An Intro to Barcelona and Gaudí

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted something. I have plans to tell you all about how teaching is going, but I’m limiting this post to my adventure in Barcelona. I try to avoid chronological posts, but I feel it’s the best way to present my trip.

There are currently 21 CIEE Auxiliares de Conversacion in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain. Check out my post Me voy a España if you want to read more about the program. We met each other September 1st, spent two days together, and then went our separate ways to live and teach in different Spanish pueblos. We’ve kept in contact through Facebook (surprise, surprise), and we decided a trip to Barcelona would give us the perfect chance to reunite!

I volunteer at the school in my town Monday through Thursday. My schedule is similar to the schedules of the other auxiliares, so we figured a Thursday through Sunday trip would be perfect for our group. After school on Thursday, several of the teachers at my school gave me a ride to the train station in Albacete (as my town is too small to have a train station). I was really excited because I’d never been on a train before, let alone in Spain! I took the train (by myself) from Albacete to Valencia. Evidently Valencia has not one, but two train stations. I arrived at the first one and then had to take a shuttle bus to the next one. I then had another train ride from Valencia to Barcelona. I arrived in Barcelona around 10:30 pm and took at taxi to the hostel where our group was staying. When I arrived to the hostel, only one other person from our group was there. Everyone else arrived before us and decided to go out and explore the city. We didn’t know when they would be back, so we decided to go exploring as well. We walked around La Rambla for a a while and eventually decided to stop at a restaurant for some paella and sangria. It was delicious! Once we returned to the hostel, everyone else was there! It was so exciting! We spent the rest of the night sharing stories about our teaching experiences thus far.

On Friday, our group decided to take the metro to Gaudí’s famous Park Güell. Once we left our hostel and turned the corner we saw it… a Starbucks! Sweet nectar of life. How lucky were we that there was a Starbucks right next to our hostel?! Now don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy cafe con leche, but I was beyond thrilled to be able to start my morning with a chai tea latte. I knew it was going to be a good day. After spending some time basking in the glory of the coffee shop, we made the trek to Park Güell.

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Park Güell  is situated on the hill of El Carmel. The park features a combination of influences from nature as well as the mosaic style that Gaudí is known for. Here are some photos from my trip to Park Güell.

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Our group spent the rest of the day wandering through the streets of Barcelona. During our walk we also came across a couple of other Gaudí masterpieces.

La Pedrera or Casa Milà – Built by Gaudí between 1906 and 1912.

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Casa Batlló – Built by Gaudí between 1904 and 1906, this house was commissioned by Josep Batiló.

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Well, my adventure didn’t stop here, but I feel as if this post is getting a little long. What about you? Have you visited any of the Gaudí must-see attractions in Barcelona? What did you think?

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket

Photos by Megan Coffroth

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2 thoughts on “An Intro to Barcelona and Gaudí

    radiantbella said:
    September 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    THanks for this post!!!! Would you suggest CIEE-Volunteer program for individuals with little Spanish language knowledge??? I’ve been to Madrid, Seville and Granada but it was for fun. I want to volunteer in Castilla La Mancha! I wish to go to Barci to and experience the Gaudi experience!

      Megan Coffroth responded:
      September 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I would suggest the program! I know several people in the program who haven’t had a Spanish class since high school. The people here are also really eager to teach people Spanish.

      Also, I’m hoping to go to Sevilla and Granada in October!

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