By Christina Madsen
More than halfway through my study abroad adventure, I feel as though I finally know my way around the city pretty well. With that said, I feel like I am stuck somewhere between “no longer a tourist,” yet “not quite a local.” I certainly use “vale” (the Spanish equivalent of “OK”) a lot and even find myself sneaking it into English conversations too. (Oops!) I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my head around how much I have seen and done in just under two months in this incredible city. I could probably write a book covering everything I have done here so far, but instead I am going to share a few highlights from the last few weeks here in Barcelona!
As someone who loves to cook, I jumped at the chance to take a Catalan cooking class. For starters, we made gazpacho (a chilled tomato soup), tortilla española (a Spanish omelet), and pam amb tomàquet (toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and tomato). For the main entree we all pitched in and made paella and for dessert we had chocolate ganache, snuggled between two crackers, and topped with orange slices.
As my family was just visiting, I got to revisit Barcelona’s 17th century fortress, Castell de Montjuïc, which overlooks the city’s harbor. We also took a train to Montserrat, a monastery nestled in the peaks of a mountain about 30 miles west of Barcelona. Montserrat had incredible views, lots of free cheese tasting, and a beautiful basilica. With only a little over a month left, I can’t wait to see where the rest of my trip abroad takes me!