Jet's Portfolio Weblog

diumenge, de novembre 21, 2004

A summary of things I did

I got this assigment to write about all the things I did, but it's almost impossible! I did so many things and they were all so great, so this could become a very long story!
The last few weeks I got a lot of visitors (my parents, familie, friends) and they all expected me to show them the city. So I saw a lot of the touristic places again and again. Thats why I know all about what you should see if you are here only for the weekend. Off course you should visit the Sagrada Familia, The Rambla, the beaches, Montjuic, the Magic Fountains, Park Guell, the Picasso museum, the Kathedral etc.
But if you have more time and want to see more, there are some things who are really worth doing. Like some trips out of Barcelona. I've been to the Cava festival of Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, we rented a car and drove to Valencia and I've been to Monserrat. I can recommend all of these trips. It's nice to be out of the city and smell some fresh air, and there is so much to see and do around Barcelona!
Also the trips we made with school, to Port Aventura and the Dalí museum/ Gala's house, were really interesting. It takes some time to travel by bus or train, but it's nice to see the environment around Barcelona!
Also in the city, there are some interesting places to go. Like the museum of funeral cars! I've been there, it's so funny! It's very small, in a basement and if you want to go there, a lady comes with you to open the doors. Then you can walk around and see some old funeral cars and when you're finished, you go to the lady again and she'll bring you back!
What I really liked are the parks on Montjuic, there are some beautifull ones and you can sit there on a sunday with a book and some music and really relax!
If you want to go out, there are thousands of places you can go! If you don't want to spent a lot of money, you have to go to Placa Reial first and find some free tickets, then you can decide what you like the most!! My favorit place to have some cocktails, was Boadas! It is a small bar, but the barmen are really professional and they make great cocktails! If you watch the walls, you can find out wich famous persons have been here before!
A thing you must not do, is carry to much important things with you in the city!! It is better not to take a purse at all! We've experienced that last friday, when Sophie was robbed and we became in a weired situation with police and scary, high boys all around us!! Barcelona is a dangerous city, we know that now!!!
But the thing I want to advise to all the people who are comming to this beautifull city, try to find the original, small and interesting places besides the known, famous and touristic places and most of all enjoy your time here, because it's over before you know it!!!

dilluns, de novembre 08, 2004

It sounds like you've been having a great time...

I'm pleased that things have been going well for you Jet.

I'd like to ask you to do one more thing, to summarise what you've been up to since you last wrote, and to imagine you were advising someone coming here next year. What would you tell them to go and see that has really impressed you? What would you tell them to miss?

I look forward to reading your reply.

dilluns, d’octubre 18, 2004

Feelings about Catalunya

We've got the assignment to intervieuw people, and ask, how they think about Catalunya and if Catalunya should be independend.
I asked our landlady, she's a girl, I think about 27 years old and is really Catalan. She feld also really Catalan, prefered to talk in that language and was proud of the Catalan culture. But she wasn't sure if Catalunya shoud be independend. She thought that it wouldn't really make a difference for her personally in her every day life. She thought that it's good as it is, Catalunya as a part of Spain, but with his own traditions and language.
She also told about her family. Her parents were really proud Catalans and would prefer that Catalunya was independend. She told that they thought this way because of Franco and that his dictatorship really made a difference in the feelings about Catalunya.
I also talked about this subject with some classmates from my English Workshop. I discovered that it was not really importend for them that Catalunya becomes independend. They feel Catalan because of the way the're brought up and the traditions they know, but they are more open to the rest of Spain. They thought it was stupid to say that it is an insult to say they're Spanish.
What I think, is that older people have stronger feelings about Catalunya, maybe because they've experienced how it was with Franco. Younger people are also proud of Catalunya, but are more open to the rest of Spain (and maybe also to the rest of the world). But it is a small conclusion, that I made after speaking to only a few persons!

dimarts, d’octubre 12, 2004

Cava festival

After three weeks in this city, I wanted to see something outside of Barcelona. That´s why we went on a trip this weekend! Graham told us about the cava festival in Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, so we (Sanne, Sascha, Sophie, Inge, a friend of Inge and I) wanted to go there.
We went by train, it took only half an hour. When the train arrived at Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, I thought we were in the wrong place! I excpected a nice place with beautifull nature, but it was just a little place that wasn´t really special. Then I saw the factory of Freixenet and knew we were in the cava village!
We didn´t exactly know where the festival was, but we could just follow the other people and finally we arrived in the centre of the city. There it was really crowded and everyone was drinking cava. We found a place where we could buy the coupons, only 3 euros for 3 glases of cava. But first we wanted to eat something, because drinking on an empty stomach isn´t really healthy. We went to a supermarket and bought bread and something to drink. When we had these simple things and we saw everyone around us drinking and eating cava and delicatesses, we feld a littlebit stupid. Then a man came to us and asked why we drunk juice insted of cava and gave us all a coupon to try the cava! So, we had no excuse anymore, we had to start drinking! The cava we tried was really good and the man promoting it told us a lot about his brand, that was interesting.
After drinking the cava, we were interested in how they make the cava. We went to a place where they said they could give us a tour in Engish. When we came there, the people had lunch, so we had to wait for an hour. But it was not so bad, the sun was shining! Finally lunch was over and there were 2 men who could give us the tour. The boss asked us who we wanted! We thought that it was strange just to pick one, so we said that it doesn´t matter. He said that the older man (who could only speak Spanish) should go with us. It proved to be the right choice! The man was great!! He started really strange, we didn´t understood him, but finally we realised that he was telling us about his boss! And he wasn´t really positive about him!! The tour was really funny, he told a lot about the cava, but in he also told us lots of things about his boss! The cellars with the bottle´s of cava were really impressive! It was so huge and there were so many bottles!! We learned everything about the proces of making the cava. Normally the man who gave the tour, worked in the factory, so he could explain everything!
After the tour we had to try the cava, of course! He opened a bottle for us and then he got us some chips, cheese and meat, and we had to eat it all!! He said that his boss probably wouldn´t like it that we got so much, because it costs him money, but if we wouldn´t tell it was ok!! When we finished our cava we thought that we should give the man some money for his fantastic tour! But he wouldn´t accept it, if we wanted to give some money, we could buy a bottle of cava. So we bought a medium size bottle (it wasn´t really expensive, but still, we are students!). Then we had to say goodbye to the man! He said that now we were friends forever and he waved us goodbye for a long time! He was so great!
After the tour, we went back to the city. We had heared that in the evening, there would be an parade and the queen of the cava would be crowned! So we wanted to see this also. The parade wasn´t really big, but there were some castellers, some Big Heads and there was music, so it was a typical Catalan! After the parade, the car with the new queen of cava arrived. I think it is a really big thing to become this queen, you are an celebrity for a year! Then we had to leave, because we had to catch the last train, but it I think it´s nice that we had seen it.
The whole day was really nice and I think that we have seen a lot of the Catalan culture!

dilluns, d’octubre 04, 2004

Expectations of Barcelona

Expectations of the city

Last year I´ve decided to come to Barcelona, not just for the course (however I thought it would be interesting as well) but for the city. Last year we had some meetings with students did the same Erasmus course. They were very enthousiastic about everything, so we became enthousiastic as well. After their story´s I expected Barcelona to be a lively, cultural, beautifull city and now I´ve been here I experience that this is true!
Of course I tried to learn something about Barcelona and it´s culture before I went here, I didn´t know a lot about it, but I think it´s always very diverend when you actually come here.
I prepared myself with books, I looked on the internet a lot and I´ve talked to people who had been here already. But still, it´s hard to get a good picture about how it´s going to be. Because Barcelona is very touristic, there is much information about it, but the information is more about the famous touristic attractions (Gaudi, beaches, las Ramblas etc.), it was harder to find out how just every day live is in this city.
Since I´ve been here, I forgot all about what I´ve read before and I´m try to experience a lot of the culture in person and want to see as much as I can. This way I learn the most, I think.
The picture in my head about the city is now more concrete, but is still open for changing, because every day I see more things that I didn´t know before.

The Catalan culture

We also have to write about something about what we think and expected about the Catalan culture. But actually I didn´t know before that it was such an important thing for the people over here. I knew that this regio has an different culture, with some special traditions, but I was surprised to know that they don´t want to see themselves as Spanisch!
Now I know a little bit about the culture, I think it´s special that they are so aware of there culture and traditions.

The course

As I´ve said, I didn´t came here for the course, but I think it´s going to be very interesting. I still don´t really know how the subjects are going to be, but I have great expectations about it! The subjects we already had, Spanisch and Approach to Catalan Culture, where good to start with I think. Now I know a little bit more about the culture and the language, so I don´t feel like I´m just a tourist visiting this city!

Jet Bosdijk

dimarts, de setembre 28, 2004

First weeks in Barcelona

This is my first message on my personal weblog, I will be writing a lot and try to keep you up with my experiences in Barcelona.
I've been here for two weeks now, but it feels like I've been here for two months! There is so much to see, do and find out here! Every day I discover something new about this city, it's really diverent than it is at home (the Netherlands). But I already feel at home here and I guess it will be very hard to leave again in december! Well, I still have three months!!

dimarts, d’agost 10, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia

Hello and welcome to the course!