Location: Barcelona, Spain

The day started for us at 7:30 with a nice breakfast of fresh muffins and scrambled eggs. All was quiet until people started to recall that today was the first oceanography quiz. Once that thought took hold, it was a mad scramble to get some last-minute studying in before the 9:30 test time, and I’ll reserve judgment on that subject lest I jinx myself. After class, the crew dispersed into Barcelona for the first time to see the sights. I found myself walking with a group heading towards the Park Gel, a public park with sculptures designed by Gaudi. Afterward, we went on a search for paella, a classic Spanish rice dish with seafood. We ended up finding a place, but it was a sketchy touristy joint with pictures of all the dishes on a generic menu. However, we were hungry, and it turned out not to be that bad. After lunch, we walked over to the Sagrada Familia, a cathedral that is still being built and that was designed by Gaudi. The cathedral was really cool. It didn’t follow any classic church design with Gothic windows or Romanesque arches. Instead, it was as if Gaudi used cubism to build the cathedral. It was really tall with spires that resembled sandcastles. It was as if the towers were built by squeezing wet sand in your hand and dripping it into place. Next on our hit list was the Museu Picasso or the Picasso museum, which houses over 200 of Picasso’s paintings and sketches. We hopped on one of the cleanest metros I have ever seen and made our way downtown to check the museum out. We spent about an hour wandering the halls looking at the various paintings, and we learned that Picasso did pottery for a short time. After the museum, we walked back to the boat for a dinner of delicious lasagna, and now as I write this, people are leaving the boat to check out the nightlife around Barcelona.