Solveig's Weblog Portfolio

viernes, noviembre 26, 2004

The christmas is coming soon...

Dear student in Barcelona!

It is not easy to give you a brief summary of what you should do and see and experience and take part in and so on in this fantastic city because it has so much to offer. I have now been studying here for almost 4 months and I have had such a great time! I arrived in hot Barcelona in the beginning of august. I had never been to Barcelona before so it was a new experience for me!The first 5 weeks just past by very quickly, first of all because I took part in a spanish course at Enforex and second of all because everything was new and very exciting. I didn`t wanted to miss anything the first weeks so I just took part in everything. However the climate was very varm in the beginning so I simply had to visit the beach a lot just to cool down. I tended to go to the same beach during the first months here in Barcelona. Doesn`t exactely remember the name but it is close to metro stopp Ciutadella Villa Olympica. Just follow the others with the waterbottle in one hand and the towel in the other!If you get tired of the beachlife in Barcelona a good tip is to jump on the train to Sitges. A small city an hour south from Barcelona with a cosy atmosphere and some nice beaches.

Except heading for the beach and studying spanish I could not resist the autumn sale that was going on in the city!I am not surprised if Barcelona is one of the best cities in Europe when it comes to shopping…it is just to many temptations for a girl from little Norway!However it is not that expensive and you can do some bargains specially on sale!However it is not only during the days the city is a lively place to be..the nightlife is thrilling with a throbbing life!It is a spot, a café, a bar, a discoteque, a nightclub just everywhere and for everyone and it is like a roundabout that won`t stop..you just have to jump on to it and have fun!I have not visited that many after-midnight-places but I can recommend Carpe Diem close to Hotel Art. It is a bar/discotheque where you can dance all nigt long and take a siesta in one of the beds/sofas that are strategic placed around the dancefloor..if you are permitted to do so..

I have also visited a lot of sites and spots in Barcelona. One of the things I liked to do was to get up early in the morning and just walk around until I needed to go a place and get some breakfast. You get another view of the city early in the morning when people are still asleep and there is almost no traffic and noise...You should absolutely visit some of Gaudis sites. I have been to Park Güell, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. His architecture is amazing and a bit crazy but fascinating. Sagrada Familia is of course a must when visiting Barcelona-the characteristic cathedral is one of the sites that have impressed me most in the city. It is also a lot of museums to visit all around the city. I have only been to the museum of Picasso so far and I can`t really tell you if I like his works or not. I find them both fascinating and a bit frightening... Take a walk along La Rambla. Look at the streetartists, visit the market called La Boqueria and try to absorbe the different smells and all the nice colours. Take your time to have a coffe or a lunchbreak in the Raval district. Walk all the way to the end of La Rambla and continue down to the harbour. I really like this place. The air seems to be fresher and it is calm and peaceful. Afterwards head for the Barrio Gótic. Stroll around in the narrow streets and dream of the older days. Take a lot of pictures. Stop at Plaça de la Seu where the fantastic cathedral is situated, go inside it or just enjoy it from the outside... Take part in all of the fiestas that never stops in Barcelona. I went to the Gracia festival in august and I will never forget it!It is areally good opportunity to meet the locals and to take part in something that is definitely new and extraordinery.

I love good food and a glass of red or white wine (or both)!!!You will not have a problem to find something you like when it comes to the gastronomic world of Barcelona. You are probably on a student budgent as me but that is not a problem. It is a lot of cheap places to get something to eat. If I should give you a one-day-eating-route it would be to have a breakfast at Starbuck (I know it is a international chain but the muffins and the selection of coffes are soo good….), then go to Txapela close to Passeig the Gracia and try the nice tapas for lunch. For dinner I recommend Nuria close to Placa Catalonia. The lasagna with the pa amb tomaquet and the aïoli is delicious..if you are still hungry that day finish off at restaurant Agua down at the harbour..nammi….

I have been lucky to lived in an appartement in a quiet and (after a four monts experience) a safe place close to Placa Espanya. I have shared a huge appartement with 4 friends from Norway. The appartement is close to Montjüic which I have found as an advantage. The area is a nice place to take a walk, to jog and to just get away from the city for a while. If you are tired of it all you can just sit on the top at Castell and observe the hectic and dynamic life that is going on down there. Another place to get an overview of the city is from Tibidabo. I really like viewpoints like that and I can stay there for a long time just to look at the city as a whole from a distance and try to imagine the life that is going on.

What I will suggest you not to do…try not to meet a person you like very much before you leave home, you will definitely miss him or her a lot and you have to expect to use a lot of euros on phonecalls, trust me I know…be aware when you are looking for a place to live in Barcelona!Not all places are pleasant, at least not in the nights….hold on to your hand-bag girl it is gone before you know it....don`t postpone all the things you want to see and do-the time go so fast in Barcelona and suddenly you have to say goodbye to it all….and in the end: not be afraid to try new things. Be involved, dance in the streets if you feel like it!

My best advise to you is just to walk around and observe. Look at the people, the traffic, the buildings, the streets and everything you pass by. Listen to the sounds and the noise. Visit places. Taste different things. Find your favourite spot where you can relax and disconnect. Close your eyes and enjoy that you are in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

I have had the time of my life and I hope you will to!
Good luck!
Solveig!


lunes, noviembre 01, 2004

Presentation

Hello Graham!

We are going to have a presentation about the castellers on the 10th of november.
We will also show a video!!!

Best regards
Solveig Solbraa, Lene Torgersen and Mariann Bleie

viernes, octubre 22, 2004

¿Catalan or Spanish?

I have now interviewed some people I met about their national feelings. The first person I talked to was the fruit and vegetable seller close to where I live. He is about 40 years old and he is originally from Indien but he has been living in Barcelona for about 15 years. He thought that it was an interesting question but he could not answer whether he felt most catalan or most spanish because he said that he is strongly bounded to his roots. However he said that he notices the "patriotism" in Catalonia and the desire among some of the people to become an independent part of Spain. And that they demand more autonomy. He also said that he thinks that the feelings for Catalonia is so strong because of the oppression of the Catalan identity during the dictatorship of Franco.

The other persons I talked to was a couple I met on the street. They were both around 60 years old. The man was from Barcelona and the woman was from France and they both felt really Catalan! They had been living in Sevilla several years but had now moved to Barcelona. They said that they felt proud of living in a part of Spain that are different when it comes to culture, traditions and language. It was interesting to hear her opinion because she was a foreigner but she said that she felt Catalan and one of the reasons might be that the Catalan language has a lot in common with the language they speak in the southern part of France. None of them thought that Catalonia would gain that much if they became an independent part of Spain.

The last person I talked to was a 17 years old girl I met in a coffeebar. She said that she felt most Catalan because she was brought up in that manner. She also told me that her parents felt strongly Catalan and her opinion was that most of the elderly people do. She said that the differences are bigger among younger people because they get more impressions from other youths around the country and also adopts new habits and customs. She could not tell me much about whether Catalonia should be an independent state or not because she had not thought about it.






martes, octubre 12, 2004

Just a travelling tip...

I dont know if this is relevant on our weblog but I just thought I wanted to give you a travel tip if you are planning to make a trip south...a few weeks ago I went to Alicante and Benidorm to meet my parents and my sister. :) I travelled by train to Alicante and by bus back to Barcelona. I will recommend you to go by train-it is more comfortable and just a little more expensive than bus. It took me 5 hours to get to Alicante and almost 8 hours to get back to Barcelona!You can buy tickets either at Barcelona Sants or at Estacio d'Autobuses Barcelona Norte. I first went to Alicante and then jumped on a bus towards Benidorm. (To get to the busstation you have to walk for approximately 10 minutes). I must say that Barcelona is beautiful compared with Alicante and when I arrived in Benidorm I completely understood what people had told me about the city-it is built for tourism!We also went on a trip to a small village called Guadalest situated near Benidorm. A very cosy place for a day's journey!
Well, just a small travelling tip from me!
Have a nice day!! ;)

martes, octubre 05, 2004

My first web log publication!!

Hi everybody!

I hope you all have had some good days here at St.Ignasi at the beginning of the course...I think this web log system offers a great opportunity to share our experiences during our stay here in Barcelona and also to get to know eachother better!

Me and my friends began to talk about this possibility to take part in an exchange program already the first year at the Norwegian School of Hotel Management in Stavanger. We evaluated which countries that seemed to be most tempting in accordance with the program and other factors that are important while studying abroad. And we agreed on that Spain would be the best choice. Not only because of the Erasmus program but also because we got the opportunity to learn some spanish. And luckily we all ended up in Barcelona!

Before arrival all I knew about the city, the culture, the people and all other elements that makes the society work was knowledge and experiences other people told me about. Those who had been to Barcelona all encouraged me to go!They all described the city as well arranged consisting of beautiful architecture and a lively population. And I definitely agree on that!I find it really advantageous that Barcelona is such an all-round city not only for the residents but also from a tourism point of view. It consists of modern commersial areas but also nice beaches and many green and quiet parks and areas scattered around the city.

Before I left home I was told that we would come a long way in Spain with some extra patience because of the "mañana mañana" mentality. But I must say that I feel everything moves on in the same manner as home, more or less, when it comes to effectiveness. However I try not to buy groceries when I am to hungry cause the ladies behind the counter often tend to be more interested in sharing yesterdays experiences with eachother than to serve the customers...

I also got some warnings before going to Barcelona "because the city is one of the most dangerous cities in Europe when it comes to crime, especially pickpocketing, and you´ll probably get robbed at least one time" people said....so I had my expectations but,so far, I have not experienced anything unpleasant...The most helpful thing to do, I think, is to use some common sense!

I also had some expectations before starting at St.Ignasi. I read about the university and the program at the internet and also got some information from the students who attended the course last year. They were all really satisfied and recommended it deeply! I looked forward to meet all my classmates and also to see how the school system works in Spain. I think the university is such a special and venerable building and it is funny to experience that every age level are part of the same school.

So far the first two months in Barcelona has been a successful experience and I am looking forward to the rest!

Have a nice day!!!
Solveig!

viernes, septiembre 24, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia!

Hello and welcome to the course!