Barcelona, Spain – Day 2

June 26, 2015

Today we woke up and walked over to orientation. We were a little early so we stopped into good old Starbucks. Never too far away haha. But also considerably more expensive than any of the local cafes. Also, you never know what new name you might end up with…

Apparently Jordan = Churen

Then we went to orientation. The first part was just a smaller subset of the CEA groups of four apartments. We divided into teams and went on a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood and met up again at the Mercat de la Boqueria, a large-scale grocery market that covers four city blocks and is made up of many small individual sellers. Mercat de la Boqueria has some of the most gorgeous produce I have ever seen and shopping there for my groceries is definitely on my list of things to do while here in Barcelona!

Inside of the market
Fresh produce (look at those bell peppers!!)
100% Catalan
Lots of fresh seafood
Eyes and all
Care for a leg?

Adjacent to the Mercat is Els Encants Flea Market another large scale market that covers several blocks. I really want to check out this one as well!

CEA group
Scavenger hunt group
CEA group

After this we headed underground and bought some metro passes and took the metro over to the CEA center where we had the orientation meeting and had some more ice breaker activities. The metro is pretty expansive and will be really helpful in helping us navigate sprawling Barcelona aka get us to the beach! Then we headed to lunch at a nearby hotel where they had prepared some tapas for us on the pool deck terrace. After a relaxing meal we had a health and safety presentation. Perhaps the most interesting thing that I noted from the presentation was that there is a problem with what they call masturbators here in Barcelona!! People will sometimes follow you into an enclosed space and touch themselves… But as long as they don’t touch you the police can’t do anything about it… It happens a few times a semester apparently. So creepy!! And of course there are lots of issues around here with pickpocketing, but I am being extra cautious!! I have a really secure travel purse that is reinforced with metal so that it can’t be slashed, has locking zippers, and has a strap that can be locked to a chair. There will be no Shanghai repeats.

First time on the metro

After the presentation ended, we went home and took a siesta and then tried to go to dinner at a popular restaurant nearby, but in trying to go at a Catalan time (dinner is usually not until around 9 or 10:00, before that people have tapas) we were too late and it was too crowded to get a table so we ate somewhere nearby. The food was decent, except for the cuttlefish. Those were not a crowd pleaser tapas choice.

After dinner we walked around L’Eixample for a little bit and then took the metro to the beach area where we went to the popular club Opium. Opium was really insane, like a giant mosh pit of people. The dance floor and surrounding area was covered in broken glass from people dropping their drinks on the ground, I can’t imagine the amount of glassware they must have to buy each year. But I can see why it is so popular!

My roommate and I at Opium
My roommates and I at Opium
My roommates and I waiting for the metro
Blonde roommates waiting for the metro

We had a really hard time catching a taxi after and definitely got scammed on the price. In hindsight we should have taken the metro home because by the time we were heading home the metro had opened back up again! Now we know!

Keep following along!

xoxo J