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Out and About in Catalunya

To quote my favorite middle school angsty punk band The Maine, Barcelona is "Everything I ask for and so much more." Everyday, any worry that may be orbiting my mind is immediately pushed out after a walk around the Gothic Quarter or La Sagrada Familia with my camera. Taking pictures has proven to be my experimental and therapeutic outlet while overseas, and Barcelona is the perfect muse. Anywhere I travel to in Europe, I strive to set aside some time to walk around alone and capture some of the history, establish visual memories and allow myself to think creatively.
 My daily walks around the city always prove fruitful and surprising, but El Parc de la Ciutadela always manages to reel me in for at least a few minutes of people-watching and journaling.
 The Cathedral of Tarragona is a wonder. Monstrous gothic ceilings, an impressive alter piece and the most grand piano (organ) you could ever find.
 This treat from Girona, Catalunya still has me itching to go back. There is not a world in which I could accurately describe the beauty that is the xuixo.
 One of my first days in Barcelona allowed me to travel through the Gothic Quarter with my camera. I doubt if I did not have my Canon T5i and the motivation as a CEA MOJO that I would have ever noticed this quaint sculpture in Placa Reial.
 Montserrat is a must-see for Barcelona students due to the rich religious history and breathtaking mountain views. The heavy fog added another layer of mystery to the already interesting ambience.

I feel privileged to have an entire semester to travel and learn from a continent rich in history. I have found myself more apt to approach strangers to ask for directions or simply to chat. The other day, I was getting gelato in Gracia, a charming neighborhood in Barcelona, and I struck up a conversation with the owner who has a sister living in Chicago (where I go to school). An hour later, we parted ways after she allowed me to take her picture (coming soon). The photographs I take while abroad will forever link me to this time of my life.

Bob Smith is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Photographer in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a junior at Columbia College Chicago.

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