by Reagan Harding
Travel Day to Barcelona! This morning we woke up early to head to the train station for our five-hour train ride to Barcelona. Everyone was a bit tired from the late night and early wake-up, so it made for a quiet ride and an hour-and-a-half nap right when we got on the train. After waking up and having coffee, we played a game of cards. It was a strategic game called “golf.” Kate introduced the game and taught us all how to play. The competition aimed to get minor points, with face cards having many issues and jokers having adverse problems. I did not play because I was too busy sightseeing out the window but seeing everyone’s different strategies was interesting. As Kate was the experienced one, she won quickly, but everyone was getting the hang of it by the end.
After our long ride, we headed to our Airbnb to settle in and drop off our luggage. Straight afterward, we went to lunch and a small restaurant close by. We ordered off the daily menu, and most of us ordered tacos for our entry, but when it came out, it was not a beef stew dish. We were all confused about it, but the word was still delicious (better than tacos.) After our long lunch, we did a walking tour of Barcelona. It was super pretty, and the historical monuments were gorgeous. We even got to see some of Antoni Gaudi’s works of architecture. The market and the architectural/government museum were my two favorite parts of the tour. The market was full of fresh produce for you to buy and try. I wanted to try an oyster to see how they compared to the ones at home. I got a Valencian oyster, which was way too salty for me. It was a little touristy and overpriced but still very cool and exciting because it differed from home. The museum centered around the city’s architecture and how the government stepped in and controlled aspects of it. The first section was a dark walking tour of human pictures. I felt you with a sense of confusion and fright while figuring out these people’s emotions. By the end, you got used to it and learned your path. The second part was more traditional. It had all sorts of displays of different housing in Barcelona throughout time and how the government dictated these actions. It was so interesting to see how they changed the city, for good and evil, to be more appealing to the eyes and tourists. Having that sense of responsibility and understanding of highlighting good and bad choices was so refreshing. After that, we headed home for a break before a late dinner. Dinner was phenomenal!! We tried different kinds of hummus, cheese, steak, octopus, peppers, gazpacho, etc. My favorite, though, was dessert. I tried Catalan cream, which is like flan and creme brulee combined. The cream had some cinnamon-like spices with complex caramelized sugar on top. In general, I think the overall rating of the meal was excellent. Lastly, we headed home for the night.