Eivind's Portfolio Weblog

Monday, November 22, 2004

Experiences so far...

Well...how to tell all my experiences in a little weblog? After over 3 months here I guess I could write a couple of books of my experiences in Barcelona.

First of all I want to tell that this is not the end!! We still have 1 month left, and I am going to discover lot´s of things here in Barcelona until the 20.december.

The 1.agusust I travelled by plane from safe Norway to unsafe, scary, and "I don´t know this country",...Spain...I was very excited, but I was also a little terrified leaving all my friends, school, and family at home.
The first 5 weeks we had a spanish course at Enforex...4 hours every week-day...Sometimes it was hard, but afterwards I wished we had a spanish course all the time during the stay here in Barcelona ( maybe something to improve here at St.Ignasi??)
After school we usually hurried home, changed, and went to the beach...A very big contrast for us from Norway and if I would take something home, it would be the weather:)
Usually we went to the beach called Noca-Icaria, which is a beach close to the pizza hut. It´s a clean beach with clean water, opportunity to play volleyball, football etc etc, and it´s easy to come there.
During this 5 weeks I also discovered the city, found my favourite places and get to know knew people. The thing I remember best of these 5 weeks was my visit at Camp Nou, the footballmatch between FC.Barcelona - AC. Milan... It was an incredible experience, and for me who are wreally into football, it was one of my best moments during my "footballife".
After this I have been to one more footballmatch at Camp Nou...I have also been to one footballmatch at Olympia stadium and one in Valencia...

Then the school started here at St.Ignasi;
After 5-6 weeks together with the norwegian girls, I was wreally looking forward to meet new people from other countries...The class was like I hoped, lots of nice people and they all was easy to talk to, get to know and have party´s with. And yes, there has been lot´s of party´s, and mostly I have enjoyed them all!!
The nice thing with this school and class is that we always do things together, visit places and having lots of assignments together in groups. We have an incredible nice school and with lots of nice teachers! I wreally should hope that we had our class like this at home in Norway.
At home we are having lessons together ( 200 students) in a big auditorium. The teacher comes, educates us, and leaves...We are seldom having assignments together in groups, you never get the chance to speak to your teacher, and it´s all about reading the theory for your exam which counts 100 % of your mark. Very boring and a stupid way to have classes.

Then over to the places I have been visiting in Barcelona;
Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Casa Battlo, La Pedrera, Montjuic, Beaches, Labyrint D´Horta, La Rambla, Barri Gotic, El Born, Raval, Camp Nou, Tibidabo, Palau de la Musica, a couple of museums, and many many other places that I can´t come up to right now...
We also went to a fantastic flamenco show, "los tarantos", which I enjoyed a lot. Total different from theatres/musicals at home, and I wreally would like to learn flamenco one time.

I have also visited places outside Barcelona;
With my class we visited Port Aventura, Dali Museum and Castell Gala Dali...All of them was very nice, and it was also good to see something outside Barcelona.
The week before the erasmus program started, me, Inger and Mariann wented "backpacking" to Valencia and Alicante. A fantastic trip in to total different city´s. Valencia was an incredible nice city with lots of nice buildings, architectur, and of course very nice people. The big contrast from this nice city was Alicante. A little city full of tourists, bars and beaches. We visited to friends in our hotel management class at home and it was nice to see how their "studycity" was.
Alltough it was much beach and party´s. Another great place I have been visiting is Montserrat, a nice place 1 hour with train from Barcelona. Beutiful nature, buildings and small trains. A place who are difficult to describe, you just have to visit it yourself.

Back to Barcelona and the food...
For me who are interested in food and wine, Barcelona is a Mecca of gastronomy... There are so many nice restaurants and places to drink wine. The best place I went to was Restaurant Mooo, who belongs to the Hotel Ommm...We ate 7 courses with aperetif and with different wines to each course. The place had an amazing design with nice service from waiters who was watching you all the time. It´s a little bit expensive, but once or twice a year it´s good to go out and spend some money on wreally good food and wine. Everything was made perfectly and it fits together with all of the wines we got...A dream became true in the "gastronomy-way"
Other restaurants I will reccomend are ; Margarita Blue ( mexican food), Agua, and La vinya Del Senyor ( a great wine-bar in El Born). And of course all of the cosy small restaurants who offers El menu del dia.

Then a little about the people here in Barcelona...The 1 month I almost felt like a tourist. I didn´t talk to many local peoples and mostly I was at school, at beach or with friends that I already knew. But later I have talked to lots of local people and I noticed that they are very interested in talking when you are talking about Barcelona, catalonia, and the things around that. The biggest problem are that they are not talking english, but thats just good for my spanish. People in Barcelona are mostly very nice, and if you ask something they do their best to help you.

My homeplace in Barcelona;
Placa Espanya!! a perfect place to live, and it couldn´t be better...It´s close to everything and we live in a very cosy,lively and safe street called Creu Coberta. There are only nice people and I actually feel a little bit home. And of course we have the beautiful fountains ( at fridays and sundays) right in front of the Montjuic Castle. Placa Espanya and the area around is something I will remember a long long long time!

OK!! I should stop writing now!!
I´ll guess it´s to boring for you to read all this...
As I said when I started, I could write a lot about Barcelona and my experience. This is just a short summary and I am almost sure that I have forgotten lot´s of things.
Anyway, I will say thanks for the subject Catalan Culture, you as a teacher ( who has learned me a lot about the culture here), and the original way of having this subject( I was thinking about this weblog). I still have 1 month left here in Barcelona and I am looking forward to lots of new experiences. It´s a pity that 5 people already have left us, but I am sure that the rest of us will have a fantastic last month

Adeu, hasta luego, and Hade bra!!

-Eivind Hjulstad-

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hi again!

Hi! Sorry for the delay in writing to you.

I thought your reflections on your interviews to be very interesting Eivind, and it seems as if you are meeting and talking to some very colourful characters!

I think it's great that, reading yours and the other writings about the interviews, we can build a better picture about how people feel about living here, and how they identify with (or not) the local culture.

The third assignment is to write a summary of what you have experienced so far, especially the things you have seen, heard, tasted that have most impressed you.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Catalan VS Castillan

My first "interview-offer" was on a late....no, a very late evening. I sat in one of thousend taxi's in Barcelona, on my way home after a succesfull party. The taxi-driver seemed to be a very gentle and kind man, and as we spoked, my second assignment in "approach to catalan culture" came into my head(it must have been the alcohol). He told me that he was borned in Malaga, but moved to Barcelona as a little child. Allthough he didn't feel catalan because his family came from Malaga. I asked why he didn't feel catalan when he has lived in Barcelona for the whole life..."Of course I feel a little catalan!". But again he said he's family and routs came from Malaga, therefor he couldn't be catalan.
If catalalonia should be independent or not, he said he didn't care that much and that it would be very difficult to get catalonia independent from Spain. And because of his family and that he felt castillan the answer was no.

My second interview-object was the economy-lady at the company which we are renting our apartment from.
She was from Barcelona and has lived in town for all her life. Because of that, she felt catalan and her family was catalan. In her's point of view catalonia should be independent, but she agreed in what the taxi-driver said, it would be wreally difficult to get catalonia independent from Spain. Anyway, people in her family had a strong feeling of being catalan and if you ask them where they are coming from, they answer catalonia and not Spain.

My third interview-object was a waiter in a restaurant at Tibidabo. I didn't ask about he's age, but I'll guess he was in the fiftees. He was also from Barcelona and he felt catalan, but because of Franco's regime and what he did with catalonia the waiter wasn't fanatic catalan( I didn´t ask him more about Franco because he was at job and I´ll guess he didn´t have time to explain). If catalonia should be independent or not, he said he didn't wreally care, but he liked that catalonia has it's own impression. Before saying goodbye, he mention that his son Luis was very catalan, and that I should come to the restaurant tomorrow when he was working. Of course it would be interesting to listen to his opinion as well, but I answered friendly, "maybe another time".

I found the assignment very interesting and that people want to be independent from their own country is very strange in my point of view. I didn't met the very catalan-fanatic person, but after this assignment I am going to ask more people the same question. I agree that it would be very difficult getting catalonia independent from Spain, and If it is sometime, I hope it's not coming from a war...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Coming back

I´m almost sure that I´m coming back, and I also drank from the fountain at La Rambla (so as the story tells, I have to come back...)

Yes, it does take a long time to get to know a city. But after to months I don´t really feel like a tourist anymore. In the beginning people was not that friendly, but after a while when you talk to them about Barcelona(catalonia) and things that interest them (and what you have been discovering), they are much more friendly.Even though I don´t speak that good spanish. But with my bad spanish and theyre even bader english we can understand eachother. I think the best way to get a impression of Barcelona and it´s culture is to speak to the local people, and I am looking forward to meet new local people everyday.

Impressions of Barcelona

Hola chicos!
First of all I want to say that this weblogg is a great opportunity for us students to express ourself, and tell about our experiences in Barcelona. It is also a perfect way for you as a teacher to inform us about the course and happenings in Barcelona.

What kind of expentation did I have??
At our hotel management school in Stavanger, erasmus-exchanges to Barcelona started last year. Therefor we had lots of preperations before leaving to the catalan capital. Because this is my first time, the biggest expentations came from students who were here last year, from internet, brochures given about barcelona and the school at Sant. Ignasi. From last years students, I got a little guide living in barcelona. Theyre experiences from Barca were only positive and the most negative thing was the return back to cold Norway in December.
They told me about the city, the spanish livingstyle, food, the catalan culture, and things we had to discover. I am not sure what my biggest expentation was when I landed at the airport in Barcelona 1.august, but I´ll guess the nice weather, style of living and to live in a big growing city in Europe was one of them...

Now, 2 months later, I´ve got different experiences about Barcelona. I´ll guess my first week was little frustrated. No one was speaking english, I was always taking the wrong metro, and there was hundreds of things to fix with the apartment ( contract etc). After a couple of days the metro became easier, the apartment was fixed and it was time to explore the city - I became "the tourist". With my map on the left hand and the camera on the other, I at least found the beach and a couple of bars... Of course, I have also discovered the most common sights of the town like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Tibidabo, Montjuic, and a couple of museums.. What was Gaudi thinking when he came up with the idea building Sagrada Familia?? It´s the most fabulous construction I´ll ever seen. With all the sculptures, themes and paintings it´s just amazing. After the visit he became my biggest idol! It´s not only Gaudis archetecturs who are great. The whole city are full of old buildings, sculptures, and plazes. There is always something happening, and every week are fulled with festivals, conserts and other happenings. It´s a huge different from Norway... In Barcelona tourists are coming to see all those architecturs and Barcelona as a metropolitan city. In Norway they are coming for fjords, mountains, glaciers and the landscape. It´s wreally to unlikely attractions. One made by the nature, and one made by people...

I have just explored a little bit of this beautiful city yet, and I´m afraid that 5 months are to little. But I´m looking forward for the next 2-3 months, to explore and see new things in the city and to learn about it in the school. I´m also looking forward to know the people in the class better, and to share our experiences from Barcelona.

Hasta luego!!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia!

Hello and welcome to the course!