Alex JF

Barcelona - The beginning!

  • Category: Personal

Last Friday marked the end of my second week in Barcelona and I've been having a hell of a good time!

Sitges Boulevard

During my first week, I stayed with a friend in Sitges, a city approximately 30 mins away from Barcelona by car, in some mini-vacations. Sitges is a beautiful city, reminiscent of Cascais in Portugal with small streets filled with little shops and a nice waterfront boulevard serving as the border between the city and its beaches. I didn't get to try them, however. Since my friend's house had a pool and was quite distant from the beaches, commodity (and some laziness) dictated that I should stay on the nearest water recreational reservoir :p

On my first day in Sitges, I was unpacking my bag under a stairwell and, when I stood up, I hit my head on a steel beam supporting the stairwell. At first I thought that I'd just bumped it and everything was fine but then the blood told me otherwise. Fortunately, I didn't break it, just bruised a little of the scalp. Awesome way to start my adventure in Spain!! Needless to say my mom was worried sick when she skyped me and my shirt was full of blood :D

On the first weekend I looked at some room ads on in the Barcelona area, chose 5 and arranged visits for the next Monday from 17:00 to 19:30. Up until the last visit I was a little worried I wouldn't find a place I really liked but during my last visit I found the perfect room for me and arranged for its rental. It's a room on a flat where two old ladies live, thus giving me a calm and tranquil place to stay and study or just relax. Fortunately, the ladies are very nice and let me use the kitchen whenever I want and leave/enter the house at my pleasure so I'm free to join any of the several parties that Barcelona offers on a daily basis. I also have a half-bathroom of my own which is a definite plus!

My Room

I only moved to my new room on the 30th September so until then I continued my mini-vacations with my friend. There was hardly a day I went to bed earlier than 3AM: concerts, bars, foosball tournaments, discos all contributed to that. We also went to Water World over at Lloret del Mar where we had a lot of fun (and, amazingly, no sunburns!!)!

Then came the day I had to move to my new room. A stroke of bad luck dictated that it should start to rain heavily just as we were headed to Barcelona but I managed to get to the flat without getting too wet and started tidying up and organizing the place. The next day I went for a walk just to check out the North UPC Campus and how easy it would be to walk there every day (I found out it takes 30-40 minutes on foot and that on the mornings, since most of the route is shadowed by tall buildings, it gets quite chilly). The campus is quite big and a lot different from the Taguspark campus I had stayed in while in Portugal, since it is composed of a multitude of buildings arranged by rows and columns instead of a single big building.

UPC North Campus On the way to MNAC

On the 3rd of September started the Orientation Week at UPC and I got to met people from (literally!) all over the world: Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, Hungary, Bosnia, Canada, USA, Singapore, France, and too many others to count. We had some starter Catalan classes where we got to learn not only about the language but also about the costumes of the Catalan people. On the afternoons we went to visit museums: CaixaForum on the first day, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya on the second and CosmoCaixa on the last day. During the night we went out for drinks around La Rambla and Plaza Catalunya, Grácia and Barceloneta (on the beach).

This week (today to be precise) start my classes. I'll be having classes everyday on the afternoon from 15:00 to 18:00-20:00. I already met 2 of my teachers and they seemed to be nice enough, lets see about the rest :p

In a nutshell, things couldn't have gone better (well, except for the head incident) and I'm having a really good time! Everyday I meet new people and have a new adventure to talk about all the while learning how to live by myself, cook my own meals, clean my own clothes, etc. A rich experience indeed!

I'll keep you posted!

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