Our first full day in Barcelona
Here are some pictures of our apartments:
It seems like everyone got a good night's sleep last night, which means jet lag has mostly been beat! Today was our first full day of sightseeing. The weather here is beautiful -- sunny most of the time and in the 50s. The locals think this is cold but we are all loving it!
One thing we do is have students take turns being leaders for the day. Song and Jared were our leaders for today. They have a number of responsibilities during the day. The first one is to brief us on what we are doing that day, so Song told us about what we would see during our walking tour. She did a really great job and set the example for what the other students will do. We then took the subway to the Barcelona SAE office where we met our walking tour guide, Dan (at least I think that was his name; I am terrible at remembering names), who is from England. We learned about events in Barcelona history from Roman times through the Spanish Civil War. We saw a church that still has the marks from shrapnel from a bomb that landed nearby a church. They left it as it was because a lot of children died from that bomb and they wanted it as a memorial. Below are some pictures from our tour.
After the tour we had a break for lunch. Most of us went to a sandwich shop. Mine was a Spanish omelet sandwich, which is one of my favorite things to eat in Spain. There is also an interesting snow globe display in the square near our meeting point after lunch. It seems to be related to a poem of some sort, but everything is written in Catalan so I couldn't read it and Google Translate wasn't making sense of it either. But, for example, one snow globe showed a guy fishing, but instead of a worm at the end it was a nose, and instead of a fish it was a beer bottle. And there were noses all over the floor of the snow globe. So I don't get it, but maybe I can find out somehow.
After lunch, Jared led us back to the Barcelona SAE offices where a professor gave a lecture about the history of Spain since 1975. We learned about Spain's political and economic situation, and talked about the issue of many Catalans wanting Catalunya to be independent of Spain. There may even be a referendum about this later this year. Or there might not be. It's complicated.
When the lecture was over at 4pm, that was the end of our planned activities. But first, Song and Jared each did a short video about their experiences so far in Barcelona. If you would like to see those interviews, they will be posted on our Facebook page. This is the first time the students have the opportunity to have free time in Barcelona. We hope they have a great time exploring their new surroundings!