This Time Last Year…..

This time last year I was in Spain! I went through all of my pictures and videos yesterday and the wanderlust set in. I haven’t been on any kind of trip since then, not even a little road trip or anything! So I thought it would be fun to just relive an this amazing trip.

img_0058Things didn’t get off to a great start. My original plan was to fly from Indianapolis to Newark then from Newark to Barcelona. Well that never happened. My flight to Newark was cancelled and I had to be re-routed. So the new plan was Indianapolis to Chicago to Munich to Barcelona. I was already pretty nervous flying overseas by myself and this made it worse but what made even worse was that was my flight to Chicago was delayed. I already had a pretty tight window to get off the Indianapolis flight in Chicago to get to new gate and now I had even less time. This was when the panic attack in the bathroom happened. Thank goodness I have Tyler. He talked me through it and everything worked out. I finally get to Chicago, have to take a tram across the tarmac and then practically run the entire stretch of the terminal to get to the gate. The flight over to Munich was quite nice. I sat next to a young girl traveling with a youth ski team that was on their way to a competition. We were both small so we had plenty of room and she wasn’t annoying so it all worked out. We landed in Munich and I headed to the next gate and wandered through the small like airport waiting for my next flight. Then just a few hours later I was finally in Barcelona. The cool part was I had a guy waiting for me with a sign with my name on it an everything to drive me to the apartment I rented. After a little mix up with the driver taking me to the wrong building I was finally at my apartment and finally able to relax.

My apartment was a two bedroom, one bath gorgeous retreat and I had the whole thing to myself! It came with a kitchen stocked with every pot, pan, silverware, etc. that you could ever need. It had a gorgeous balcony that stretched from the living room to the master bedroom. Even though it was January the weather was perfect and sitting with the balcony doors open was perfect. It was right next to a park, a bunch of restaurants, grocery stores, a two minute walk to the metro and to the Passeig de Gracia (home of Casa Batlo, Casa Mila, shopping and food). I plopped my ass on the couch and didn’t get up for several hours and the only reason I did get up was because I was hungry. It was pretty late but Barcelona has late nights. I took a walk around my neighborhood, took out some cash, and found a little grocery store where I bought snacks and food for the night. I went home, ate, watched a movie and passed out.

The next day was the first day of my seminar. Oh right, I probably should mention that the entire reason I was in Barcelona was for a two week onsite seminar for my museum studies program at JHU. I would spending the next two weeks with a group of strangers/classmates/awesome people, studying museum practices and artwork, traveling all over Barcelona and outside of Barcelona, and having the most amazing time.

The first day, I left the house early and grabbed a cab to take me to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia) which would be our home base for the next two weeks. The cab took me all the way up to the museum, unfortunately we were supposed to be meet at the Placa Espanya which meant I had to hike down the hill. After meeting my classmates, we then had to hike back up the hill to the museum. I felt really awkward meeting everyone as most of them had been in Barcelona for a little longer and had already met (most of them were rooming together) and I was just over by myself being awkward….

We did introductions once we got to our classroom in the museum, went over our syllabus, and then set out to tour the museum’s facilities. Our syllabus went over our packed schedule for the next two weeks. We were going to visit Barcelona’s greatest museums and cultural sights. We had free days and times where we could do whatever we wanted. That being said we also had a research project that had to be completed by the end of the two weeks and some of that free time was dedicated to that. There was a choice of projects and I chose to research a piece of artwork/artists in the museum’s collection and wrote a Wikipedia article on it. The MNAC has an ongoing project to try to make their collection more readily available through Wikipedia and it was cool to get the chance to contribute to that.

The rest of the day consisted of looking through the different departments and storage facilities at the MNAC. I had only ever seen the storage at the Indiana Historical Society and it was amazing to see storage on that large of a scale. There are many different factors that go into storing a collection and every collection requires different storage. They had sculpture storage, painting storage, and more. We also looked through their restoration department and conservation departments. We all sat down and had lunch together and then went back for a nightly lesson. I didn’t get home from that first day until late and I was still pretty jet-lagged from traveling the day before.

Stay tuned for more posts about my trip! I realized after I typed this that it was too much information for one post!

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