Roman Malanke

Prime Experience of Spain

So, dreams do come true. I’m starting to write this note sitting in Barcelona airport waiting for my flight to Seville. It’s been 7 days since I arrived to Spain and I love everything here: beautiful city, wonderful land, mild weather, friendly people, and of course Spanish language. The last one makes me especially happy because after studying it on my own for some two years I got a chance to immerse into an environment where it’s spoken and actively apply what I’ve learned.

I don’t know if it’s because of my Romanian roots or maybe because of having listened to so many podcasts in Spanish but I don’t feel out of place here at all. So far I haven’t had any problems communicating with locals. A couple of times I was even able to throw in a joke, which to my surprise was understood and laughed at. So as they say here: “querer es poder”.

If you excuse me I’ll now go and board my plane and continue from there, okay?

So, I’m now up in the sky enjoying Mediterranean Sea view. Where were we?

The primary purpose of my visit to Barcelona was to attend MWC 2011, which turned out to be a great educational experience. All technology leaders from all over the planet have gathered in one place to showcase their cutting-edge products and discuss latest trends. During four days of the event I had pleasure to be accompanied by my colleagues from 5 different countries with whom we went to explore local cuisine every night. Tapas, tortillas, paellas, crema catalana, flan are just the few of the variety of delicious things I discovered here. I even made an exception in my vegetarianism to try famous jamón.

Of all Barcelona sights I’ve probably seen the most famous ones and all by walking: Las Ramblas, Gaudí’s masterpieces, El Barrio Gótico, Barceloneta, numerous parks. The city is as pedestrian-friendly as it gets. But even for the lazy ones, metro and buses routes take just a couple of minutes to figure out. Another thing that deserves a special mentioning is the place where I stayed. It’s called MelonDistrict Marina and is a kind of student residence hall. The buildings are brand new; the tiny rooms are very comfortable and (most important!) minimalistic, furnished with IKEA stuff.

Now, there was only one thing that I didn’t quite like at Barcelona and it was Catalonian language. Not that I have anything against it, quite the opposite, I respect people cherishing and preserving the local language, but for me it was confusing a bit given that I didn’t feel very much confident with Spanish at the time I came. But where I go next there should be no more confusion, because my next destinations are Seville, Madrid and maybe Toledo.

Okay, so now I’m off to the heart of Andalucía, which some call the most real and authentic Spain you can get. We’ll see. Stay tuned with my photo reports. Saludos!