Friday, May 29, 2015

My week in Catalonia (reports from Slovakia)

Feedback to the Catalonian meeting - written by Terezka Trnovská from Slovakia

~~Week in Barcelona – Cornella

 When we arrived to Barcelona, we were looking for a bus. Then we travelled for one hour. A quide took us to a hostel.

 The next day we went to the city centre. I bought some souvenirs. The next day we  took „metro“- subway to Cornella. We had lunch and  went to our school.

My new  roommate Anna Garcia welcomed me there. Together we went home. She has got one sister, her name is Mireia. Anna and Mireia are fourteen years old. They have got a very big house. Anna gave me her room and she sleep on a couch. Her mother´s name is Josefina and father´s name si Paco. They are very friendly and they are a very happy family.

The next day we went to the school and the whole Comenius Project went to a castle. The castle has a nice view of a sea. After the visit we went home.

On Tuesday we went to Sagrada Família. There are colourful window and there is a big cross too. We  walked in the city. There are big houses and oranges grow on the trees. Barcelona is sunny country, there are big palms and nice sea. We took „metro“ to Cornella. Me and Anna too a tram and went home.  At home we had dinner: chicken soup and vegetarian steak. After dinner we played mikado or pexeso
The next day , on the Wednesday we walked to the mountains. There was a museum in the mountain. In museum we took a photo. My teacher found a shell. We had lunch in front of the church. After lunch we went to school and then home.

On Thursday we went to a tomb and after lunch we went home. At night we had a party and Paco baked a cake for party. On the last day we went home to Slovakia. It was a sad good bye!  

Feedback  written by our teacher Iva Priesolová

~~On 20 March 2015 we have boarded a plane from M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava to Girona–Costa Brava Airport in Spain in the north-east of Catalonia, Spain. We were invided to join the Comenius Project which involves meeting with the partner schools representatives, visiting the most important sights and natural heritage of Barcelona by hiking, as well as presenting our school in the framework of Slovak culture. Barcelona itself, is the capital of Catalonia- a regional part of Spain. It has its own official language- Catalan Sign Language and political autonomy. Barcelona also owns the status of premiere tourist destination which combines original ancient features with modern catalonian style represented mainly by one of the world´s most significant architects and founder of artistic style, so-called  „Modernisme“- Antoni Gaudí, the native of Reus, Catalonia. He is the author of not only the Sagrada Familia, but also Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Gruell Park and Gaudí's Crypt. These are all made in Gaudí´s unique style of constructing the outer facade by ceramic mosaics made of waste pieces so called "trencadís". The unofficial symbol of Catalonia-the lizard or multicolored mosaic salamander can be seen as a popular souvenir in every souvenir shop.

As we arrived by bus in Barcelona from Girona Airport, we went by underground to our short-term residence, a hostel in the suburb of Barcelona. The first day we took a walking along the well-known Rambla from English word „ramble“ meaning walking, hiking, tramping or just walking without any obvious purpose or aim. First thing I have marked was that Catalonian people were great local patriots, there were Catalonian flags almost everywhere! Some of us have bought nice Gaudí-style souvenirs in local souvenir shops which were recomended to us by our tour guide. The next day we met with the coordinator of the hosting  school- Institut Francesc Macià in Cornellá de Llobregat. He took us to the school to meet with the partner families and pupils as well as with the members of the foreign teams.  For the rest of the meeting we stayed in Hotel Novotel in Cornella.

We took a sightseeing tour around Barcelona and visited many interesting places such as the monumental architectonic masterpiece, The Sagrada Familia  Basilica which is an important vista point of the whole Catalania. I was stunned by its beautiful interior and preciously crafted exterior. From the outside, it shows the birth, the life and death of Jesus Christ, depicting the Holy Family, apostles and varios motives from the Bible, such as the adoration of the shepherds and the three kings, the crucifiction of Jesus, the calvary, etc. Antoni Gaudí, the creator of Sagrada Familia was well- known for his admiration of nature and loyalty to spiritual principles and applied these two elements in his creations. We can notice leafy and plant forms interconnected with anthropological motives and figures on the surface of the walls, even in the inside of the building.

The Basilica is still not finished, but according to some sources, there is a corageous vision that  it will be terminated by using 3-D printing technology. Significantly speeding should be thanks to 3D printing , which uses powder -based printing , the layering creates a material similar to plaster. Construction process should greatly help craftsmen to meet demanding specifications and accelerating the generation of complex architectural elements. Gaudí, which is itself the creator of the Sagrada Familia , made several sketches finalized. These, however, highly complex . Fortunately, after his death, he left a geometric surface control system that makes it possible to construct a thumbnail of the whole building . It is being built on the stone model 3D printing , which can be used in the future for the development of design and manufacture. Spanish people would like to finish building inaugurated in 2026 on the anniversary of 100 years since the death of the famous architect. Let´s hope they will succeed.

Another very powerful experience was visiting Mount Montserrat, a sacred place radiating peace and majesty, a place of religious importance for all believers. It offered us a spectacular mountain views of Catalona and we all felt really astonished by varieties of landforms, from sharp humangeous rocks to rounded sea-washed by monoliths. After hiking, we stopped to enjoy the mass in Montserrat Monastery which is famous for its boy´s choir. There was a possibility to take a funicular the way down, but we managed it by feet, it would be a pity to use a cable way!

We spent one week in Barcelona, but it wouldn´t be enough to see everything this city offers to see. I will keep those picaresque alleys in my mind hoping I will visit them once again..