Backpacking in España


The best part about travelling solo is meeting new people and becoming friends instantly. The worst part about travelling is you most likely will never see them again. When you get out of your comfort zone, it’s amazing what happens when boundaries are lowered and everyone is looking to make friends. 


A short walk from my hostel, with the marina right behind me looking at a Spanish government building.

I arrived in Barcelona on the 17th of February and manoeuvred myself from the airport to my hostel via the metro system, which was not exactly easy. Like any new city, when you are travelling you will miss stops and have to back track but that is the beauty of it all – it’s a learning experience in the best way possible. I arrived at my hostel and after a full day of travel and jet lag, I decided to go down and meet some people. I met two people who were SDSU graduates, who were off backpacking Europe for a few months (spotted me with my SDSU hat). Of course we clicked and all though they were moving on to a new city the following day, we grabbed some pints at an Irish Pub and watched Chelsea vs. Man United. After being in Spain for around 2 weeks, I can easily say one of the best parts of Europe is prime time soccer games. In California, games are generally on around 6AM – 12 PM, and you just cannot get as into it as a 9 PM game in Barcelona, or Madrid for instance. 


Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s most famous work which began in 1882.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Europe without studying the historical aspects of the various cities with thousands of years of history behind them. I did a free walking tour from the hostel that went over the Gothic influences and architecture, created by Antoni Gaudí, one of the most famous Catalan architects that started the art of Catalan Modernism.

Casa Batllo Gaudi, where the outside resembles bones.


One of his most famous works, the Sagrada Familia is even more impressive and mind bending in person. Construction began in 1882, and is still in progress today. Perhaps most impressive to me is the various biblical symbolism found throughout the basilica on the outside. For instance, on the backside there’s a sculpture on the building of Peter and a cock, symbolizing Peter denying Jesus three times.



Though I had set up an entire itinerary with plans to visit various cities in Spain and Portugal over a three week period before my school started in Berlin, of course like any plans – those changed rapidly. I had a dilemma. I have a big duffel and backpack with all my clothes for the next 5 months, so I did not want to have to fly from city to city and pay for checked bags. I looked into rideshare and highly suggest those travelling to use BlaBlaCar. I had a fantastic first experience of a local driving to Madrid from Barcelona and only paid around $25 USD.


Guille, the man who drove me and another passenger from Barcelona to Madrid.


I have been in Madrid for the past week now, and it is one of my favorite cities I have ever been to. Think of New York City, but very clean and in the middle of Spain. It has been fantastic getting to know the city, taking various lines of the metro to explore what Madrid has to offer.

Segovia, a town north of Madrid. A 2,000 year old Roman Aqueduct that runs right through the town.

On Tuesday, a couple friends and I went up to the town of Segovia, a 30 minute train ride from Madrid. I was blown away by the extensive history and picturesque landscape in Segovia. At the center of the town, a 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct runs through it.

An incredible cathedral and numerous other Roman churches, an impressive Alcazar, and a picturesque Old Town together make up a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is why I think Segovia is one of my favorite towns I’ve been able to visit.

The top of the Alcazar, which Disney took as inspiration for Snow White’s castle.













Lucas Ramirez is a third-year marketing major from Agoura Hills, California who is studying at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Berlin, Germany, for the spring 2020 semester


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