On the first day we all met up at college before 1pm in order to board a coach which then took us to Bristol International Airport.
We arrived at the airport, checked in our luggage and then had to wait the standard 2 hours for our flight.
As this trip was to be my first flight AND first trip abroad I was naturally nervous and excited. So as my standard practice, I bought loads of food at the Burger King in the departure lounge.
Our flight as with easy jet and went off without a hitch.
After landing and collecting our luggage we caught a coach to the Generator Hostel in Barcelona. The drive took us through the city at night.
The hostel was something to behold in itself, for lack of a better term it was like an Urban Outfitters that you could sleep in.
After a short wait we were issued with our keycards and then settled into our rooms. Being a hostel we had a 6 berth room, which was pretty fun considering it was only members of our trip that were occupying the room.
After unpacking, a few members of the trip decided to go and find something to eat. So naturally we ended up at a McDonalds restaurant.
We started Tuesday with a walk to the Sagrada Familia. A cathedral which has been under construction for 132 years it is one hell of a building. So packed with detail and workmanship. It is expected to be finished by 2028
We caught the metro to La Ramblas where we soaked up the street culture a little bit. we even got ice cream!
Most of our group went to the Picasso Museum. Where as we decided to explore the city instead and then meet the group at the MACBA. After arriving at the MACBA however we discovered that it is closed on Tuesdays and then had to wait for the group to catch up and instead went to the CCCB.
In the CCCB there was an exhibition on called “Metamorphosis” To be honest it really was a strange exhibition. the work became more, and more bizarre as you progressed through the exhibit. It ranged from early animation to sculpture and installation art there was also a lot in the way of mixed media and video.
After returning from the CCCB we decided to go out and enjoy the Barcelona night life. We ended up at a rock bar just around the corner from the Hostel.
Wednesday started with us visiting the FUNDACIÓ ANTONI TÀPIES where the Fine Art students were involved in a group activity which involved them making a sculpture out of objects in a performance space.
Following that we decided to go to the MACBA. This day they were actually open for visitors.
There was photographic exhibition which featured mainly architectural photography. the way in which the work was displayed was amazing.
After leaving the MACBA we went for a walk through the old Gothic district of Barcelona.
We had to catch the cable car to get to the mountain where the Joan Mirro foundation is. The cable car took us right over the harbour area and you could see all of Barcelona.
Although I could see the appeal of the venue to the fine art students i found the place really annoyed me. As a photographer my prerogative is to make images, the policy of the Joan Mirro Foundation is that there is to be absolutely no photography inside the building. Due to this i cannot even share any images of work that i did actually like from their collection.
That night we had a quiet evening at the hostel with a few drink and a meal.
On Thursday a few of us decided to break away from the main group and have a specific photographers day.
To start we caught the Metro to La Ramblas where we had food at KFC and then made our way around the city to photograph it as we saw fit.
We visited the famous where that was a plethora of local foods. it was a fantastic location to shoot due to it being full of colour.
After getting back to the hostel we decided to make our last night in Barcelona one to remember. We hosted a small party in our room which then moved to the hostel bar, where I ended up drinking until 5 o’clock in the morning.
Friday began in a haze. After I awoke, I managed to get dressed and pack my belongings before the 10am check out time. All this within 15 minutes with a soul breaking hangover.
After venturing to the beach we ended up going to the zoo, after playing with the sealions I perked right up
We left the zoo in order to meet up with group at the hostel. We had a last meal there before boarding a coach destined for the airport.
Once we arrived at the airport my hangover had fully subsided, and was replaced by a form of light hysteria. The news that our flight was delayed by three hours didn’t really come as much of a shock, something had to go wrong at some point. After a breif and fruitless argument with airport security I ended up having to put my film through the x-ray machine. Luckily upon development the pictures seem unharmed.
Due to the time we were in the airport terminal we found that most of the shops, restaurants and cafés were closed or preparing to close for the night. Luckily my tenacious search for the complaints desk and a payphone led me to a still open Burger King!
So over the space of the next few hours the flight got delayed a few more times. I got to watch a few films that I put on my tablet, and even whizzed ariund the departure lounge in some wheelchairs that we found.
By the time the plane actually arrived we had lost more in the way of sanity than anything else.
The flight was okay in the way back. Watched another film and had two cups of soup. We landed back in Bristol at roughly half three in the morning. My first act after clearing customs was to buy food, in this case a bacon and sausage baguette. Leaving the building was another matter entirely as I was used the the climate of Barcelona. Walking outside was a stern reminder that I was in fact home.
The coach that took us from Bristol to Merthyr scared me more than either of the flights. We bounded down barely lit country roads for what seemed like forever until we got onto the motorway.
The bus was full of laughter and stories of the past week, accompanied by a looming sadness that the next day was going to be that of us returing to our normal lives.
When the coach pulled into the college car park, and we got of the coach we then realised how much warmer Barcelona is by comparison. We shook, and shivered until our lifts arrived to take us home.
Needless to say, this experience is one that I’ll never forget. I wanted to tell it to the best of my ability and it has taken me more than a month to do that!
Over the next few months I will be releasing images shot on both film and digital cameras. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, as it’s my most comprehensive to date.
If you liked my article then maybe you should consider checking out Generator Hostels like the one I stayed at in Barcelona The Generator, Barcelona.