Settling into Barcelona

After 2 weeks of intensive classes (M-F, 9-6pm) and now 1 week of my regular class schedule done, I can safely say I’m settled in here in Barcelona. I’d thought that I would feel much more lost, that living in a different country would be much more… foreign to me, but frankly, I’ve felt rather at home.

I have to admit that it’s rather easy for me to go through the day not speaking any Spanish. My two roommates are American, classes are taught in English, and I roam around the city through public transportation generally avoiding conversation with anyone to minimize my chances of being targeted by pickpockets. But I do still interact with many locals, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well my Spanish has held up.

I spent this weekend in wine and cava country just outside of Barcelona. On Saturday, I made a trip to Vilafranca del Penedes, where the Torres winery is. I tried several of their reds, including garnaches and tempranillos… and even a pinot! Of course, I should have looked at the label more closely before I ordered it… it turned out to be a Russian River Valley pinot from their California affiliate Maramir Estates!

Today, I spent the day at the Cava festival in St Sadurni d’Anoia, a huge festival of sparking wine producers, where 6 Euro got me 4 tastings and a glass! While both of these cities were 70 and 60 km away, respectively, they were just a mere train ride away. It was great getting out of the city after being here for 3 straight weeks. I know there are still places for me to explore, but I also feel I’ve walked a very good portion of the city now.