Personal experience in Barcelona
When I was leaving to go to Barcelona, all I could think about was leaving the cold weather and moving to the sun for a couple months. Then when I arrived, it was everything what I expected! The city is just so amazing, there are so many things to see or do here, and even though I have heard that Catalan people can be a little reserved sometimes, from what I have experienced here so far I think they are very friendly people. The apartment that I live in is on a great location, in Raval, very close to La Rambla, the metro station, and to where I do my internship. Basically I can walk everywhere from here (even if it is to the metro to take it to another place that is a little further away, when I do not feel like walking).
Finding my way in Barcelona
One thing that was hard for me in the beginning, was to find my way around. I have always been very bad with directions, and this city just did not make sense to me because everything looked the same. After a couple of weeks though, I found that it actually does make a lot of sense and that, in fact, it is distributed very logically. All the streets are like blocks, with horizontal and vertical streets, kind of like a square pattern. When you finally see this pattern, and become familiar with the street names and directions, it is pretty easy to get from one place to another here in Barcelona. Moreover, the fact that there are so many different districts in Barcelona, like Raval, Born, Gracia, and more, makes it even more clear, allowing you to know or understand more easily where a certain place is. It has certainly made it more clear for me!
The culture in Spain is very different from what I am used to. I do like the everyday life here though. First of all, their daily schedules are kind of shifted to a later time. They start later in the morning, but finish later in the afternoon/evening as well. This makes it seems like the people are quite relaxed and laid back. In the beginning, I always used to get really hungry before I even finished a work day (we finish at 19:00), because I was used to eating around 18:30. Also lunch breaks are later, usually I take it around 14:00. There is also a very bright side for this matter though; the thing I find most amazing here is the fact that the supermarkets stay open until so late! Back home I always have to rush after school to go to the supermarket to make sure I get there before it closes, but here I can just take it easy and go after dinner even sometimes (if I don’t eat too late), since they stay open until around 22:00 usually. Restaurants even stay open until later, around 01:00 sometimes (during the weekends mostly), which is just part of the culture. I am pretty sure I will be able to stick it out easily throughout the duration of my months here in Barcelona.
Name : Lotte
Age : 20
Country : Netherlands
Favorite spot in BCN : My friend’s apartment
Thing I’ll remember the most : Cava on the beach