I have been in Barcelona 3 weeks and I am happily living in the city with a really great family. My host mother Elena and host father Jose Luis are always cooking delicious tortilla, helping me practice my Spanish and overall making sure I enjoy my time in the city. There is always something happening at our house probably because Jose Luis and Elena have four children Carlota 19, Bertha 11, Gonzalo 8, and Luis 5 who always keep things interesting. Whether it’s Luis jumping on the couch and acting out a particularly intense dinosaur battle, or Carlota’s friends asking me who I think is more attractive from the Twilight books, Jacob or Edward (Jacob Guapisimo!), I am never bored!
My host family lives north of the city near Universitat Internacional de Catalyuna where I am taking I am taking an architecture class. Living up north outside of the city center I am exposed to an area filled with a lot of families and a close-knit community feeling that one doesn’t encounter in the heart of Barcelona. I really enjoy going to get coffee at places filled with locals and being the only American in my building.
However, my house is a little bit far from the CIEE Study Center where I take my other classes. So definitely one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make in Barcelona is learning how to navigate the Metro and the Ferrocarrils. Ferrocarrils are trains like the metro but they travel further north of the city center. Anyways, I’d like to add I go to school in Phoenix where the light rail has only one line so for me to take the metro to school has been quite an adjustment.
On the first day of class I was so proud of myself for finding the Tres Torres Ferrocarril stop near my house thanks to a map Elena drew me. I had my ticket and was so focused on getting on the train that I didn’t hear the announcement that the next train was an express train and would not be stopping at this station. Had I heard this announcement I might not have wildly chased down the Ferrocarril trying to get on. It makes so much more sense now, I kept wondering why everyone else in the station was not upset they didn’t make the train and were instead choosing to stare at me. Oh well.
Although, now I think I’ve got the hang of the metro so, bring on the busses!