2024 Tour Day 9: Barcelona

Today, we awoke to a colder and cloudy day in Barcelona. A group of 15 students went on a separate tour to Monserrat with Maestro at 8 am. They attended a catholic mass and listened to a boys choir. Afterwards, they went on a hike down the mountain.



The rest of us left later to go on a walking tour. We first stopped at the Sagrada Familia, the biggest unfinished catholic church in the world. Gaudi used mainly Gothic architectural styles to design the church. Only a quarter of the church was finished by the time he passed away in 1926, but most of the construction is expected to be finished in 2026 in honor of the 100th year anniversary of his death.



We then had a panoramic tour on the bus of other areas of Barcelona while a local tour guide told us more history about the city. The newer part of downtown Barcelona reminds me of shopping avenues in major American cities. It has many designer stores like Chanel, Gucci, and Burberry, as well as clothing stores like Zara. I will definitely be stopping there tomorrow!


The afternoon was free time for us to explore the area. Students had a variety of restaurants to choose from. My group decided to go to Umaimon, a ramen restaurant. I ordered the teriyaki chicken miso ramen, and it was delicious! We also shared a plate of gyoza and topped it off with matcha ice cream with red bean and mochi for dessert.



A few museums were recommended to us from the tour managers, so we went to Museu de Picasso after lunch. The interior was very calm and minimalistic, with dim ambient lighting. The exhibits showed the progression of Picasso’s art styles and periods, as well as other artists who he was influenced by. My favorite was the exhibit depicting his Blue Period. We also saw many other GTCYS students and chaperones there.



After our museum excursion, we visited more shops in the gothic quarter of downtown Barcelona. We found a store called the Design Place, and it sold cute paintings, keychains, graphics, and bags.



At 5:30, everyone, including the Montserrat tour group, reconvened to embark on a cruise. It was a very relaxing cruise, and everyone was talking and laughing with each other. We were able to see views of the shoreline and other cruises and boats. The only downside is that the haziness prevented us from seeing the mountains in the distance very clearly.



For dinner, we had the option of going off in our own groups again in the downtown area. As the night progressed, we could hear fireworks going off every few seconds as people celebrated San Juan. It will definitely be a lively night as people celebrate on the streets. Cheers to another great day (our last day!) tomorrow!


-Isabel, violin

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