Barcelona – Geography Fieldtrip

Introduction

The field trip to Barcelona has come so quick and doesn’t feel like only a year ago we had a lecture to show what field trip were available. But March and this term has gone so quick and now the fieldtrip has flown over!! It is now two days since returning from the trip.

What’s the point of Barcelona?

The trip is based on being put into groups to research our own topics on urban sustainability. We will have to present a 15-minute presentation at the end of the week and a 3000-word report on our findings in May. Our project is based on urban transport and the metro system in Barcelona. This blog post will only go over the activities which were undertaken rather than been directly based upon the assessed report.

Sunday – Travelling

Unlike many of holiday flights which are early morning flights, the Barcelona flight was a late flight taking off at half 5 in the evening. Although today is Mother’s Day so it was nice to be with me Mam. After arriving at the airport promptly and getting though the airport was quick. We didn’t do too much as it was late when arriving into Barcelona so we just wanted to get to the hostel with the rest of the group.

Day One – Monday

Today was our first full day which me and my friend decided to make the most of the day by going for a walk before breakfast to visit the Torre Agbar. After returning and having breakfast as a group we were told to gather on the top floor of the hostel where we were given our first task. Our first task of the trip was called the neighbourhood challenge where we were placed into groups and given a specific place which we had to distinctive characteristics about the place. Our district was Eixample which was had high end shops located in the area and tourist opportunities. Tourist opportunities such as the Casa Milà and Casa Batlló Gaudi. The activity was good to get to know some of members of the Barcelona fieldtrip better. Afterwards, the whole group were instructed to meet at Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona where we had a talk from Francesc Baró about Integrating Ecosystem Services in Urban Sustainability Policy. After the talk, it was the first chance we got into our research groups to discuss the plan of action for the rest of the week in Barcelona. This did not take long and 3 of the members including myself decided to go to the Segrada Familia to look around the outside. We did not have long as we had to meet the whole group for dinner at Buon Appetito.

Day Two – Tuesday

Just as yesterday me and my friend who I was sharing the same room with decided to go for a walk around the area to get some water. Because it was early morning it was difficult to find a place open. From having breakfast, the whole group returned to Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona where we had a talk with Isabelle Anguelovski about Urban Social and Environmental Justice. This was a follow up from the talk we had yesterday. After the talk, we got into our research groups and walked to Barcelonetta, where we split into two groups. Me and my friend sharing the same room went off to an area called Pedralbles to conduct interviews on the publics perceptions of public transport sustainability. The three remaining members of the groups stayed near the centre to investigate how accessible parks are to metro stops. To fulfil our project, we had to split up as a group as it wouldn’t have been possible to get all the work done. Later, in the afternoon the whole Barcelona group had to meet at the Valkiria Hub Space. Antònia Casellas gave a talk on Economic Innovation and Urban Governance in Barcelona. Antònia will be coming to Newcastle to give us another talk. We also had another group activity to meet some more members of the programme to look at how photographs can show power, transformation, nature, justice and beauty. For dinner, I tried Paella at a restaurant called L’arros which was nice.

Day Three – Wednesday

Unlike Monday and Tuesday, we didn’t go for a walk before breakfast as the last few days were long days and we were not able to have the time to do so. This morning all the Barcelona group were on a walking tour around La Rambla and El Reval. This was an interesting walk which we got an insight into the disparities residents face. For the rest of the afternoon we were placed back into our research groups. This was the most time out of the whole trip to conduct research. Just as yesterday we split the research group where I and my friend went to conduct interviews in Fort Pienc, which is in central Barcelona. Before going we went for lunch on La Rambla where we got the chance to try tapas. After conducting the research the two of us decided to re-visit the Sagrada Familia, where we went inside. Afterwards, we went to the 1992 Olympic Stadium and took photographs outside of Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. After visiting this area, we headed for the Gothic Quarter where we met up with one of our other members of the research group to have dinner at La Muralla Restaurant.

Day Four – Thursday

Today was our final full day in Barcelona and last chance to work on our projects. Straight after breakfast we continued our research projects by conducting interviews in an area called Can Puguera. The three other members of the team did not do anything on the project, but had spent more time than us yesterday on the project. After collecting our research, we met up with the rest of the group on the beach where we able to relax for about 20 minutes to go over some initial thoughts on the work. We then had to make our way back to the Valkiria Hub Space, where we had our final talk with Catalina Gaya on a barrier against inequality. It also gave our group an excellent opportunity to talk to Catalina on her opinions on the three areas which we searched for my part of the research projects. After the talk, we went back to the hostel and started collating all our data as a research group into the presentation ready for tomorrow. It was important to start combining the two research areas to answer our overall question. Me and my friend went to a place called the Blacklab for dinner.

Day Five Friday – Presentation/Travelling

Our final day here in Barcelona was very busy as straight after breakfast I met up with the rest of the group to finish the presentation and to go through it as a group. On our attempt, we went over the time allowance so it was important to cut it down for the assessed version. The presentations took place in the Valkiria Hub Space and our presentation was 4th in line. We will find out our results when we go back to university after Easter. Before leaving the centre provided lunch. We all then went to the airport to fly back to Newcastle.

Conclusion

It was a busy few days with activities happening all the time as well as trying to incorporate tourist opportunities in Barcelona. It was important for time management to allow plenty of time for research to be carried out and then to have some opportunities to visit tourist attractions. I really enjoyed my time in Barcelona and that the 5 days flew over quickly. Now that our research presentation is over, I now have to compete a 3000-word report for May. I will be working on this report in the upcoming weeks of Easter.

More to come…

  • Module choice for thrid year
  • One year of my blog!
  • My DRP is…
  • Importance of transport
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