2014 Spring Brianna Fonti External Programs United Kingdom

Arriba! Living the Spanish Dream

So after a long hiatus, I am finally ready to jump back into the blogging game! During my absence from the writer’s desk, I have been galavanting through the mesmerizing streets of Spain. At every corner I was blown away by enchanting architecture, enthralling alleyways, and the prevalence of olive-skinned light eyed men (I must admit they have always been my kryptonite). I also finally realized the imperativeness of learning the Spanish language. I’ve known for quite a while how beneficial bilingualism is, but being in a country where your native language isn’t the predominant one definitely contributes to feelings of being an outsider. However my congenital Mediterranean looks did help me blend in quite a bit!

My trek across Spain included visiting the cities of Barcelona and Granada, two diverse but equally captivating places. Although at times Barcelona seemed like a complete tourist hub, I absolutely fell in love with the city.  Barcelona may even give my favorite place in the world, Cinque Terre, a run for its money!  The vibrant atmosphere when walking down Las Ramblas, the copious amounts of tapas consumed, and the the daily trip to the bustling marketplace of La Boqueria, I’m not sure how to articulate it. I was simply, ineffably happy. We saw Gaudi’s masterpieces, frequented indescribably ethereal churches, and indulged in all the Spanish delicacies, without regard for calories (which I don’t know whether to describe as a positive or negative thing)!



Gaudi park Barcelona



Above and Below Pictures both of Sagrada Familia, a famous church in Barcelona




The 60º weather and the perpetual sunshine was quite refreshing, after being enveloped by the clouds of Glasgow for nearly 3 months. With sunshine on my face, flip flops on my feet, and sangria in my hand, I knew I’d found my transient paradise. I enjoyed walks along the beach, with the exception of the lone nudist that was taking his leisurely stroll across the beach. I’m not one to criticize cultural differences or advocate for the proscription of nudity on the beach, but I think maybe a little sign indicating that you might come across a “freebird” would’ve definitely better prepared me for my sighting.


The view from my Barcelona balcony!



I believed leaving Barcelona would leave a hole in my heart, but upon arrival in Granada, I feel in love with a city all over again. Feeling a little less touristy, Granada had this bohemian, laid-back ambiance. We saw flamenco dancing on the street, socialized at a reggae styled bar, and truly took in the picturesque views of this city surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There was something about the juxtaposition of this populated gorgeous city with the mountain ranges in the distance, that really made me aware of how utterly spectacular the world could be.



Both pictures from Alhambra, a massive Islamic palace located in Granada


Leaving Spain was quite heartbreaking, and not to mention difficult, due to my limited Spanish repertoire. How I made it back to Glasgow in one piece knowing only how to say, “I’m lost, I’m sorry, and Where’s the beach?,” I will never know. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to further expand my cultural horizons and appreciate how enriching and beautiful diverseness is. This study abroad experience has been shaping up to be the absolute best time of my time, and I hope that my blogs inspire everyone to jump on this opportunity if given the chance, you will not regret it!

Well in a few days I’ll be off the London where I will meet up with my sister and uncle and delve into the wonderful world of witchcraft and wizardry. Until next time, cheerio!

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