On Tuesday, June 5th, we had a day trip to Costa Brava! Our day began as we set sail on a ship built in 1915 named “The Rafael.” The captain of the ship, Joan, was quite a character! He was so knowledgeable, animated, and engaging. He taught us the history of the ship, the Costa Brava, and the Sea. We cruised along the coast and anchored the ship to allow some time for swimming. Although the water was colder than my liking, I bravely jumped in…many times! Jumping into the icy, salty, Mediterranean was a magical experience. It was so thrilling and refreshing. After swimming for a while, we got back on the boat and set back for the marina.

Next, we began a hike lead by Layla, one of the CEA faculty whom we have been working with throughout the length of our program. Layla is brilliant and so inspiring. I love to talk to her and learn from her, so I spent the entire hike up at the front by her side chatting and asking questions the whole way. I feel like I got so much more out the the experience by I do this. My favorite place that she took us was the small fishing village called Cala S’Alguer. It was so humbling to see the simplicity of the village and to see two men sitting outside just enjoying the water and each other’s company. In our high stress, fast paced, technology centered world, it is refreshing to know that a place like this still exists. It was incredible walking along the shoreline seeing all of the greenery and visiting a number of quiet, small beaches, each one different from the last.

After the hike, we made our way down to a small beach town for some reflection (and gelato!) It was a very happy ending to the day. The area was very intimate and comforting. There were children playing on the beach, couples enjoying each other, and families spending time together. Being away from my family for this long has been difficult and I miss being home and spending time with my sisters and parents. Seeing families sitting down for dinner together and watching young sisters running around playing with each other put a huge smile on my face and reminded me of home.

Overall, it was an excellent day. It was nice to get away from the busy, congested city of Barcelona for the day to have a relaxing, stimulating day on the sea. I learned a lot, enjoyed the stories, and had a lot of fun!

Here are some photos from the day!

The old, wooden structure of the historic Rafael.

Joan and his conch shell. He referred to it as the old version of the “iPhone” and said fellow sailers used to communicate in passing by blowing into the shell.

We slowly cruised along the coast, rocking gently with the waves.

Once we anchored, many of us jumped in and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the Mediterranean Sea!

A beautiful photo captured in one of the small beaches visited along our hike.

The old fishing village we walked through along our hike. Fun(ny) fact: As the stories go, the different colored paint served a purpose back in the day…when sailers came home drunk, that is how they were able to find the right house!

Another shot taken on a different small beach along the coast. The sand was so soft, the rocks were so smooth, and the water was so clear.

Two sisters I watched playing “hide and go seek” as I sat and enjoyed my gelato. When the younger sister found the older sister, she was so excited to see her again (after not seeing her for about 30 seconds) that jumped into her arms! I can not wait to see my sisters again after being away from them for almost two months!