Studying abroad has offered so many opportunities to travel Europe. Last semester, I set out on a week-long trip with some friends through Barcelona, Rome, and Vienna—a lot of traveling for a guy who had never been off the east coast up to four months ago.
Barcelona was unlike any other city I had ever experienced, with its welcoming, easy-going culture and rich history. The legacy of the seminal Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí could be seen throughout the city. Our first glimpse of his work came in Park Güell, a vibrant park featuring colorful mosaics, musicians, and incredible views overlooking all of Barcelona.
We also saw the awe-inspiring Sagrada Família, an enormous basilica that towers over its surroundings. We quickly found out that we could find our way to the heart of the city by looking for Sagrada Família in the distance—it’s so large that we could almost always see it. Of course, we couldn’t leave Barcelona without enjoying its lively beaches and viewing some of the works of Picasso.
Next, we spent twenty-four momentous hours in Italy. We made our way to the Vatican to hear Pope Francis deliver mass in Saint Peter’s Square. From there, we explored all the unbelievable history Rome had to offer, stopping at the Colosseum and many other sites. We ended up logging close to 40,000 steps by the end of the day.
Our last stop was in Vienna, which has to be one of the nicest cities in Europe. The food was great, and we even ate at Café Landtmann, a famous coffee house that, over its 150 years of history, has hosted a range of figures from Sigmund Freud to Paul McCartney. We also visited the Hofburg and a few other spots related to the Habsburgs. It was incredible, to say the least.
I never believed I would have traveled much of Europe by the time I finished college, but studying abroad opens up so many possibilities. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on where life takes me this semester.