I recently traveled to Barcelona, Spain with my roommates to experience a new culture, see friends from Colby, and get some warm weather. Barcelona has a much different feel to it than Prague. The first thing I noticed was how it felt a lot more westernized with the number of restaurants and shops they have that I recognized from the United States (even a Five Guys). Also, the way people dress is a lot less formal which is similar to the US but is not the case in Prague.
One thing that felt very odd at first was how the entire schedule of the day is completely different. Here in Prague, people tend to eat a heavy lunch around 12pm and a light dinner around 7pm, however, in Spain they don’t eat dinner until around 9:30pm. They even have a period of the day which is meant for taking a nap/break from work at 2pm called a siesta where a lot of shops will close down. The restaurants typically close from 4pm until about 8 or 9pm after they serve late lunch. I didn’t mind this schedule for a few days, however, I don’t think I would enjoy having that be my daily routine. Another interesting thing I noticed in Barcelona was that even though it appears tourism is one of the most notable economic activities the locals don’t seem to want them in Barcelona. I saw multiple places where “GO HOME TOURIST” was spray painted on the sidewalks.
While I was in Barcelona I visited the Sagrada Familia. I was extremely astonished by the sheer size of this Roman Catholic church. Unfortunately, the tickets were sold out to go inside but the architecture on the outside was fascinating. It was also interesting to see how much construction they are still doing on the building. The coolest thing I got to see was a 360 degree view of the entire city from the Bunkers. Prague is a pretty small city but I didn’t realize how small it really was until looking at the size of Barcelona. This made me realize I was glad to be studying in a smaller city where I could get to know all the best places to go and not feel like I missed out on seeing anything. Overall, it was a great experience to visit a western European country and get to see how much different their culture is.
View from the Bunkers: