Inge's Weblog Portfolio

dijous, de novembre 11, 2004

My best impressions about Barcelona

Hi Graham,

Well, I think this will be my last story on this weblog. I go home next week, so I have only one week left in this city.

Of course I have experienced many things here, but there are a few things which I will definitly remember and tell my friends and family about.
The first thing I really liked about Barcelona is that the city is 24 hours alive. If you go to school at 8, it is so crowded at the metrostation that you can not even walk there, but (it may sound weird I know) I like that. I like to have many people around me. It is nice and real entertainment to watch all those different people down there and also on the street and in a bar or restaurant. The other thing I like is to walk on the Rambla. All day and even at night there are so many people and the atmosphere is very good. Now it clear for me that this is one of the most famous street in the world.

Something I don´t like about the 24 hour culture is that when you go out, before two o´clock there is nobody in a club or disco. In Holland we go out at 11 or 12 and after 12 or 1 it is crowded at many places. It is nice to party till 5 or 6 in the morning for sure, but sometimes you just wanna go out till 3 or something and that is almost impossible (if you want to go dance somewhere) because than you miss the best part of the night.

I am glad that I stayed at a kind of host family, because I had very good food and also typical Spanish food. Of course I was lucky to have such a sweet ¨mum¨and I had a very nice housemate from the USA. I can recommend to stay at such a place if you want to experience the real Catalan/Spanish culture. They always talk very loud, the televisions in our appartment our so loud that all neighbours can hear eachother!

So, this were my experiences, I hope it is enough to get an idea about how I experienced my stay here.

Bye! Inge

dilluns, de novembre 08, 2004


Hey! Inge, you've been truly experiencing life here to the full. It sounds like you've been having a great time.

It was very interesting to read what you have written. The last assignment is to write about what has most impressed you since you have been here. What would you recommend people to do / see / try, and what would you tell them to stay clear of.

divendres, d’octubre 29, 2004


Hi graham,

Last week we went to Valencia by car and it was a great experience. I just want to tell you about it, because I really experienced a great difference between Barcelona and Valencia. We arrived saterday at about two o´clock and all streets were completly empty, there were no people outside!
After four I think it began to be more busy in the streets and at night it was very crowded.
I found it very nice to see that a siesta still exist, because in Barcelona it is crowded 24 hours a day. Matilde (the spanish woman I stay at) told me that now a lot of people in Barcelona take 15 minutes to lay down during lunchtime. Instead of a two hour sleep it is good for business people to relax 15 minutes. She said that after only 15 minutes relaxing you can go back to work and feel like reborn or something.

The other thing I found very nice about Valencia were the people there. They were much more friendly than the people here in Barcelona. I think it is because they are not always in a hurry as the people here in Barcelona.

In only one day I really saw a big difference between Barcelona and Valencia. Like Matilde said Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city and all people are very hard workers so the atmosphere is completly different than in Valencia.

diumenge, d’octubre 17, 2004

Some places we visited

Last week we went to the Cavaweek you told us about. It was a realy nice village, so different from Barcelona. I loved the environment you see, when you walk from the trainstation to the centre. The atmosphere was very good there, all people were very friendly. We wanted to eat something real, like a sandwich, so we went to the supermarket. But we ate it outside and we drank some pepsi. Immidiatly there were three men who gave us tickets for the Cava! They wanted us to try the Cava and not the Pepsi! What is logical of course!!

So we tryed a few different Cavas, and they were all very good. Not too much, because after two glasses you already feel that it is an alcoholic drink!

We wanted to see the vineyards so we asked for a tour at the information desk. They sent us to a place ten minutes walking from the centre. It was totally quit there and very beautyful! A superfriendly and super weird man gave us a tour through the wine basements(I don´t know the right word for it). It was so funny, because he did all kind of funny things and made a lot of jokes. He knew a lot about his work, he works in the fabric where the wine gets into the bottles and the labelling etc happens.
After the tour he gave us Cava to taste with some tapas! It was a really nice day!

Yesterday we went to the Museu d´historia de la Ciudad. I was impressed about the size of the museum. That so many things are saved for such a long time.
After the museum we went to the Cathedral, were we joined a churchmas(again I don´t know the right word). It was the same as in Holland, only the language was different! But I think it is good to see things like this in another country, then you can image peoples belief is everywhere.

This were a few experiences about my time in Barcelona till now.

dilluns, d’octubre 11, 2004

Catalan culture

As I told before, I live at a spanish woman, so she tells us a lot about the way of thinking. I don´t speak spanish, so it is difficult to talk with her, but it´s getting better everyday.
Last week I asked her about her opinion about the independency of Catalunya and if she feels Catalan of Castillan.
She told me that she feels Spanish, but that was not always like that. She has really strong feelings about Franco. The expression on her face when she talks about him is enough to see how it was to live here in Barcelona during his dictatorship.
After he died, she told me, the first years were very difficult, because all the catalan people did not know what to do. They were happy, but she couldn´t believe that it was over. For me it is hard to write this down, because I cannot describe the way she talks about it. But the first years after franco died, she said, she could not hear the spanish song, because of the feeling from the past. But now, after all those years she feels affection when she hears the song.

About the independency of Catalunya, she is very clear. She thinks it is not a good idea. She said that Catalunya is one of the richest areas of whole Spain. The catalan people have to give a lot of their earnings to the government in Madrid. And she thinks that it not fair. Therefore a lot of catalan people want to be independent. But for her it is not necersarry, she only wants that the catalan people get more freedom, and that Madrid is no longer the main city in Spain, because she thinks that without the money from Catalunya, Madrid not so strong was as it is now.

I hope I made her opinion clear, though it was very difficult.

diumenge, d’octubre 03, 2004

The first assignement

I am not sure if I must write this assignement in my own weblog or in our classweblog, but I thougth is was on this page.

The question was what my expectations about the city Barcelona, the Catalan cultur, the Catalan peole, the school etc were and how I think about it after two weeks.

Well, I have already been to Spain about 12 times before. Only one time we went to Marbella and Fuengirola, but all the other times we went to the Costa Brava and the Costa Daurada. So I´ve been in Catalunya many times. I visit Barcelona twice, but only for a day, so I knew something about the city already, but not so much.
The reason I wanted to go to Barcelona for a semester is that I really like the typical culture in this part of Spain. People are much more relaxed and they are often outside.
Barcelona is a great city and that attracts me a lot. I like the old part, but also the new port olympic. I think it is very good that they spent a lot of money to clean the beaches, because the city is so nice and with her beaches it is really a fantastic place.

The weather is also something I really like about Barcelona. I am more happy when I can go to a parc to relax, or doing your homework on the beach.

I live at a Spanish woman (her name is Matilde), nearby the Sagrada Familia. For me it is difficult because I didn´t have any spanish lessons before I came to Barcelona. But Tuesday my Spanish course at International House will start and I hope that I learn to speak good Spanish fast. I think I will, because at my place I have to. Matilde doesn´t speak English at all! After one week I understood what she was talking about and everyday it is going better.
One thing that is totally different from Holland is dinner time. We usually eat at half past 7 or 7 o´clock, but at my place we eat at 9 o´clock. She cooks very good. And most of it is also typical Spanish or Catalan. I like the gamba´s the most, but the rest is also very good. It is easy for me that I don´t have to search for the real Catalan restaurants, I´ve got my own restaurant!!

Football is very important in Barcelona, so I want to go to a match to feel the atmosphere there.
My roommate is from Switzerland and she went there. She said it was not like she expected, that the people were more quiet. So I want to discover that myself.

After two weeks in Barcelona I can say that it is a very great city and her people are very friendly. But you must speak (or try to speak) Spanish, otherwise they aren´t that friendly sometimes. When I try to speak it, they are really helpfull and they try to understand me. I like that, because you feel comfortable.

The first time I saw the school I was impressed, it looks like a palace! The teachers are very nice and also the class. In the beginning I didn´t like it that there were so manydutch people, but now I know most of my classmates, it is okay!

I think I can write a lot of my experiences on this page next time!
And I am looking forward to meet more Spanish people during the courses! Adios

divendres, de setembre 24, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia!

Hello and welcome to the course!