Category Archives: Abroad

Relax at Parc de la Ciutadella

Pass the Arc de Triomf and through Passeig de Lluís Companys, lays a spectacular park. Ciutadella Park is one of the main public parks in Barcelona, Spain. The park is filled with history. The abundant amounts of attractions make it appealing to locals, as well as tourists.

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Tourists sometimes overlook the park. Compared to the other sites in Barcelona, the park doesn’t always get enough credit. However, having fewer tourists is what makes the park peaceful. This way, it isn’t too crowded. Ciutadella Park is a calm park in a busy city.

barcelona97-620x413In 1888, Spain hosted its first International World’s Fair. The fair was to celebrate the removal of the despised, military citadel. The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition took place at Ciutadella Park. Over two million people were present. Most of the park was designed specifically for the fair. All the buildings had specific purpose. Since the fair, the park’s layout has been modified.

At 70 acres, Ciutadella Park is bigger than ordinary parks. There is much more going on. Individuals spend their time wondering the trails or walking their dogs. It is a great place to get exercise. People will go jogging or ride their bikes through the park. There are plenty of things to do and see.

Parc Zoologic is known to be the main attraction in the park. Housing over 7,000 animals, the zoo attracts many tourists. In the past, many individuals would visit the zoo to see Snowflake, the famous, albino gorilla. Sadly, Snowflake passed away in 2004. Located at the end of the park, the zoo is still the most popular aspect.

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In the center of the park stands Parliament de Cataluña. This is the original building for the military of the citadel. Parliament de Cataluña is the oldest building in the park. Even though the public isn’t allowed inside, it is still admired. Occasionally, there are private tours provided.

The Cascada is a large fountain located in the corner of the park. Built by Josep Fontsère in 1888, the fountain was another addition for the Universal Exposition. Antoni Gaudí was said to have many contributions to the architecture. Two staircases on either side of the fountain are available to climb for a better view of the park. For drinks or a snack, a small café sits in front of the fountain. Many individuals relax on the benches and listen to the waterfall.

Fontsere
Fontsere
Gaudi
Gaudi

One of the most scenic sites of the park is the lake. The palm trees surround the lake makes the area more picturesque. The lake is known to be a romantic spot for the visitors. Boats are available to the public to ride. Many families and couples are seen rowing boats on the lake. Next to the lake is one of the thickest vegetation. There is a variety of vegetation that grows here that is picketed with signs.

Parc-Ciutadella.Barcelona

The park also offers a few museums. The Laboratory of Nature holds a museum of zoology and geology. There are exhibits for all ages. The museum of zoology holds exhibits for minerals, animals, and birds. The original building for the museum of zoology was used in the Universal Exposition. Francisco Martorell i Peña donated his collection of artifacts to the museum of geology. The building was constructed for the purpose of storing his artifacts. This was the first museum in Barcelona.

In between the building of the two museums, stands the Umbracle. This is another building built for the fair. The building is now used for a green house. Inside, palm trees and tropical plants cover the area. The roof is made of transparent to allow the light to shine through.

The park is a great place for families and kids. Parents take their children to play on the playgrounds at the park. There is an enormous statue of a mammoth that kids are free to climb on. Many schools lead their students on field trips to the park during the day.

This is a great recommendation for a place to visit in Barcelona, Spain. Parc de la Ciutadella has something for everyone. It has activities and history. The park is peaceful and active. For locals or tourists, the park is a great place to spend time. Whether someone wants visit the zoo or unwind, it is beautiful.

As for myself, I love to visit the park. It lived up to my expectations. Click below to hear and see my personal experiences at the park!

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Goodvibes from Ibiza

Ibiza Island, Spain

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April 10th– April 12th

Friday, April 10th

This was our last weekend traveling out of Barcelona. Everyone on the trip was starting to feel the same way about leaving for another weekend. It is tiring. Traveling is slowly becoming less and less exciting. It is our last weekend traveling out of Barcelona. The airplanes, the buses, checking into a hotel, it all wears you out after a while. This weekend was different. There were not a lot sightseeing or tours. It was all about relaxing by the water with your friends.

Ibiza is known to be crazy island. A few months ago my friends and I booked a trip through Goodvibes that included free access to new clubs, transportation, and hotel accommodations. It was all worth it. Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.34.39 PM

The flight was only 45 minutes long. Not only was it short, it was very calm. Once we landed, we took a short taxi to the hotel to find a massive line of study abroad students waiting to check in. The hotel staff was very inefficient. It took us two hours to check in.

Everyone on this trip was study abroad students from around Europe. I recognized a lot of kids from my classes. We traveled with a large group of friends. That made the trip even better.

The first day there was a party by the pool. Unfortunately, it was too cold for any to jump in the water. It was nice to socialize with other students and listen to the DJ that was provided.

When it came to go out, everyone was excited. It was one of my good friend’s 21st birthday. She had a blast. Goodvibes provided us with buses to the club. When I stepped inside, I was in awe. It was the coolest club I had ever been to. The club was only for student abroad students on the trip. This was nice to have everyone your age in one place.

In the center of the club was round dance floor caving into the ground. Everyone was in a huge circle dancing on the steps. The DJ was amazing. He played all American music that we recognized. There was even a live saxophone player. Above the dance floor was a round stage where people would dance. Everyone was having the best time. At 5am, the buses came around to pick everyone back up.

 

Saturday, April 11th

The boats that Goodvibes provided were leaving at 12:30pm. Today, a five hour long boat party was planned for the students. All of our friends got on the same huge boat. For the first 15 minutes, it was awful. The boat was rocking back and forth. The water was very rough. Nobody was feeling very well. People began getting sick over the side of the boat. It was not a pretty sight. 11117839_10205967918459898_1342731993_n

Once we were farther out in the ocean, the rocking stopped. Luckily, the DJ put everyone in a better mood.

The boat ride ended at 5pm.  That night, the package took us to another club called Pacha. Ibiza is known for this club. It was the opening night and anyone was welcome. It was the biggest club I have ever seen. There were so many different areas, we didn’t get to see them all. The club was filled with people.

 

Sunday, April 12th

Check out was at 11am. The line was long so we went for breakfast instead of eating. Ibiza didn’t have any restaurants that served American breakfast food so we settled for pizza.

There were only two flight going to Barcelona that day. One was at 8am and the other at 6pm. In other words, everyone on our 6pm flight were study abroad students. Nobody wanted to wake up that early.

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Ibiza was a crazy island. It was one of the best weekends I had. It was nice to have no worries for the weekend.

If you are going to Ibiza, I would recommended booking it through Goodvibes. For the price we paid, a lot was included. It was all worth it.

Volunteering Abroad

Trying to decide whether to volunteer or not? My answer is absolutely. This has been one of the best decisions I have made since I have been abroad. In the beginning, my program had meetings to plan for volunteering early in the morning. This discouraged me. When first arriving in Spain, all that matter to me was sleep. I thought to myself, I don’t want to do this anymore. After my first day at the school, those thoughts changed.

Every Tuesday, and occasional Thursday, from 3-5, I take the metro across town to a primary school. The kids I teach English to are only three years old. There are two classrooms that I teach. Each classroom has fifteen students. In the first hour, I teach all thirty at once. The last hour, we split the classes and I teach fifteen of them. Considering I love kids, this was a perfect fit.DSCN0678DSCN0677

Not only were the kids adorable, the counselor and both teachers were so nice. One teacher didn’t speak any English but the other was able to communicate with me. The teachers and I are now great friends.

The first few weeks, the teachers and I would come up with ways for me to teach. Here are a few ways I would teach the kids English:

PowerPoints

When I first arrive, I stand in front of the whole class and show the kids pictures of a certain topic. For example, there would be pictures of fruits and vegetables. I would say the name of the picture and the kids would repeat after me.

Toys

The teacher would disperse a bucket of toys on the floor. I would play with the kids while telling them what the toy was. For example, she would lay out different types of animals. The kids would pick one up and I would tell them what the name of the animal was in English. DSCN0673

Reading

Occasionally, I will have the students sit in a circle on the floor and read them a book in English. The book is usually full of simple words and pictures. This way they can figure out what I am saying more easily. The story is always a common childhood one. For example, the students love Little Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Singing

The kids are constantly asking me to sing. Every day I sing songs from my childhood. They are now able to sing a long in English. Their favorites are the Itsy-Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Every once in a while, I hear a kid singing it to him or herself.

Talking

After a while, I felt like I wasn’t doing much to help them learn English. The teacher informed me that just hearing English, they will catch on. I tell the kids to do the same tasks every day, very slowly. They have now been starting to recognize the phrases.

Volunteering is a wonderful experience. It is a great way to meet new people. If you find yourself deciding whether to volunteer abroad or not, I would say it is a must. Use the tips above to teach your students English in different ways. Be patient because in the end, it all pays off.

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