Nitin Natrajan

Three months, three countries, one suitcase

Bikes, Game of Thrones and an aggressive goose

This week started with a bit of a change of pace, quite literally because we went from sitting in a class room to venturing around one of the city’s famous superblocks on bikes. This isn’t a hugely known fact, but I am a massive fan of cycling. I have been known to get a little “adventurous” and rather “daring” at times on the two-wheeled magic machine but to keep things light-hearted I won’t dwell deep into previous “mishaps.” We met with Bicihub, a cooperative that focuses on maintain and recycling old bicycles for less-fortunate people to easily get around the city. We all met at the Bicihub and we all went together to explore the Poblenu neighborhood and Vila Olympica which was developed for the Barcelona Olympics. It was a beautiful ride along the coast and the dark clouds did not spoil our mood that day. Afterwards we headed to BAU the Barcelona design university to learn more about Barcelona’s Superblocks. These have been presented as a model to the world for new urban residential and green spaces. We went into a whole debate on the effectiveness and positives and negatives of these superblocks. Personally, they’re a great solution but they are an example of what is not a end-all and be-all situation to solve urban planning issues in cities around the world. It has to be a part of a greater cog in the machine so to speak. I digress, and now on to the next highlight of the week, a walk in the park (no jokes intended).

 

Our wonderful traveling fellow Camilla led a series of activates near Montjuic, a hilltop park that overlooks the city. We took part in some theatre of the absurd activities and a group of us found an Amphitheatre to film yet another scene from our romcom. A few of us on this program have decided to film the next super diverse romantic comedy, but more on that to come. Afterwards we headed to a restaurant and got to head a talk led by some truly powerful feminist activists. Some of the activists led the first few marches and the recent March 8th International Women’s Day March. It was inspiring to hear these women share stories about the amazing work they’ve been doing.

After spending the afternoon with some of the most charismatic activists I’ve ever had the chance to meet, we spent the next day spending most of the time on research and the day after that learning how to be in a circus. It was all really good fun and soon we came to a close on our final full study week in Barcelona and Girona was calling.

On Saturday morning we all boarded a high-speed train from Barcelona to Girona where a group of us were excited to see the sights. I’ll let the pictures do the talking as once again I will fail to go into how wonderfully beautiful this roman city is.

Our fourth week in Barcelona was mostly presentations on different topics and case studies on what we did in Barcelona. I was in a group that discussed the feminist movement in relation to the current Barcelona government. It was a great way to sum up our time in Barcelona but stay tuned for the next chapter which is a Spring break adventure across three countries in Central Europe.

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