Social Sciences Society Trip to Barcelona

Written by Rebekah Bullen (student)

On 26th March 2018 the social sciences society jetted off to sunny Barcelona for five days on the society trip. This trip came after the success of the Berlin trip last year and everyone was very excited about the trip, even with a very early start at Manchester airport!  

We stayed in Equity Point Centric Hostel, situated in Barcelona’s Eixample District. This was a perfect location with being only a ten-minute walk to La Rambla, a touristy street in Barcelona lined with trees and different shops and restaurants. The hostel was also situated close to many of the different tourist attractions we would be visiting on the trip and a metro station so brilliant for exploring places further afield.

When we first arrived in Barcelona after an early 6am flight, we had free time which was perfect for exploring the area and to get some food before the evening activity. Our first activity of the trip was a Homeless tour around and on La Rambla. This was a very interesting tour of what homelessness was like in Barcelona and to get first-hand experience from a guide that had himself been made homeless in 2012. This was also a great first experience of La Rambla for some of the group.

The second day we visited Sagrada Familia for a self-guided tour. Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Roman catholic church designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. The church still has another 11 years to go until it is finished however, this didn’t stop us from taking in the beauty of the church. Both inside and out this church has an amazing story and architecture. Inside the church especially, the sun creates amazing colours when it shines through the stained-glass. After the visit to the church the group had some free time and some students tackled the Barcelona metro to visit Camp Nou which is Barcelona’s football ground.

The third day started early with another self-guided tour but this time around Casa Mila. This is another building designed by Antoni Gaudi and again has some amazing architecture inside and out. The tour starts on the roof terrace where there’s some interesting architecture and beautiful views over the city of Barcelona. The tour then continues inside where you see the layout of what an apartment would have looked like when the building was first built since it was built to live in. Some people still live in the building today. The rest of the afternoon was free for students to enjoy the sun in Barcelona and some students even decided to visit the beach.

The fourth day and final full day started with a cable car on the Montjuic cable car. The cable car runs up to the summit of the hill where Montjuic castle sits. The group got a chance to visit the castle where outside there are amazing views of Barcelona. The afternoon again was free where some of the group got a chance to visit Barcelona Zoo. That evening the group met up to reflect on the trip and to share stories of the trip! Throughout the trip the group bonded, and great friendships were made. This was actually our lecturer, Hefin Gwilym’s highlight of the trip - the camaraderie and friendship within the group.   

The final morning before we headed back to the UK one of our lectures from Bangor (Marcel Stoetzler) organised us to have a talk with Matthias Vom Hau, an Associate Professor at the Insituit Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Matthias gave us a choice of a couple of talks and the group decided that they wanted to hear about the recent economic crisis and how it has impacted on Barcelona. This was a very interesting talk and a great way to the end a fun packed 5 days!

Barcelona was a great way to destress from exams and assignments. We are already planning for our next trip! 

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Publication date: 18 April 2018