 weeks (2 so far). This program is comprised of 8 weeks of class, split up into three chunks, with two separate week-long breaks during the trip. This, of course, means an accelerated schedule is necessary in order to get the full class load in, but the 12 hours are very well paced to complete in a reasonable fashion. The four classes I am taking are: Cities and Citizens, a class on the effect of cities on the people who inhabit them and vice versa, which also takes a pointed look into some of the design problems associated with Atlanta; Computational Photography, which focuses on the whole spectrum of pre-picture to post-production photo-development; Culture and Mind, a broad reaching cognitive science course that touches on psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, etc., and also has a very active, discussion based class layout; and finally Architecture, Design, and Material Culture, which looks at Barcelona as a microcosm for how to understand cities as intersections of various design and built environments. Each class has some sort of project-based assignment that takes us into the city looking to retrieve new and refreshing ideas about culture and design. (more…)
BCN June 10, 2010Posted by mmcdonough6 in Travel Log.
Tags: Architecture, Barcelona, beach, music
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Hola from Barcelona! It’s almost time for our first week-long break, so I guess it’s a good time to give a first survey of the city. There’s a little bit of my inner architecture nerd coming out here, but it’s truly amazing. I mean, nothing in America is designed like this. If you’re like me and came to Tech as an out-of-stater, you’ll understand how difficult it is to understand Atlanta. There are so many sections, curving streets, and about 15 thousand Peachtree Streets. Not in BCN. The whole city (apart from the older Roman section) is laid out on a grid system, so it’s super easy to navigate even if you don’t understand Spanish. We lucked out a bit and are staying a few blocks away from the beach. Definitely a plus! We haven’t made near enough use of it yet, but that’s sure to come. (more…)