Student recalls his fall trip to Spain


Wise family

Opinion editor Jack Wise stands in front of a beautiful Barcelona landscape.

It’s kind of hard to turn in an absent slip when I’m 5,295 miles away from the Northgate campus. Over the third week of October, I was in Barcelona, Spain accompanying my dad for a business trip.

After arriving at the Barcelona-El Prat Airport, I dropped my bags in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and headed into Eixample. There lies the Sagrada Familía, an iconic cathedral which is still not yet complete. Walking up the Metro steps, the massive building was towering behind me and its presence took my breath away. There are more detail that meets the eye in person rather than a picture on Google. Rather than sitting in the herds of tourists speaking a mix of languages, I went to get a cappuccino on a quiet street only a stone’s throw away from the massive nineteenth century cathedral.

The day after, I went to Plaça d’Espanya. It is a large roundabout that is found to be frequently trafficked by both people and vehicles. I sat on the steps surrounding the movement of traffic and watched time go by. Since it was dinner time, which is 9 p.m. in Spain, I had a good meal at the Arenas de Barcelona, a bullfighting arena-turned-mall.

A visit to Barcelona is never complete without a visit to La Rambla. This wide pedestrian street is filled with tons of street acts ranging from clowns to people impersonating statues as well as big international stores. The port of the city with cruise ships and seafood restaurants is not that far away and makes a good pairing with a visit to the shopping boulevard.

One place in Barcelona that I really liked was Camp Nou, the FC Barcelona stadium. Despite there not being a game the day I went to see it, to my luck the surrounding grounds were open to the public. It was interesting to see the grounds where one of the most glorious soccer teams made its name worthy to the world. After leaving the grounds feeling mesmerized, I can now say I am a Barça fan.

Anyone who would visit Barcelona or anyone in Spain really would be immersed into the Spanish way of life. It is drastically different than the American lifestyle, since the Spanish are more focused on living their lives, rather than working them away. Dinner is usually at a later time since many people are out beyond 10 PM and even into the early morning hours.

It was a good experience to be in a different culture that taught me to unwind more than I usually do, since I was away from classes like statistics, AP US History, and journalism. Since there wasn’t wifi on the flight, I pulled out a reporter’s notebook and started a page with “It’s kind of hard to turn in an absent slip when I’m 5,295 miles away from the Northgate campus.”  For anyone wanting to go somewhere fun, exotic, and art-filled, Barcelona, Spain should be on his or her list.