Love Letters to Europe: Barcelona

Love Letters to Europe, Travel

Maybe it’s because I’m wearing the perfume that reminds me of Europe. Maybe it’s because I’m currently sans-boyfriend. Maybe it’s because I have too much time to spend thinking about how much I miss Europe.

Regardless, my baby is all the way across that big ole ocean and I’m starting to think it’s going to be a very difficult long-distance relationship.

Barcelona,

You are like that best friend who gets you to do all the crazy things you’re too scared to usually do.

And I would know because I’m usually that friend.

Your energy is intoxicating enough that staying up until 5 am seemed like the most natural thing I’d ever done. It kept me dancing at the best clubs in the world (RAZZMATAZZ) until I looked around and realized all my friends were long gone. I was left dancing with Alejandro or Paulo or whatever name he tried to yell into my ear over the dub-step remixed indie blaring on the club’s sound system. But I didn’t care, I was having the time of my life, regardless of the obvious communication barrier. He was the most precious Spanish hipster who loved to dance and smile as much as I did. And he didn’t try to shove his hand up my skirt – how sweet.

Then I had the idea that I would take your metro back to the hostel. The metro that was closed until 6 am. The metro I didn’t have a map for. The metro I was obviously too drunk to take.

Luckily you helped me find Jenna and those Irish guys who I couldn’t stop laughing with.  We grabbed a cab home with them and they ended up paying for it. I remember being disappointed you didn’t let me watch the sunrise but that feeling quickly dissipated as I crawled into my measly hostel bed to sleep for a glorious 4 hours.

You took my breath away when you showed me the Sagrada Familia.

Don’t even get me started on your cooking. Tapas bars where everything was amazing. I ate cheese that was on fire. I threw back entire sardines like a shot of vodka. I ate a pig’s ear for you. Well actually I ate a pig’s ear for Rick Steves, but that’s another story.

When I wasn’t eating your food, I was drinking any and all sangria I could get my hands on.

Do you remember when you took me to that hippie festival? I’ll never forget the smell of weed and the intense sunshine and happiness that literally emanated from everyone sitting on the grass. I fell in love with dreads. I told my friends I wanted to run away with a dirty hippie for a year and live like a gypsy. Only you could convince me that a life like that would be acceptable.

I cursed your Catalan road names that all sounded the same and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t ever get mad at you. I miss you. I miss how it feels to explore a city. I miss how frustrated I felt when I would get lost. I miss the quick turn my feelings could take. When we stumbled upon a great bakery and suddenly I didn’t feel lost at all. I felt like everything had led me here. The only thing I am meant to be doing in this moment is eating this delicious pastry and I couldn’t give a damn about anything else.

Then just before we left you reminded me of how genuine people can be. I had loaned that guy from our hostel money to get into the club. I figured I would never see it again and I was okay with that. After checking out, the guy at the desk handed me an envelope with the cash in it and he had written me a note thanking me. I was so surprised. I had offered to help with no intention of getting anything in return and the fact that I did…well that was just icing on the cake.

Until I see you again keep the tapas warm, the sangria cool, and keep the beats blasting.

Love,

Briana

I Can’t Wait For: Viva Espana!

I Can't Wait For, Personal, Travel


After talking with a very good friend abroad right now, Spain is a happening place to visit!

Not that this would be news to anyone. I mean, the Cheetah Girls went to Spain, so it must be quite awesome.

Basically, Barcelona and Madrid are now on my list of places to visit while abroad next semester in Florence, Italy. I cannot wait to explore these cities per recommendations from friends and travel sites. I’ve heard from many people that Barcelona is the worst city for pickpockets and I’ll have to watch my stuff closely while traveling the streets. However, to combat this negative comment, I’ve also heard Barcelona has the most incredible nightlife in Europe and I can’t wait to explore their bars and clubs!

Madrid is said to be the ‘Spanish Paris’ (and as you may know, I am most excited to visit Paris, despite comments of it being overrated). Madrid is said to be beautiful, well kept, and a vibrant city full of Spanish culture. While it may not have the grunge and artistic feel that I’ll love in Barcelona, it will have breath-taking architecture and museums.

The most important factor about Spain is it’s relative costs compared to other European cities. Clothes, food, and hostels are all cheaper than most big cities, making Spain a cost efficient trip for study abroad students like myself.

To See and Do

Most of Europe is known for the amazing churches that display incredible architectural feats from centuries past. Spain is no exception. In Barcelona I’ll have to see La Sagrada Família and the Sinagoga Maj14, both are religious sanctuaries. I will need to see the Picasso Museum and I’ll probably take a tapas tour to taste the cities.  In Madrid I will visit the Retiro Park and visit the Royal Palace of Madrid in addition to visiting a multitude of museums in the area.

As for Barcelona nightlife, I’d like to go to Razz Matazz and Opium, per suggestions of Ashley. If I go in the the warmer months, I’ll try to visit an outdoor bar Liquidor an upscale bar called Palau de Dalmases – Espai Barroc. In Madrid I’ll try spend my night out on the town visiting Adraba and try to catch some jazz music at Café Central and grab a famous cocktail at Museo Chicote. Barcelona is known for late night partying throughout the weekends so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed when I venture out to paint the town rojo.

Above is a picture of Ashley near the Barcelona port. Isn’t she precious? 🙂

56 Days

As I enter my countdown to Italy, I am starting to realize a few things.

I cannot wait to leave.

It’s been a wonderful semester so far, but I am ready to expand my horizons (as corny and cliche as that may sound) and embark on a journey (even cornier, but still true). I feel that TCU has allowed me to take incredible courses and meet extraordinary friends but I’m ready to see what else is out there. I understand that being alone and on my own for several months will be difficult, but I’m excited to get to know myself a little better. I constantly picture myself walking the streets of Florence, drinking in the environment, and getting a better understanding of what it means to be abroad. So although I’ve spent a large amount of time on this blog discussing the places in Europe I want to visit, I know that Florence will be my home abroad.