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The view of one half of the city from the Royal Palace was one of my favourite locations, and I came here on both the days I was in Madrid. One can get old just admiring the city line from up above. The first time I saw it I was like I am so coming back here. Unfortunately, I could not get a better picture but this sight was absolutely mesmeric.

~ Siddarth

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Barcelona at Night

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I went on the city bus tour on the final day in Barcelona. I repeated one of the tours as I wanted to experience the city lights at night and it was absolutely worth it. Some of the touristic places look stunning at night specially Plaça de Espanya. I must admit it got cold on top of a double-decker bus however the sights of the city more than made up for a little bit of shiver along the way.

~ Siddarth

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While in Madrid...

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 I took full advantage of the weekend break to plan an escape to Madrid. I booked myself on the local train (Renfe) which was an experience in itself as it was a sleeper train.

In Madrid, I got the 2-day tour which took me to all the major attractions in Madrid including the Royal Palace and the football stadium of Real Madrid (the biggest soccer club in the world). Madrid was a lot more cosmopolitan than Barcelona with the heart of their city situated in a place called La Plaça del Sol.

Madrid had more tourists than Barcelona, and although the architecture in Barcelona is better than Madrid, the city planning in Madrid is better than Barcelona. It was a fantastic trip with many great memories.

~ Siddarth

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Tourists and Locals

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Barcelona is a crowded city and the locals are extremely passionate about food, wine and life in general. Many of them don’t bother keeping their distance while walking however we never faced any kind of problems from anyone. We were always treated warmly and gracefully where ever we went and this was a decisive factor that would draw all of us to downtown Barcelona evening after evening. We all wanted to experience the crowd, the locals, the culture, architecture etc.

 ~ Siddarth

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First Impressions

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On arrival to the university, there was a lot of chaos and mayhem with regard to the room assignments and more so the internet connectivity (which was appalling to say the least). However, we took the advice of Prof, Salas, stuck as one big group and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went to Plaça Catalunya and were more than thrilled to see different facets of life there. It is probably the nerve centre of Barcelona and all of us had a great time.

~ Siddarth

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Gaudi’s God like Architecture

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Witnessing Gaudi’s amazing architecture was certainly one of the highlights for all of us. They are magnificent buildings spread across the city of Barcelona and each one is a beauty in itself. One of Gaudi’s most famous works is La Sagrada Familia, and although work on the same is still in progress, it is still the most unique of his works.

~ Siddarth

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A Visit to Freixenet

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This was a fantastic field trip wherein all of us got a first hand insight into the production and distribution of one of Spain leading Vine and Champagne companies. All of us had a great time and really found the visit worthwhile.

~ Siddarth

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Camp Nou Up Close

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I am a soccer fanatic and it was always my dream to watch a game at the ‘mecca’ of soccer, Camp Nou. That dream was realized when I got accepted for the study abroad trip to Barcelona.

I went to watch a football game in the stadium which houses close to 100,000 supporters on any given soccer night. I got good tickets which were right next to the players as I wanted to cash in on the atmosphere of a local cup night and also bought a Barcelona Football club jersey to look like a supporter.

The experience at the stadium was fantastic, I got some great pictures and witnessed Barcelona FC cruise to a comfortable 5 – 0 victory. I got to see some of the star players up-close and it was a fantastic experience just being in one of the best stadiums of the world. The atmosphere was electric and it was a satisfaction of a dream fulfilled.

~ Siddarth

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Missing Home... Not!

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Honestly, I do not miss home that much. It has been a great experience and I have adapted very well to most of the changes. I just go with the routines and try to understand what cannot be changed. We always have to look things from the bright side. At the end, we all had an amazing time and I believe no one is leaving Barcelona without a different mindset of what it feels to live in another culture. 

I'm going to miss the beautiful views and historical buildings. And of course, how sacred is lunch for the Spaniards. They do take their time while eating lunch. I've never seen a Spaniard having lunch on a rush. It says a lot. I got used to it very quickly.

~ Claudia

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Claudia - church.jpgOn Sunday it was rainy and cold, so most of us decided to stay on campus and just go to Bellaterra and grab breakfast at the Cafe. I also had in mind to attend church.

My original plan was to go to mass at the Cathedral in Barcelona, but because of time constraints, it did not happened. After we enjoyed our breakfast, and did some grocery shopping at the minimart, I went to the local church. It was one experience I will never forget.

It felt like if I belonged in the town, as a local. Even though mass was officiated in Catalan and I couldn't understand much of it, the experience was just sensational. I would have never thought I'd be at a church in Spain. A very tiny church, every seat was filled and all the people knew each other. It instantly brought memories back to my childhood. Very similar setting.

It got me a bit melancholic, and transported me to childhood times with my family. When I got out of church, people knew right away I wasn't from town because I just left. While walking down the sidewalk, it started to rain and realized how blessed I was to be able to experience all of this because of a school study program. I had content feelings because of all the memories it brought back.

~ Claudia

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