Last year, I visited Spain for the second time and loved Barcelona. For my reading week, I decided to go back and visit one of my favorite countries for the third time. I spent most of the time walking around Las Ramblas, reading on the beach, and exploring the Gothic Quarter. One afternoon, I rented an electric scooter and rode alongside the water, which was a lot of fun!
On one of the days, I took a day trip to Zaragoza, a city about a three and half hour bus ride away. I didn't know much about the city before I got there, but the castle and basilica were gorgeous! The city was less "touristy" than Barcelona and everything seemed very inexpensive. We were there on All Saint's Day, so some people were dressed in Halloween costumes again (there were lots of people dressed up on Halloween too).
Though Dia de los Muertos has its origins in Mexico, Barcelona also celebrates it to an extent so I was excited to see some of the alters where they honor their deceased relatives. After walking at least two miles, we only found one, but it was still cool to see.
As nice as biking, reading, buying exotic fruit from La Boqueria on Las Ramblas was, there isn't really anything interesting to report until the second-to-last day in Barcelona. I was alone on the beach reading with my purse right beside me. When I went to check the time, my purse (and my passport, visa, debit cards, student ID, dorm keys, Oyster card, US cell phone, UK cell phone, and other less important things like my earbuds) was gone. I found the first person I could find speaking English to borrow a cell phone and start an alert to get my cards turned off. Luckily, my study abroad program, ISA, has an office in Barcelona and was able to assist me with emergency cash and obtaining a temporary passport.
On my last day in Barcelona, I walked thirty minutes in the pouring rain to a train station, took a train to the outskirts of Barcelona to the American embassy, paid a large amount for a temporary passport, took the train back, picked up my belongings from the hostel, walked to the bus station, took a bus to the airport, took a shuttle to the terminal, flew back to London, took another shuttle, took another train, took the tube, and finally arrived back at my dorm!
Replacing everything is a tedious process, but I'm so grateful for ISA helping me out and for my friends' offers to loan me money and a spare purse and cellphone (thanks Victoria!)
I know everyone says not to carry your passport with you and split up your cards, but I thought I was being smart by carrying my belongings with me, as even a pair of jeans left out overnight was stolen at the hostel! Everyone seems to have a Barcelona theft story, so I guess the moral is that you can never be too careful!
Hi, I’m Crystal! Just like you, I love to travel. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 24 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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