By Skylar Mihalak, Illinois Wesleyan University 

On Thursday night into Friday, the jet lag has finally hit! I tried going to bed at midnight, but didn’t fall asleep until 3AM. It was terrible. I was then up early to head to my school, Barcelona International College, for cultural orientation. We learned about the differences in culture and how passionate they are about their heritage an where they come from! It is exciting to see how much they care about their roots and it is truly inspirational. After this orientation, we hiked up a beautiful mountain. The mountain was called Mt. Tibidabo. Let me tell you… this was a hard hike, but the views were beautiful. We hiked through this rugged area in order to get to a path. The path was full of runners, bikers, and walkers. You could see the whole city from the path that we finally reached. It was a view I will never forget. Once we reached the top we got the privilege of eating a true Catalan meal. We ate lunch at Can Marti. The main part of lunch was the eating of the Calcot. A Calcot is basically a big green onion grilled on a wood burning stove. We peeled the bad part of the onion, and then dip it in a romesco sauce. In order to eat it you have to hold it above your head! It was delicious! We also learned to make traditional Catalan bread and drank their traditional drink. It was an amazing experience. We then headed back down on the train and went home for a bit. We then went to walk around my neighborhood a bit to try and find school supplies, but we had no luck. It was then time for dinner. We eat at 9pm! We had the Spanish version of an omelet, soup and bread! It was delicious! I then relaxed, talked to my dad and then Connor and went to bed! It was a great day!

On Saturday we had our first-day trip! We had to report to the school at 9:45 am. We then got on the bus for an hour and a half trip to Besalú. This was a medieval village and it was beautiful. We only got to walk around for about 45min, but I took some nice pictures and they will be below. We then got back on the bus and headed to Figueras. We ate lunch at a restaurant that was delicious. Lunch is the biggest meal here so we had 3 courses, appetizer, main entree, and dessert. My appetizer was pasta with bacon, main entree was calamari, and dessert chocolate cake with raspberry jam. It was wonderful, We then went to the Dalí museum. This was very interesting I got to learn about him as an artist and his life. There are pictures of this below as well. We then had a two-hour bus ride home and I relaxed before dinner and after dinner. A 12 hour day is exhausting. Feel free to ask questions below! I will start classes Monday so I won’t be posting as much! Hope all is well for everyone!