Barcelona and Helsinki

Barcelona

For our first solo trip of the semester, my friends and I took a break from cloudy Copenhagen to visit sunny Barcelona, Spain. 

Though we really only had one full day, we experienced so much that the city had to offer. We stayed in a fantastic hostel called Casa Gracia, which was really more of a five star hotel compared to most of the hostels we stay as college students. We started our day exploring Park Guell. The architecture was amazing, but just as amazing was the fact that the park offered a tropical oasis in the middle of the bustling city. We nearly had the park to ourselves as we enjoyed the early morning sun before heading to a light brunch where we shared yummy toast and mimosas.

Brunch was followed by a climb up the Sagrada Familia. This cathedral has been under construction for over a century and was one of the most incredible architectural feats I have laid eyes on. The inside is filled with stunning stained glass, and as we visited in the middle of the day, a beautiful rainbow covered the ground. We rode an elevator to the top and got tricked into walking down the stairs to the ground level. We practically fell down 500 tight stairs on a treacherous spiral staircase!

Next, we headed to the Picasso museum. I’ve always been a fan of Picasso, so it was incredible to a collection spanning his entire lifetime (believe it or not, some of his earlier works are hardly abstract!) Finally, we had a picture perfect ending to our adventure at a flamenco dinner and show! We sipped sangria while enjoying traditional Spanish music and tapas in a beautiful “secret“ village near the parliament building (we had to have our names on a list to get in and felt super cool). All in all, Barcelona was a fantastic getaway, and I would love to have more time to explore!IMG_4863.jpg

Helsinki

My next weekend trip was to Helsinki, Finland. If you are into Nordic culture, it is the place to go. Helsinki was ADORABLE. It is also freezing!!! While a big part of the trip was spent inside and out of the cold, the town itself is absolutely charming. A huge cathedral overlooks a square where people were hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.

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We visited countless shops selling unique Finnish goods. We headed to the marina, which was completely frozen over, yet somehow boats were still moving in the ice. Finally,  an open air market invited us in for handmade goods and a warm cup of glog. The weekend was too short to take it all in! For those of you who enjoy such things, Finland is a MUST. 

 

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