Barcelona: Day 1 & 2

by Julia

The view out of our Airbnb.

The view from our balcony in our Airbnb.

After a week off traveling around Europe, it is so nice to be back blogging in my London flat! This past week, my roommate, Vanessa, and I tackled three cities neither of us had ever been to before: Barcelona, Berlin, and Edinburgh. Up first is the beautiful city of Barcelona! After many mishaps while we were en route (having to change trains, tube stops being closed, etc) we made it to our charming Airbnb in the heart of the Gothic Quarter.

La Rambla

La Rambla

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Heaven on earth.

Heaven on earth.

Once we arrived and unpacked we made our way around the Gothic Quarter to various landmarks, and then walked around La Rambla and ended up at La Boqueria for dinner! It was one of the most colorful markets I’ve ever been in with piles of fruits, meats, and candy. After dinner we shopped around at some local vintage stores and then headed over to the Demanoenmano monthly market where I picked up a pair of earrings. And finally after regrouping, Vanessa and I went to two clubs, BLVD and Apolo, which were both fun night clubs with house music and dance floors! It is safe to say that we slept soundly that night.

Demanoenmano

Demanoenmano market

Apolo night club

Apolo night club

The next day, Vanessa and I checked a few more Barcelona must-sees off of our list. We started our day with a delicious brunch at Milk bar and then made our way to La Catedral de Barcelona which is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever visited. We even got a chance to see Barcelona from the church’s roof- beyond amazing! Later we made our way to the MUHBA (Museo de Historia de Barcelona). After walking through the museum and seeing the incredible excavation of Barcelona’s origins we grabbed some gelato and made our way to Parc Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf. Later that night we had the most incredible tapas at Sensi (think red curry and basil mussels and truffle ravioli) and stopped by Opium night club which is right on the beach!

La Catedral

La Catedral

Seats for bishops in La Catedral.

Seats for bishops in La Catedral.

On top of la Catedral

On top of la Catedral

Barcelona from La Catedral

Barcelona from La Catedral

Vanessa and I in front of the Arc de Triomf.

Vanessa and I in front of the Arc de Triomf.

Be Right Back

Hey everyone! I am currently on my fall break in Barcelona and am having an absolutely amazing time!! I will be sure to upload pictures and a post or two in the next day or so… I will be traveling to Berlin tomorrow! Talk to you very soon. xx.

A bit of home in London

by Julia 

Chip and I in front of Tower Bridge.

Chip and me in front of Tower Bridge.

This weekend was extra special because one of my best friends from home, Chip, who is also studying abroad, came to London for the weekend with his program! It was so great to see a familiar face in Europe and it was fun to walk around the city and go sight seeing with him and his friends. We first had fish and chips in a pub near Buckingham Palace and the Ritz Hotel, and then went to see Tower Bridge and the Globe theater. We also visited the Tate Modern Museum and Abbey Road making it quite a full day. Later Chip and his friends came over to my flat to hang out and then we checked out a pub in Shoreditch.

Tower of London with poppies in front of it to commemorate the british lives lost in WWI.

Tower of London with poppies in front of it to commemorate the British lives lost in WWI.

Tower Bridge with Chip and a few of his friends

Tower Bridge with Chip and a few of his friends

A "Before I Die" wall in Borough market.

A “Before I Die” wall in Borough market.

The Tate Modern Museum

The Tate Modern Museum

V&A Museum and Brick Lane Market

by Julia

Last weekend Vanessa and I checked off a few more London must sees: the Victoria and Albert Museum and Brick Lane market. The V&A is absolutely gorgeous but massive. So V and I decided to go through a few galleries on Saturday; we walked through the Disobedient Objects exhibit which had objects, articles, and videos from protests around the world, the fashion and textile gallery which had amazing vintage couture pieces, and finally a room of 8 beautiful Raphael paintings that were incredible! DSC00676

Lobby of the V&A

Lobby of the V&A

V&A courtyard

V&A courtyard

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Vintage Dior couture

Me standing in front of one of Raphael's paintings.

Me standing in front of one of Raphael’s paintings.

Sunday we went to Shoreditch to check out the Brick Lane market. It was a beautiful day to walk around and pop in all the little stores- it’s a really cool, trendy area with graffiti everywhere and lots of young people. Most of the markets are in warehouses with vintage clothing, vinyl records, and a ton of food! There were a bunch of other stands on the street too with fruit, desserts, and London paraphernalia. DSC01497 2

One of the many stands selling my favorite dessert- cupcakes.

One of the many stands selling my favorite dessert- cupcakes.

One of the vintage clothing stands.

One of the vintage clothing stands.

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White Cliffs of Dover & LDA Outings

by Julia

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Last week my friends Maryn, Aja and I travelled to Dover in Kent to see the White Cliffs! We took an early bus from London and were in Dover in under two hours- it was a beautiful drive and we got to pass through Canterbury. Once in Dover we walked to the harbor and along the pebble beach. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and very quiet in the little town by the cliffs. Once we got to the trail leading across the top of the cliffs it only took about an hour and a half to walk it to the other end (of course stopping a lot for photo-opps) where there was a little lighthouse with a tea room inside! DSC00566DSC00601

Maryn, Aja, and I sitting on the cliffs.

Maryn, Aja, and I sitting on the cliffs.

Lunch at the Mrs. Knott's Tearoom in the lighthouse.

Lunch at Mrs. Knott’s Tearoom in the lighthouse.

 

 

The walk itself was breathtaking- the water was a bright blue/green and just on the horizon we could make out France! I didn’t think I was really afraid of heights before walking along the cliffs, but the couple hundred foot drop down the chalk sides kept me at a good distance from the edge! After lunch in the lighthouse we walked back and saw the Dover Castle from afar (unfortunately it was on another hill that would have taken too long to climb since we had an evening bus home).

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The Dover Castle

The Dover Castle

 

This past week has been a marathon of homework, classes, and shows around London. On Tuesday we went to the Bush theater to see “Albion” and then just last night after a quick trip to the London Zoo (we’re doing animal physicality work in acting right now) we stopped by the Barbican Centre to see Henry Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People.” While it would take much too long to explain each of these shows, I will say that I enjoyed them both immensely and think that they had some of the best staging I have ever seen. TGIF!

A beautiful animal themed Merry-Go-Round at the zoo.

A beautiful animal themed Merry-Go-Round at the zoo.

Some of LDA at the Barbican.

Some of LDA at the Barbican.

Walking Tour #3 and The Globe

by Julia

Foggy London

Foggy London

This past Thursday we had another LDA tour around Covent Garden with stops at all the major theaters in the West End! Vanessa and I showed up a bit early so we stopped by Laduree for a sweet breakfast. It was a very foggy day and what I had expected London weather to be like 24/7, but it has been sunny and warm 90% of the time we have been here! After the walking tour a few girls and I went to Wild Food Cafe, an all vegan cafe, for an afternoon pick me up in Neil’s yard. Then today, after our Dramatic Criticism class, we went to the Globe Theater to see The Comedy of Errors! I have never seen a professional Shakespeare play in person before so it was awesome for my first one to be at the Globe. The theater itself is absolutely beautiful and apparently a pretty accurate reconstruction of what the original Globe had looked like (the original burned down when Shakespeare was still alive). I really enjoyed the show- it truly brought the text to life and it was hilarious as the title implies! The only down side was that it poured half way through the performance and we got soaked because we were standing on the ground floor by the stage and therefore not under cover! But it was quite the experience. Tomorrow I am seeing the closing night of Neil Labute’s Autobahn and then taking a day trip to Dover on Sunday!

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market

Neil's Yard- an alley way turns into a secret neon cove in Covent Garden.

Neil’s Yard- an alley way turns into a secret neon cove in Covent Garden.

 

Raw chocolate torte from Wild Food Cafe.

Raw chocolate torte from Wild Food Cafe.

At the Globe!

At the Globe!

A Comedy of Errors finale/bows.

A Comedy of Errors finale/bows.

Completely drenched from the rain.

Completely drenched from the rain.

Vanessa and I after the show.

Vanessa and I after the show.

A Day at the Palace

by Julia

Outside Buckingham Palace

Outside Buckingham Palace

This past week was just as crazy busy as the last! We have begun monologue work in our classes and were assigned scenes and scene partners last Friday- I’m working on a Lady Macbeth monologue, a Portia (from The Merchant of Venice) monologue, and the short play Silver Wedding with a boy in my program. But despite being extra busy, last weekend was one of the best yet (check out my earlier post about what I did on Friday and Saturday). And to top it all off on Sunday, my roommate Vanessa, our friend Tim, and I took a tour of the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace! It was absolutely beautiful and naturally the most luxurious place you can imagine. The palace has 750+ rooms and we only saw 19! Sadly we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the palace but we did have a mini photo shoot outside of it! Then after the tour we walked over to the houses of parliament and saw Big Ben up close! It was a beautiful day and the perfect time to sight see!

Vanessa, Tim, and I

Vanessa, Tim, and I

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Westminster Abbey- the site of Kate and Will’s wedding and even more beautiful in person.

In front of Westminster Abbey

In front of Westminster Abbey

 

To the side of Westminster Abbey

To the side of Westminster Abbey