Author Archives: alsuth

We Really are Learning.

Sometimes this study abroad seems to be more of an extremely long field trip than a studious adventure. Either way, we all are learning every minute about this country, design, each other and ourselves.

We’ve learned that…

Hoarding is OK sometimes. For example, when you take a pamphlet in six languages from a museum because you’ll never know what will look best in your journal.

It is indeed possible to know more than you ever need to about people you hadn’t even seen until a week ago.

Arts and crafts are still fun.

Cheryl can never be mad at us as long as we continue to look “so cute” in the pictures she snaps.

You can’t be sad when you have Nutella.

Sometimes you just need to lie down on the pigeon poop-covered square with your friends to have a special moment together.

Catalan is very different than Spanish and can turn ordering lunch into a game of charades.

We should take advantage of free drink refills in the US. They don’t exist here and therefore we walk around with 2 liter bottles of water.

Skype is one of the most useful inventions of the decade. Almost all of us use it to keep in touch with people back home.

We have an amazing amount of mutual friends and many people will be living close by next fall. Everyone is hoping to capitalize on this to have many reunions.

There is a milk and sanchichon thief in our hostel. The boys have fallen victim.

Katie D. can become very “weary” after a long day of activity. She uses the word hourly. It has caught on within the group.

Even though you’re supposed to share community kitchens, it’s acceptable to turn off all the lights to watch a movie together.

John and Adam are master barter-ers. Just ask John about how they accidentally got a Messi jersey for more than 50 percent less than they should have. He’s told the story at least 26 times.

Also, they bought matching jerseys and wore them for 24 hours together. Only in Spain.

We all have many mutual friends and endless commonalities. Especially when it comes to childhood TV shows. Talk to Laura E. about “Sailor Moon.”

That game you play when you tell yourself you have to be somewhere 15 minutes before you actually do so that you make it on time. It works.

Our group’s theme song is “Flashdance… what a feeling.” We heard it three times in 24 hours and sang it annoyingly loud every time.

…and we’re learning more every second.




Filed under Barcelona

The Reality of Dreams

We had an amazing opportunity to tour Salvador Dali’s mind when visiting his museum packed with paintings, sculptures and endless oddities. The museum is located in Figueres, which was a smaller town in the heart of Catalonian land. It is considered the largest surreal object in the world and was built on top of ruins from the Spanish Civil War.

The museum was one of the most odd and intriguing places I have ever been. From the eggs stacked along the roof, to Dali’s tomb in the chilly, dark cellar, everything was eye-catching. The whole museum was such an experience that Abbey said all artists should have to create museums in which to display their work. Knowing that Dali himself strived to provide such an all-encompassing look at his life made the experience all the more engaging.

It was amazing how much effort and time went into each interactive display and the intricate mapping of the building let alone the paintings and mind-bending illusions. One of his most famous works, and a favorite among the group, was Dali’s painting of Abraham Lincoln. The painting from far away is a pixelated president yet a much more detailed piece up close. The trick is to squint a bit and let your eyes go out of focus to see the larger Lincoln painting. Otherwise, try looking in the slideshow at the far away and close up shots.

Another amazing aspect of Dali, was his ability to work successfully in so many media. Along with the paintings, sculptures and sketches, there was a separate building of Dali’s jewels. The display included 37  jewels in precious metals along with concept sketches for many pieces. Click here to see a video of Dali’s beating heart brooch.

Overall, the insanity of Dali really made the day truly unique to Spain. To enter the warped mind of an individual who saw the world so differently is a privilege I was glad to enjoy.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures from the museum.

Alanna Thiede

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