Time flies, when traveling abroad

By Allison Agnew

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Read more about this trip | See more from Allison | Follow along with other UMass students as they travel across the globe.

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Sierra Nevada

For only five Euro each way, the Sierra Nevada is an easy 40-minute bus ride from Granada. One Saturday, a few friends and I decided to partake in the adventure and face the challenge of hiking this monstrous mountain.

After a few hours of climbing we finally made it to the top. The strenuous exercise was well worth the effort because the view at the top was unbelievable . We ate our victory “bocadillos”, or sandwiches, and enjoyed the view in tranquility.

The Eternal City of Rome

Our program was kind enough to take us on an excursion to Rome for the weekend. The whole time there, I imagined the ancient Roman citizens wandering the streets in the very same place. I was in awe at the fact that Julius Caesar had walked on the same cobblestone streets.

Our first night in Rome we decided to visit the Trevi Fountain because we were told it was the best to see at night. We all threw coins into the fountain to assure that we would return to Rome again; at least, that is what the ancient Roman myth believes.

Typical Day in Rome

It was necessary that we saw the Colosseum. A friend and I got lost from the group for a bit so, in order to pass the time, we watched a pick-up soccer game.

As I was watching them play, it did not even occur to me how amazing it was to be able to play soccer in front of the ancient Roman Colosseum.

Plaza de España

My cousin visited me, so I decided we should go to Sevilla, the capital of Andalucia. My favorite part of the trip was going to Plaza de España. The Plaza was designed by Anibal Gonzalez in 1928.

It is, by far, the largest Plaza I’ve been to in Spain and probably the most beautiful. We spent an hour or two wandering around, looking at the horses and contemplating whether we should ride the boats throughout the canal that surrounded it.

Along the walls of Plaza de España are mosaics of every city in all of Spain. Unfortunately, my camera died before I could get to Granada. Here is one example of what they looked like. It was a lot of fun to look at every city and see the uniqueness in each mosaic.

Barcelona: The Land of Fairy Tales
A friend and I booked a last minute trip to Barcelona in March to meet up with some friends. At first, I didn’t plan to go. After I left, I was more than happy I had.

Our first day there, we went to Parc Guell, the most unbelievable park I have ever encountered. Parc Guell was built between 1900 and 1914 by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

Here is a picture that shows a part of the entrance. There are two ginger-bread-type structures facing one another that changes your perception of what is real and what is not.

The Views

Along with Parc Guell’s magical architecture comes the amazing views.

When my friend and I first entered the park we saw a number of people walking towards the top. We decided to follow because we figured it had to be something interesting. After walking up, what felt like, about a million sets of stairs we came to this view. Panting heavily, we quickly grabbed our cameras and could not stop taking pictures.

Out of the 50 pictures I took of the view, I decided this one was the best. Being able to see all of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea was the most relaxing and exhilarating experience all in one.

Gaudi at His Best

Antoni Gaudi is the notorious architect of Barcelona. Some people think his work is a bit tacky, but I think it is amazing. Here is his famous Cathedral of Sagrada Familia. This Roman Cathedral is unfinished and is still being worked on today.

Gaudi spent most of his life building this structure, but was interrupted during the Spanish Civil War. He died before it could be completed.

The picture here does not even capture the structure in its entirety. The inside seems to be even better because the line to get in wrapped around the entire structure.

Street Performers

Street performers are common in most cities, but the street performers in Barcelona are of their own kind.

Most of them pretend to be statues. When they receive a tip from a passerby it is their duty to “come to life.”

I watched this little Catalan girl give the two fairies a tip and shortly after they were moving. The little girl was ecstatic as well as the fairies.

Quick Hands

It was our last hour in Barcelona before we had to head to the airport to catch our plane. We decided to sit at a park with our luggage and relax after a long weekend of walking.

To our surprise, it was quite entertaining because of the amount of pigeons that were here.

The little boy in the photo had the quickest hands I had ever seen. After taking this picture I looked up to see that this boy had an actual pigeon in his hands!

He brought the pigeon over to his father almost as a gift. His father was in complete shock and did not know what to do.


The month of March is very important for the Andalucian city of Cadiz. Throughout all of March, Cadiz runs an old traditional carnival.

The last two weekends are the craziest and most important. When going to one of these weekends it is necessary that you wear a costume.

I decided to wear a masquerade mask and surely enough there were masquerade masks everywhere, even in the lights!

We spent all night laughing at everyones’ costumes and enjoying each others company.


Before coming to Spain, or Europe in general, it was a personal goal of mine to see a soccer game. When I heard that Spain (the most recent world champions of the World Cup in Africa) was coming to Granada to play a game against the Czech Republic, I immediately bought a ticket.

My ticket was located right behind the soccer net, which was unbelievable. I took a close up shot of Spanish defender Girard Pique. I couldn’t believe I was nearly 50 feet from Shakira’s boyfriend!

Graffiti in Granada

In the past few weeks I have been realizing the amount of graffiti in Granada. I have decided to keep my camera with me everywhere and record every piece of graffiti seen in this city.

I pass this work of an old woman staring at me every day on my way to class. It is my favorite piece of work I have see here so far. Her mysterious face stares at me as I wonder whether she is happy or not.