This past weekend, one of my oldest friends from middle school and high school visited Barcelona! (She’s studying abroad in London this semester) I took her and her friend to Montjuic to see the views of the city, the Olympic stadium behind Montjuic from the 1992 Olympics, the Gothic quarter where the old Roman city used to be, and of course La Rambla. We also went out for tapas, churros con chocolate (I’m becoming addicted), and on her last night, we tried a kosher restaurant called Maccabi on La Rambla because a friend in her group eats kosher. The food and sangria were amazing.
Our group also went on another day trip in Southern Cataluna, and visited the province of Tarragona to see Las Ruinas Romans de Tarragona (The Roman ruins), as well as El Monasterio de Pollet (The Monastery of Pollet). The Roman ruins were amazing not only because of their advance architectural techniques and structural beauty, but the fact that these buildings are over 2000 year old. We saw an amphitheater that was constructed in the 2nd century that was right on the edge of the Mediterranean coast, along with a circus where chariot races were held and remains of the Roman Forum. The city’s Cathedral was also nearby, so we walked the streets of Tarragona and took a look at the exterior.
After visiting the Roman ruins, we went to the Monastery of Poblet, founded in 1150 AD and is home to 31 monks today. The massive building is mostly gothic architecture, but has some other influences as well. And the monastery is wedged in the middle of what looked like the country side- we passed some vineyards and farmland on the way. I also had a sense of being in Ireland when we were in this area (it was a little bit colder than Barcelona, and had a lot of green land and stone walls).
Lastly, it’s becoming real that I won’t be here in Spain for much longer. I register for my classes at USF on Monday have started looking at apartments for when I return to San Francisco in January. I still have about five weeks left, but with two upcoming trips I expect the time to fly!