It has taken me a long time to sit myself down and write this. We have been in Barcelona for eight days now. We arrived at the train station at midnight and was swept off into cars and taxis filled with people speaking Spanish muy rapido. The students from the school had this week off as vacation, so we found ourselves following them to places that they wanted to go to. I got to know the friends of my host very well, although it was hard or impossible to understand them when they speak with each other in Catalan. During this week, I visited the L’aquarium Barcelona, where we started a trend of sitting on the moving sidewalks as they go past the tanks of fish and sharks. I went to a famous market called La Boqueria. We went early in the morning to avoid the crowd but it was still incredibly crowded. The assortment of fruits was amazing to see and the colors were absolutely beautiful! It was hard for me as a vegetarian to walk through because of the intense smell of fish and the animal heads hanging everywhere. On the weekend, we went bowling. We met up with almost all of the Westtown student and their hosts. I did better than I thought I would without bumpers and I came in second to last but it was still very fun. This last week, I got very comfortable to my family, and the friends of my host girl.
On Sunday, my family went to the mountains. We went to a place called Montserrat. It was an amazing drive up the windy, tiny, steep roads. When we got to the top we went to a grand Cathedral. There were about 1,000 people there and a small group in the front was singing beautifully. We waited about an hour to see the statue of the Virgin. The Cathedral was stunning.
On Monday, we had our first day of classes. There are no yellow school buses here, they take coach buses to school. School is very long here as well. It goes from 9am-5pm but luckily there is one break in the morning, where everyone has a sandwich from home that is wrapped in tin foil and one break in the afternoon. We had a tour of the school and saw a group of little kids that sang to us in French! The kids start learning English, Spanish, French and Catalan very early! The classes were pretty long and after a while, it was very hard to understand what anyone was saying but some classes were very fun and I am getting very good at listening and understanding Spanish.
It has been raining a lot here. Every day, I must remember my umbrella. Yesterday, we went sight-seeing and shopping in a town and we walked a lot in the rain. We also went to the Salvador Dalí museum and that was very interesting. There were many pieces that were beautiful and many that played with your mind. Today we had a class about him and surrealism.
The hardest thing for me to get used to is the time when we eat dinner. Last night we ate dinner at 11 o’clock PM. I have been here for more than a week and it is still hard for me to wait that late for dinner. My family is being very nice and giving me lots of snacks to help me. We have one more week here until we come home and I am going to be very sad to leave.