dimecres, d’octubre 06, 2004

Finally my experiences and impressions

I came to Barcelona three weeks ago and experienced a lots of new things. My really first picture or impression of Barcelona was in my mind. Before travelling I didn't have a change to talk with Finnish students, who have been there before. Actually, from our school there was one group of students in a Food and Wine- tour in Barcelona. A friend of mine showed me afterwards pictures from Barcina and this school, also from a few sights. It looked very attractive to me. I tried to study language and the city at home with maps, guides and Spanish book. And my expectations rose higher. All the things I heard from people who visited Barcelona, mainly in a vacation, where admiring. So I made a picture of Barcelona in my mind. My Barcelona was full of culture, warm weather, beaches and happy Catalans, which I considered more like Spanish.

Few days before travelling to Barcelona I received e-mails from friends from Barcelona. They we`re two girls, who I met in Finland while they we`re doing their exchange in my school in Jyvaskyla. I had written them happy letter about coming soon to beautiful and hot Barcelona. They we're trying to calm me down, because the weather had been very rainy two past weeks. They also urged me to really study Spanish and be ready to meet and act with people with almost no skills in English at all. I think I didn't quite get the point before I actually landed to the

This was a new situation to me not to understand and not been understood. I had some travel experience before, but I always had the change to communicate mainly in English or other common language. I really like the language and feel like I have the greatest chance to really learn Spanish in practice. In these three weeks I feel that I have improved my Spanish and got the courage to speak it. My impression of the people is now still of course a bit superficial. Mainly because of the language and also because I know only few Spanish or Catalan. The common language is like the main key usually to get to know people and their way of thinking.

The impression of the people haven´t really changed a lot yet. I had some knowledge of the culture and met some Spanish people before and the way I think about them is still quite same, like I said. I see Spanish and especially Catalan gente hardworking(this wasn't my opinion before, but has changed), strong, energetic, temperamental , happy and proud about their language and culture. One assumption I had before was that all, well not all but most of the Spanish people could dance the latin dances and would be fond of doing that. Well, I was a bit wrong with that, I think, after speaking with people. Maybe this is more popular in South America.

Now I see Barcelona from a quite different point of view. I have got so much information in these weeks and seen so many things, that it might be still a bit hard to form my opinion of Barcelona. Maybe after longer time here, I would have a quite clear picture of real Barcelona in my mind. I can still tell some things that I feel and have experienced here. Barcelona is a rich cultural and historical city. It has been interesting to learn it's raise to the top turist attarctions.
To mee all I see is the real Barcelona. I do not doubt many things yet and it feels like it has looked like this always. I like the feeling that the sea is so near, but have heard that the beaches for example are not the best here but a little bit outside. Well, that's quite obvious to me. I have been used to swim quite far away from the cities and cars. I have tasted just a little bite of the culture of Barcelona. Although I think the culture is not just the museums and sights but it's everywhere and I experience it every day 24 hours. For me for example to go shopping to the local market is a cultural event, how funny it may sound.

Of course I have visited some of the main sights in here and been amazed by the imaginative architecture all around. It's like the mark of the city, from where it's known. From me the different things compared to other big cities is the weather and culture in common. Food, drinks, people, way of living etc. For so far, I like the food. I like Cava and it's also cheap. I don't usually drink red wine, but a well made sangria tastes good to me. One thing that is really different compared for example Finland, is that they sell all kinds of alcohol and spirits in the common food shops and you can buy them just like that. That' s strange. I'm not used to and don't really like the custom that they smoke almost everywhere, also at homes. I'm either not used to the hot weather. I like warm weather but sometimes it's really exhausting, cause it feels like the air is not moving at all and you can't breath fresh air anywere. This is my first time in Spain and in the ¨south¨like we say in Finland and mean the warm Mediterranean and Atlantic countries, where Finnish tourists go for a holidays a lot when it's cold and dark at home. I like the fact that I can swim and lie on the beach still in October.

Barcelona is now within my reach finally, cause I¨ve wanted to see this city for some time. So, now I'm finally here and wan't to make an effort to learn the language and just absorb the rich atmosphere. Ican explore this city in a way I could have never done while being here as a tourist.


Blogger Graham said...

Hi Johanna!

Isn't the idea of exchange visits great? It's excellent to swpa thoughts and feelings with other cultures, and I know that the students who came back from Finland had really experienced something special. They talked about how good it was, and also about how they realised just how important it was to be able to speak another language, to be able to communicate with more people. That for me is one of the important aspects of the visits.

I think you're going to continue having a great experience here, one which you'll remember for a long time to come. I'm sure from what you write that you don't need me to tell you to take advantage of it!


11 d’octubre de 2004 a les 22:18  

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