Passports

Dispatches from Abroad

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 9:03 p.m.

Updates from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

This post was written by Alec Noble, who is studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

It’s hard to believe that I have already been here for over two months.

The time is flying by and I don’t know how I will be able to squeeze in all my plans in such a sort time. In Barcelona alone there is a ton to see and I haven’t even scratched the surface. The more time I spend exploring the city the more I realize I am going to miss its many little comforts.  I can’t seem to make it through the day without either a café con leche or evening cortado, and the hot chocolate is unforgettable.  Even though I hope to bring some of these treats back to D.C. with me (via an espresso machine), I know they won’t be the same without the charm of this historic and truly beautiful place.

I also am trying to plan trips to other places, a task that can be rather time-consuming and difficult. Since cheap flights are a must, I have picked a few destinations simply because they are easy on my wallet. But the upside of operating under a financial constraint is that it has led me to chose some slightly less-traveled destinations such as Lisbon and Stockholm.

Before I head to those places, though, I should mention that Barcelona is not without its faults. Just last week I was mugged on the street while walking home from class in a safe area of town around 9 p.m. Even though violent crime is rare, theft is extremely common. And even though I try not to stand out, I can’t forget that simply carrying an iPod, a nice cellphone or a wallet makes me a target.