I have loved every single place I’ve met so far. Each country has been incredibly beautiful and unique in it’s people, food, sounds, and experiences, however Spain brought something to the table that none of the others have. Spain felt like home. Unlike any of the other countries, Italy Croatia Greece, Spain truly made me feel like I was at home grabbing Starbucks on a Saturday morning and shopping the day away with my girlfriends. It was a breath of fresh air, a relief from any minor culture shock felt thus far.
Valencia was our first stop in Spain and it ended up being the best city we’ve been to so far, in my opinion. This city is unlike any others in that it is immaculately clean, the people are friendly, the atmosphere made me feel 100% safe, and despite the fact that it is a large city, the lifestyle is slow-paced and relaxing. I absolutely loved my time in Valencia and I could have had a lot more of it.
Next we ported in Barcelona. This city was a bit dirtier and faster, as would be expected given that it is a larger city, but it was just as exciting and still much cleaner and safer than any of the other cities we have stopped at. I spent my time exploring the streets of Las Ramblas and the Gothic quarter, trying crazy tapas, and appreciating the art that is on every corner.
One evening I attended a Barcelona futobl/soccer game which was a total dream come true! If you think soccer is a fun sport to watch, which I did, try watching it in Spain and you’ll gain an entirely new appreciation, which I have. Despite the nose bleed seats, I had such a blast at the FC Barca game with 300 other Semester at Sea students!
Additionally, I had the chance to visit La Sagrada Familia. This was the climax of my time in Spain. I had heard great things about the place, yet my expectations were low. Personally, generally, I don’t get too excited to see buildings, monuments, man-made things. I am more enthralled by nature, raw beauty, and the Lord’s artistry. This site, however, left me speechless in a way that normally only God’s masterpieces can, and I think I know why. Gaudi made the place holy. He filled it with spiritual assets, he covered the exterior with infinite biblical stories, everything I could see seemed to have some sort of scriptural significance, making it far more than a man-made place. Gaudi designed La Sagrada Familia to feel heavenly, and I so much appreciated that.
However the most beautiful part of La Sagrada Familia was nothing visual, it was the story behind its blueprints. It is beyond admirable to me that a man named Gaudi would dream up a place, design a masterpiece, and set it into motion fully aware that he would never get to see it completed and never get to take in its glory. They began building La Sagrada Familia in the late 1800’s and it is estimated to be completed in 2026.
If more people were like Gaudi and took the time to truly invest in something, not knowing whether or not they would get to reap the harvest of it but knowing that someday, someone would be blessed by it, I think the world would be so much more beautiful and humanity itself so much more fulfilled.
On an entirely different note, I’d like to quickly comment on the night life in Spain. Wow. Let’s just say that if I could go to the ‘disco’ every night for the rest of my life I’d be more than okay with it, my friends have better dance moves than Mick Jagger, and I truly believe that every public bathroom deserves it’s own personal DJ. That is all.
After this quick visit, Spain definitely made it’s way to the top of my list, there is not one thing I didn’t love about it. I know for a fact I will be back again and next time I’ll give myself a lot more time, maybe even stick around for a while.
2 sea school days, then porting in Casablanca, Morocco. Europe was amazing and I’ve already began planning future trips back to that wonderful continent, but I am incredibly eager for a change and a taste of something vastly new.
Africa here I come!!