Emily Mitchell, UCSC Women's Basketball Player, updates us on the team's preseason trip to Spain.
BARCELONA- The Slugs' first day in Barcelona was nothing short of extraordinary. We started our day in the city with a tour of Antoni Gaudi's unfinished La Sagrada Familia Catholic Basilica. It was moving to see the unique modern architectural vision of Gaudi's portrayed through the events of the Bible. Although it will not be finished until 2026, the devotion which Gaudi and other architects brought to the church inspired a sense of nationalism and faith in the citizens of Barcelona. And people from all over can simply visit and see the intricacy and detail used on the outside of the building or the church inside, and have a newfound sense of what commitment and pride have meant to Gaudi and his peers.
If we weren't college athletes who get hungry every few hours, we could have easily stayed wandering around La Sagrada Familia for three or four hours. Instead, we took a break for lunch. After enjoying our Spanish delicacies of seafood paella and Catalan cream, we hiked to the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, which was originally built as a hospital and used from 1916 to 2009.
Designed by Domenech i Montaner, the sprawling campus was complete with underground tunnels connecting the different buildings, which were used as separated hospital wards for differing specialties. Among the buildings that were open for visitors, the stonework and architecture seemed even more thought out and complex than Gaudi's stained-glass windows of La Sagrada Familia. Everyone enjoyed the sights of the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, and it was definitely special for my teammates who are Pre-Med studying to be doctors. They were able to see the medical instruments and machines used prior to today's improved medical technology.
Four photoshoots later, we were on our tour bus and off to our final destinations. We saw the Camp Nou (FC Barcelona's stadium), stopped by the National Art Museum of Catalonia to take in the views of the city, and finally, reached the Olympic Stadium of Montjuic, which held the 1992 Olympics and where the US Dream Team was crowned.
After our full day of sightseeing, I can speak for all of us when I say we can't wait for the rest of our trip. Stay tuned!