¡A Vilanova!

August 29, 2011

The group of us from CIEE that went to Vilanova

(I was about to start writing in Spanish…augh so strange!)

Vale. (Alright.) Yesterday, a group of us went to visit Silvia, one of the “Guardian Angels” from the University, in Vilanova, which is a small city to the South of Barcelona. (Guardian Angels are Spanish students that CIEE hired to sort of watch over a group of us Americans so we know what we’re getting ourselves into and so we can ask her anything and it’s more personal than talking to an adult staff member.) Anyway. A group of us met up at the train station at 2:30 PM and took Renfe (the Spanish train system) to Vilanova. It was a really nice ride, like 40 minutes long, and had a pretty view of the area south of Barcelona.

Silvia met us at the train station, and while we waited for the rest of the CIEE students that were taking the next train, the four of us in the early group waited at a bar. I wasn’t going to get anything, but peer pressure and the general fun-factor of getting a legal drink that would be otherwise illegal for me in the US, made me decide to get a Mojito. And I’m so glad I did… SO delicious!

Mojito riquísimo

Afterwards, the rest of the group came, and we chatted for a couple minutes while some people got drinks. Then, we walked around Vilanova a bit, and Sylvia explained to us a little about the city. According to legend (if I remember correctly), Vilanova (which means “new town”) was started because there used to be a king or some kind of very rich, very powerful man, who demanded that every woman who got married would have to sleep with him on her wedding night before she could go be with her new husband. The people accepted this for a long time, until one couple decided to run away and avoid this fate, and they started the new town. But don’t take my word for it… I tried to look it up online to check myself and couldn’t find it, so I may have heard her wrong. In any case, it’s a very pretty town, and there’s an old castle there that’s very rustic and nice.

Castle of Vilanova

Next, we went and got some gelato that was DELICIOUS! I got dark chocolate gelato, and oh my goodness. Best thing ever. The Split Banana (a small gelato shop from where I’m from in Virginia), although delicious in its own right, really doesn’t hold a candle to this place. From the gelato shop, we went to the beach!!

La Playa en Vilanova

The beach was, in a word, perfect. It was warm outside and cool in the water–not freezing, but not too hot either. The waves were large enough to enjoy, but not too big to pull you under or anything. The wind was refreshing for a warm day, but not so strong as to blow everything away. I know, I’m probably making all of you hate me out of jealousy right now–if I haven’t already from earlier posts–but, ah, it was good.

There’s a famous bull sculpture at the beach in Vilanova. I didn’t really hear Sylvia well when she was talking about it, and I won’t BS a story like I may have done about the origin of the town, but I know its something about fertility. Other than that, I’m not sure.

The Bull Statue in Vilanova

After the beach, we went to Sitges, which is the town next to Vilanova, famous for its beaches and its gay community (but, surprisingly, I didn’t see a single gay couple while I was there). In short, we walked around the city a bit, got really hungry, and then left. I don’t remember much and I didn’t feel like taking pictures there because I know we’re going back next weekend as an official CIEE trip, and I wasn’t really feeling well by the time we got there. There were some really cool sand sculptures there, which I hope I can take pictures of next week, and there is also a really pretty church that overlooks the water.

Then, we took the train back to Barcelona. I ate at a touristy/slightly overpriced restaurant with two friends because we had missed dinner with our families, but it ended up working out for the better, because I had a large portion that I saved for lunch today. I got back at 11 PM, and I went to sleep. So ended my first weekend in Cataluña. ¡Que guay!



  1. That mojito looks really good. And the sangria in the other post looks really good too. Maybe we should have sangria for new year’s. I’ve never had sangria 😦 And you are getting so much sightseeing in! I hope class/paper/etc is going well. Are you all ready for starting at UB? Have all your school supplies and everything? Gee, so exciting.

  2. Mike keeps saying he wants to make some sangria with his crappy wine, so maybe we can convince him for new years. Because Sangria is supposed to be with crappy wine.
    I know! I feel like such a tourist, but that’s okay, I suppose.
    I don’t start classes until the 13th, I think… and I’m mostly ready. I will see when I start what I will need. But I’m kinda sad b/c apparently no one takes notes on computers here and I’ve grown accustomed to it, so I’ll have to improve my Spanish-language rapid note-taking skills for my classes… :/

    • i was wondering about computers in classes. i think that would be a bit annoying (and very much like going back to high school) to have to get used to taking notes on paper again. and then it changes the whole way one studies.
      finally, a good idea for his abundance of crappy wine no one wants to drink! :p

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