These past two weeks have been my busiest yet, which I did not think was possible. I have added additional private classes in anticipation for the alleged lack of work in the summer everyone talked about. Additionally, my work has added more to my schedule, due to my colleagues leaving Madrid for the summer or all together. As a result, I was up to 23 hours of teaching, 10 hours of nannying, around 12 hours of commuting, and hours and hours of prep time. Throw in a whirlwind trip to Barcelona over the weekend and you got yourself an exhausted girl. However, based on everything I have heard, I thought I was just going out with a bang before the lull in the summer. Boy, was that a big misconception!
This past week, I finished my nannying gig for the summer, which frees up about 15 hours of my week. Also, I was under the impression that six hours of my class time at the Bio Tech company would break for the summer. Excited about all this free time, I started listing out all the fun things I can and have been wanting to do: semi-intensive Spanish classes, language exchanges, salsa classes, cycling, meeting new people, more adventures… However, after working out my July schedule with work and the Spanish school, I am going to be just as busy! It's bittersweet; however, I will appreciate the funds for my big trips in August and the ability to increase my Spanish class time from two hours a week to ten. Side note, I have improved my Spanish from beginner level to high beginner! Estoy muy emocionado!
My trip to Barcelona was short and sweet. Right after work on Friday, I went shopping for some summer clothes since my winter clothes took up too much space in the two suitcases of my life I brought with me from home. I came home, packed, ate dinner, and went straight to bed to wake up at 5 AM the next morning. We arrived at the train station and after figuring out exactly where we needed to be, we boarded the train with five minutes to spare! We were finally on way to the beautiful coastal city filled with art and architecture. As soon as we arrived, we went straight to the Airbnb, dropped off our luggage, and started exploring the city. Our first stop was La Sagrada Familia, the magnificent, renowned, and may I add unfinished, cathedral known for its breathtaking architecture by the Catalan Architect, Antoni Gaudi. I always find it interesting that these remarkable masterpieces started so many years ago remain unfinished (i.e. La Sagrada Familia, the Neuschwanstein Castle…) Unfortunately, as we were about to enter the cathedral, we realized we were two hours too early for our ticket time. Without missing a beat, we hopped on the metro to another one of Gaudi’s famous and fantastical works, Casa Batllo, in the heart of the city. After admiring the unique exterior of the museum, we ventured to the Plaza of Catalunya, where I felt like we were a scene of the movie Home Alone 2 with hundreds of pigeons flying all around us. We continued our quick tour of the center of the city to another architectural beauty, the Cathedral of Barcelona. From there, we made our way back to La Sagrada Familia, actually being able to enter this time. I cannot begin to describe the beauty of the inside of this cathedral, but of course, I will try. As soon as you walk into the church, you are blown away by intricate detail of the white and golden columns and ceiling while the sunlight beamed through the rainbow colored, stories high, stained glass windows. At ever turn inside, you are continuously impressed at beauty and detail incorporated into the design. I highly recommended a visit here if you are in Barcelona. After being in complete awe of the cathedral, we decided to head to the famous tree-lined street, La Rambla, full of shops, restaurants, and people that leads you to the Mediterranean Sea. After walking down the street to the Port of Barcelona, we were famished. We grabbed a bite to eat and continued to explore the city. The next stop was Park Guell, another one of Gaudi’s famous masterpieces. The park was filled with flowers, unique sculptures and buildings, and a stunning viewpoint of the park, city, and the sea. After hours of walking and rushing around the city in the hot Barcelona sun, we decided to take a break and freshen up back at the Airbnb. In the evening, we enjoyed tapas and drinks and made British friends at a cute restaurant in the Gothic Quarter. We had every intention to go out after dinner to make more friends but exhausted by the workweek and the day chocked full of sightseeing, we went back to the Airbnb and passed out. The next morning before heading back to Madrid and reality, we had breakfast with an amazing view of the beach and the sea. Check out my photography from Barcelona here.
Again, my schedule will completely change next week and for July. But that is no big surprise anymore. I am excited to see what this summer brings. I am hoping for new friends, adventures, and improving to pre-intermediate Spanish. Until next time!