Thursday, June 30, 2011

Next stop Venice

Today we packed up and made our way to Venice! It was an exciting train ride, on the way we went through Pisa and Florence (Firenze). Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to stop and see what those places had to offer, I'm okay with this because now I have a reason to go back. On the way I was sitting in the middle of two Italian men who looked to be father and son and across was three Italian women, one was the daughter, and the other two were the mom and I am assuming the aunt. They didn't speak English and I don't speak Italian so it was somewhat of an awkward ride to Venice, I am pretty sure they were talking about me for a little portion of the ride.

Eventually we made it to Venice well just outside of Venice we didn't want to pay a fortune on the hotel. Lucky for us our hotel was right across the street from the train station, it was very convenient. Laura, Madison and I waited outside while Griffin and Stephanie checked into our room, unfortunately when they came out to let us know that it was safe to sneak in they forgot an important detail. So we got to the floor but had no idea what our room number was so we guessed, we were wrong but the weird part was that our key let us into the room. Finally we found our room and took time to relax.
Lost in the Hotel

Next on the list was going to see Venice! Venice is beautiful, words cannot give it justice so I recommend that you just go to Italy and see for yourself, but in the meantime here are some pictures.
HELLO Venice! 

Sadly today was Laura's last day with us. I didn't want her to leave me!! Since it was her last night we decided to make it a fun one by exploring Venice and seeing what we could in the little time that we had.  

We went on a Gondola right which was such a blast! Our Gondola driver was from Venice so that was really cool, he told us some very interesting information about Venice along with some history.
Gondola Ride 
A Gondola
Venice from the Gondola
After the Gondola ride we went looking for somewhere to eat. We found somewhere but got scammed with some tourist crap food. So after we ate we went to find some gelato. The gelato made up for the bad food.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chinque Terre

Today we woke up excited for Chinque Terre. You might not know what Chinque Terre is but don't worry because to be honest I had no idea what it was at first either. Chinque Terre is just west of La Spezia ( which is the town where we are staying.) Chinque Terre is "the five lands" it is along the coastline of Italy and is composed of five villages. It is beautiful and basically to get to each village there are options, you can take a boat, take a train or hike. We decided that we would hike this way we could get the most out of it.

Before we left for our adventure we wanted to get some food for lunch. So Laura and I decided to venture off to the store to find some food for the day. The food wasn't hard to find, we got some snacks and stuff to make sandwiches. The only problem was that we didn't have utensils so we used our fingers. This may seem disgusting but when lunch time rolled around they were some of the best sandwiches that we have ever had.
Our creative knives
Chinque Terre was beautiful! It is on my list of most beautiful places in the world. The hike may not have been the easiest in places, but it was worth it. Everywhere you looked it was like paradise. We got really excited every time we reached another village and some how gained new energy to hike to the next one. This hike had its ups and downs, the scenery was beautiful but I must admit we were not as beautiful. We were sweaty and gross. I have never sweated that much before in my life. So you would understand how excited we were each time we saw the beach. Something interesting about these beaches was the black sand.

The black sand

When we reached the last village we decided to hang around for awhile and swim. Laura ended up meeting a sea urchin and we ate some really delicious food. When we made it back to the hotel we were all exhausted but it was definitely

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Italy here we come!

Today a small group of us left for Italy! It was sad to say goodbye. I don't really like to say goodbye, but it was time. It is crazy how fast the time has gone by. Study Abroad is officially over and now it is vacation time. It was a pretty hectic day today, after we left the hotel and made it to the airport, madison realized that she forgot her passport, it was very stressful. In the end we all made it through together, including madison.  

Traveling on the train 
The flight to Italy wasn't bad. After the pilot landed the plane everyone began to clap. I thought it was interesting to see this small gesture that was made in appreciation for landing safely. I think it was cool and it's a shame that we as Americans don't show the same appreciation.

The stripped building is our hotel

La Spezia

My first Italian Meal

After the flight and a long, and hot train ride we made it to La Spezia. There was a small group of five that decided to leave early and visit Chinque Terre. We checked into our hotel and then went out to wander. We found a place to eat where we had our first Italian meals and then we went and got some gelato. It was the perfect ending to a long day of traveling.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Barcelona Day 3

Picture by: Andrea 

Today was an amazing day! Today we went to shopping to get the last minute items from Barcelona and then after that was finished we went to the Beach. There is nothing I love more than being a beach bum. It was quite the adventure. Unlike the beaches in America, people in Europe don't care what you look like what your swim suit looks like, or whether you are wearing it or not.
Picture By: Andrea 
It was a really fun day on the beach. We played in the water for a good amount of the time. We introduced the game Chicken to the spectators around we had a blast taking pictures with Andrea's water proof camera. A few of us swam out to the buoy and/or further.

After swimming around and playing in the water we decided to chill and relax in the hot sun that we didn't see for a good part of the trip. While we were laying out on the beach people would come around offering things like water, and massages. So i decided to try out the massage. It was really relaxing and quite the experience.Another thing that was intense about the beaches in Barcelona was the salt and the sun. By the end of the day we had more than a few lobsters in our crew. But at the end of the night I couldn't help but be grateful that I had the chance to go to the beach.
Picture by : Andrea 
Picture by: Andrea
Picture from: Andrea 
Today was my last day in Barcelona, and I was able to go out to dinner with my professors and some of my closest friends on study abroad. At the end of this trip I would say that it was worth it and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to learn everything I learned as well as make friends that I intend to keep for the rest of my life. Study Abroad was by far the best decision I have made so far.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Barcelona day 2

Today was our second day in Barcelona. Although the days may be very hot and humid I learned that the nights get really cold. I was freezing cold when I woke up this morning, so I went into our sweet shower to warm up.

After waking up we went downstairs to eat. It was delicious. Today was a good day everyone was dressed cute and ready to go see Barcelona. Appearance is important in the design world. Your appearance is the first glance at you as a designer.  Appearance is also important because first impressions are important no matter where you are.

When we were all ready we met up with our tour guide. He was really cool. He was probably my favorite one. He took us around to see the historical parts of Barcelona but he also showed us the modern part of Barcelona as well. It was really interesting seeing both.

We started off the day with some Gaudi by going to the Sacrada Familia. For those of you who don’t know this building has been under construction for more than 100 years and it is still not close to being done. It is a really cool piece of architecture, the detail and thought put into it is incredible.  Gaudi was more advanced in thinking than we can imagine.
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia 
The interior of Sagrada Familia, it looks like a forest 

After seeing this historical part of Barcelona, we say another famous park, which was a park that is known for the benches and style. It was really interesting.

The park
The Park
The Benches 
A closer look at the benches 

Me on the bench
An even closer look at the benches 
The Park
After the old came the new, and we were able to see the modern side of Barcelona. It is amazing. I loved seeing how the architecture changed. This was something that we didn’t really experience in the other countries. Here we were able to see some of the recent parts of Barcelona as a group while in the other countries our focus was more on the historical architecture.

The Torre Agbar

Modern Design
After finishing up with our tour a small group of us decided to go to the beach. It was so nice being able to take off my flip-flops and feel the sand between my toes. It was really cool seeing the sunset on the beach. Before the sun went down we all decided to get into the water. It was so salty but surprising was not cold. We took some pretty sweet water pictures as well, thanks to Andrea and her waterproof camera! The beach was a great way to end the day. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today was the first day in BARCELONA!!! I LOVE IT HERE! This was the first time that we literally felt like it was the summer. We walked outside of the airport and could instantly feel the heat so we started stripping off our clothes and soaking up the sun.
After leaving the Airport we went on a tour around Barcelona. It was fabulous. I enjoyed seeing all of the architecture and how it differs from London and Paris. It was pretty sweet. We all enjoyed the tour but honestly we couldn’t wait to go to the beach, but that was going to have to wait until tomorrow.
This building was really cool because you could see the reflection of the coast line in the top of it 
A view of Barcelona

First we went to see some sights and then we went to the Olympic stadium and markets where everyone buys food. I loved it all.
The Olympic Stadium

I also love the culture here. It is incredible. I love the music, the language and the kids playing football in the streets. Feels amazing.

Culture in the streets 
A traditional dance
I also learned from the tour guide that they don’t speak Spanish in Barcelona, which was obvious when I didn’t really understand what was being said or when I couldn’t really read the language. They speak Catalan, which is really close to Spanish it is like between Spanish and French.

After the interesting tour we split up to look around and go shopping. It was really cool to see the difference in food although the change wasn’t that drastic from France.

Here you can find inspiration anywhere, there is so much pattern. No matter where you were looking you could see something that was interesting. There were patterns in the benches, the sidewalks, the light posts everything.
Then we checked into our rooms at the hotel. They were pretty sweet I really liked this hotel. I loved that I was rooming with Laura and Andrea!