A Weekend In Barcelona

A Weekend In Barcelona

Cathedrals and Sangrías and Parks, Oh My!
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As time goes by in this amazing opportunity that is studying abroad, we have really become accustomed to wanting to take advantage of any opportunity we have, specially when it comes to the many trips that we can take throughout the semester. As the first long weekend approached, we planned on a short, but incredible, trip to Barcelona. Out of the 16 in the program, 9 signed up, packed their bags and left for what I want to consider one of the best experiences so far.

Seeing as though only part of the group was in Barcelona during the first day, we decided to leave the typical touristy things for the next day. For this reason, we decided to walk through the streets of Barcelona, including La Rambla, not really caring where we ended up.

We ended up stumbling upon the Cathedral of Barcelona. Located in the Gothic Quarter, not at all far from where we were staying, we did not realize how close we were living to such an incredible monument that is this church.

After a long day of strolling around, the rest of the group finally joined us and the girls and I went out for what would be the first sangría of many. (V for Villanova, amiright?)

The next day, we were ready to tackle the long journey ahead of us to La Sagrada Familia (30-45 min.) and Park Güell (20-30 min. from La Sagrada Familia). As we were walking to the most recognized land marks of Barcelona, we encountered the Arc de Triomf and the Public Prosecuters Office.


After a long walk, and almost getting run over by a motorcycle, we managed to get to the breathtaking cathedral that is La Sagrada Familia. (Believe me when I say the camera does not do it justice)

Later on, we continued our journey to Park Güell, and let me tell you, the Cheetah Girls lied to us in the second movie. Getting to the park is quite the journey, not to mention the workout. But, I have to admit the the view from the top of the mountain was quite worth it.

I will say that the sunset was probably my favorite part. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

After this trip, I am even more excited for the trips to come and, hopefully, I'll be able to document and share those experiences as well. Que viva Barcelona!


Cover Image Credit: Claudia A. Tolosa

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11 Things To Do In Buckfield, Maine

They say there's not a lot to do in small town, but I can prove you wrong!
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What's Buckfield? Where is it? This small town is one you've probably never heard of, but it is still a great place to visit! This small town is where former "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsy grew up. Like any other small town, it's claimed there's nothing to do there. After living in a town for so many years, you forget about all the great things it really has to offer. Here are just a few of Buckfield's most attributable places and activities.

1. Visit the tavern.

A small town favorite! Stop by Captain Bly's Tavern for drinks, delicious food, live music, karaoke nights and an all around fun environment.

2. See the garden.

Visit the community garden located behind Buckfield High School. A cool project originally started by Annette Caldwell, Gretchen Kimball and other teachers and community members, this garden gives students hands on working experience and a fun chance to learn to play, grow, build things and spend time outdoors (even in the summer time). Buckfield's community garden is one of the biggest community gardens in the state of Maine.

3. Swim at the Bennett Quarry and Orchard Pit.

With permission, you can visit these lovely and fun adventure spots. The Bennet Quarries (first picture) are known for having some great gem finds, and the Orchard Pit (second picture) is, as well, but it is more known as a great swim spot!

4. Go to the biggest mall in town.

Well, the only mall in town! Much to your surprise (I'm sure), it's not the mall where you can buy all your clothes, shoes and perfumes! Though you can buy a few "Maine" shirts and hats, you can also fill up your gas tank and get a wonderful Italian or pizza at the Buckfield Mall.


5. Travel the Railroad Bed.

Nearly a five-mile stretch going from Hebron to Sumner (with Buckfield in the middle), this is the perfect place to go four-wheeling, biking, walking, running, horseback riding and in the winter, snowmobiling!

6. Hike the Packard Trail.

A two-mile-long, five-foot-wide loop trail located off of the railroad bed. This trail is rated to be a moderately difficult hike, but it's well worth the views you see along the way.

7. Play at the "Rec field."

A small park between two baseball fields, this is the perfect kid place with slides, swings, merry-go-round and more. You can also watch a local baseball or softball game during the summer!

8. Travel the Nezinscot.

Take a canoe or kayak down the Nezinscot River for a peaceful, scenic river, stretching through several small Maine towns.

9. See the Zadoc Long Free Library.

Located in the heart of Buckfield is the public library. The Zadoc Long Library has several rows of books for all ages. It also holds weekly book clubs, children's books readings and other fun groups. Also, in front of the library is a memorial to honor veterans.

10. Visit Basin Falls

A trip to Basin falls is a great idea in the summer (probably not so child friendly) and leads to a shady, rocky falls and small pools of water for a dip on hot days!

11. Visit Roundabout Farm.

Visit the Roundabout Farm and take a mini horse carriage ride down one of their travels, or visit the various farm animals.

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything

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Waking up bright and early we first took the tour bus to the country side of Florence where we visited a medieval town full of shops that lined a beautiful countryside.


CountrysideBrooke Burney

We spent about three hours here just looking around, buying things, and taking pictures. Once the three hours were up, we went to a winery where they explained how they made wine with the grapes in their vineyard.


In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.


Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.


Brooke Burney

After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.


Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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