Abroad: A new chapter in Barcelona

It’s hard to believe that my first week here in Barcelona is already over. But if there is one word to describe the past week, it is one: crazy. But let’s get back to the beginning of my first time abroad.

On Saturday, July 16, after having breakfast together with my parents at home and saying goodbye to our dog, we went a little earlier than planned to the airport in Vienna. Once there, and after I had checked in and dropped off my luggage, my parents, my aunt (who spontaneously came to the airport to say goodbye as well), and I went to the nearest airport restaurant to spend the last hours there. The time passed quite fast, and then it was already 14.30 and time to say goodbye to everyone. And, of course, that was also the moment I started crying. For me, it was also quite strange to cry at the airport since I’m actually always super excited when being there as this means that I’m going on a trip. However, this time it was different, and instead of going on holiday, I had to say goodbye for a longer time. Anyways, it was time for a bigger adventure, which I had to do on my own.

However, I still had tears in my eyes, while I was waiting at the gate for boarding, but then it was time to get on the plane and off to Barcelona. By the time we landed at Barcelona-El Prat, I still couldn’t realize that Barcelona is going to be my home for the upcoming months. After I collected my baggage, I got on the next train to the city center and from there headed on to the shared flat, where I’m going to live until the end of August with three other guys. 

The next day, the sun was shining, so it was the perfect weather to go out exploring the city. That’s why I went straight to the city center in the morning and had breakfast there at a small café (because I couldn’t find the one I was actually looking for). Later, I met Babsi, and together, we went to the Erasmus Pool Party at the Hilton Diagonal Mar and relaxed there by the pool for a while. As it was still early in the afternoon, we went to brunch in the park at Parc de Montjuïc. However, since I was quite exhausted from my arrival the day before, I made my way back to the apartment a little earlier as Monday was already my first day at work. And, of course, I didn’t want to show up tired already the first day there.

Monday was not only the first day of my internship but also already a really challenging one. My boss asked me to bike to an address a few kilometers away from the office. But since I didn’t know the traffic and could hardly navigate across the city, it took me ages to finally get there. However, I managed to get the delivery I was supposed to pick up, but by when I got back to the office, my boss asked me again to go to a shop to get light bulbs. You think: easier said than done? Maybe. Because since I don’t speak Spanish, I had a hard time communicating with the salespeople at the local shop, where they sold light bulbs. Yet, after spending nearly half a day on this assignment, I finally got the right ones. But this was not the last challenging thing awaiting me. The whole next days at work went on like this until, on Thursday, I was about to quit and go back home again because nothing seemed to work out as I thought it would. However, the same day after work, my boss took me to Gavà Mar, a beautiful beach outside Barcelona. And it was really wonderful there. We just sat down at the beach, watched the sunset, and then had dinner at Iguana. All this made me a bit more optimistic again and after a long talk with my boss, I then also decided not to quit.

Finally, it was Friday and the first week at work was done as well. On Saturday, my roommates made paella at home and invited some friends over so I stayed home to spend the day with them. On Sunday, I met Magdi and Marie, who were currently interrailing through Southern Europe, for breakfast at Flax & Kale. After breakfast, we did a bit of sightseeing across the city – from La Rambla down to Port Vell, on to the beach, and then to Sagrada Família. Later, we also stopped by at Arc de Triomf and finally made it to Font Màgica at Plaça d’Espanya. There, we then had dinner at Arenas de Barcelona, a former bullring now used as a shopping center. The next day, I had to go back to work again but met up with the girls again at the beach afterward, where we had ice cream and enjoyed the rest of the evening at the beach. Yet, after two beautiful days, it was already time to say goodbye to Magdi and Marie as they headed on to their next stop, Marseille.

As you read, my first week in Barcelona has really been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. But I can already tell you one thing for sure: I’ll probably remember my first week here and my whole adventure abroad forever, and if not, not only you but also I can always read about it here on the blog.

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