I’ve been in Barcelona for 3 days 12 hours and 58 minutes. So far, I’ve gotten a local number, unpacked, ridden the metro a handful of times, seen my university, drank some sangria and seen some sights.
Getting a local number has been my greatest challenge (besides unpacking my 3 overpacked suitcases.) After 3 hours at the local department store, El Corte Inglés, and two phone calls to Apple (one in Spanish yikes and then one in English), I finally have a local number. Thanks to the patience and assistance of the Corte Inglés worker, Victór, and the reassurance of the Apple worker (who was actually located in Portugal), I now have a local Spanish number. That being said, if you wanna get in contact with me Viber and WhatsApp are your best options now that my American number is no longer in service.
On Tuesday, my first full day in Barcelona, we took a bus tour and saw a quick overview of the city and I got my first glimpse of La Sagrada Familia.
We also had some free time to walk through El Mercado de la Boquearía, a traditional outdoor marketplace, where I tried some fresh squeezed juices and what we believed to be fried Cod.
The market is located in the area known as Las Ramblas, a lively neighborhood full of shops and food, as well as the ever common pickpocketers. As our guide, Ana María pointed out some of the well known pickpocketers, she also informed us of ways to avoid being victims of the practiced “art” so you say.
The following day started off with an early morning orientation at University Pompeu Fabra, where I will be taking a cultural class once a week. The campus is about 40 minutes south from my residence hall which is located in the northernmost part of the city. UPF is a fairly young (25 years) public university specializing in social sciences and humanities, health and life sciences, and communication and information technologies. It is made up of three campuses, and I will be studying at the social sciences and humanities campus known as the Ciutadella campus.
After a two hour crash course in Spanish, my roommate, Alexandra, and I headed to the supermarket in our neighborhood. We stocked up on the basics such as toilet paper and soap, as well as some noodles and water. Last night, I prepared our first meal in our kitchenette: buttered noodles. As I started to prepare our gourmet meal, Alexandra was going to tackle the not so hot shower (aka no hot water whatsoever.) I turned on the mini stove to boil the water, and just as I did so we lost all power — and by all, I mean water and electric (something that our teacher later informed us isn’t the norm.) Nonetheless, I managed to get the electric and water back on by flipping the breaker (is that the correct term dad?) which I happened to accidentally find the day before. We enjoyed our 5 star meal as we watched Netflix and sipped some Catalan wine.
Can’t wait to see what my next 122 days left in Barcelona have in store!