La Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona, Spain. The Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic Church that was designed by Catalan, Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. Construction of the church began in 1882 by Francisco Paula de Villa. It wasn’t until 1883 that Antoni Gaudi joined in when Francisco resigned as the head architect of the project. Once Gaudi took over he transformed the church using curvilinear art nouveau and gothic forms. When the project began, the Sagrada Familia was not intended to be a Cathedral. In 1926, Antoni Gaudi passed away, leaving the Sagrada Familia less than a fourth of the way finished. Once Gaudi passes away, the project was taken over by Domenec Sugranes, one of his followers, who finished building the final three towers of the Nativity facade.  




With the passing of Antoni Gaudi, the progression for the construction of the Sagrada Familia moved at a very slow pace.  The only funding for the project at the time was through private donors which played a factor into why construction was moving so slowly. The construction was also delayed due to the Spanish Civil War for quite some time. In 2010, the Sagrada Familia reached the halfway point of its completion. It is currently in its final phase of raising the six immense towers. The way in which the church is constructed now, differs from how it was constructed in the 20th century. Now they use a CNC milling machine to shape the stone off-site, where as in the 20th century it was carved by hand. The expected year for the construction to be complete is 2026, exactly one hundred years after Gaudi’s death. Added on decorations to the church are not expected to be complete until 2030-2032.


The cost of entry to visit the Sagrada Familia is a bit pricey ranging from 15-29 euros. The prices ranges depending on the amount of access within the church you have. The lower level tickets don’t allow you access to the towers. However, these hefty entrance fee’s do not stop the tourists from visiting. These fee’s finance the annual budget of 25 million euros for construction. This means that roughly 1.5 million people visit the Sagrada Familia per year. Tickets are available for purchase online or in person at the main ticket office. It opens to tourists at 9am year round and closing time varies from 6pm-8pm depending on the month. Ticket sales stop thirty minutes prior to closing time. Both individual and guided tours of the Sagrada Familia are offered. Tourists that choose to do an individual tour will be provided with an audioguide. The individual tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and the guided tour lasts approximately 50 minutes. An important thing for tourists to know is the Sagrada Familia facility recommends a strict dress code before entering the church. Tourists wearing skirts or dresses that don’t reach the knee, shorts, low cut tops, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, crop tops, or any clothing that is considered to be flashy and distracting will not be allowed inside the church.




With all the effort that has gone into the construction of the Sagrada Familia, the board members take all potential threats very seriously. In March of 2010, the construction of the AVE tunnel began. The Ministry of Public works of Spain stated it in no way would cause any harm to the Sagrada Familia. However, the architects and engineers building the church completely disagreed. They claimed there was no way anyone could guarantee that this underground railroad would not affect the stability of the church. The Sagrada Familia board led a protest against the AVE railroad which did not end with a success. As of today, there has been no reported damage to the Sagrada Familia.

The interior design of the Sagrada Familia is just as intricate as it is on the outside. None of the pieces on the inside are flat and all consist of abstract shapes. Much of the inside decor is pointy and sharp. When designing the Sagrada Familia Gaudi’s intentions were to use his architecture to express Christian ideology. These beliefs were showed through his interior design of the church. There is eighteen towers within the Sagrada Familia with each of them having a direct reflection on Christianity. The tower in the center is devoted to Jesus Christ. Surrounding the center tower, are four
other towers through which the Gospel is represented. The Virgin Mary is represented by the tower above the apse, which is topped off by a star. The twelve apostles are represented by the twelve remaining towers. The branding columns on the exterior are meant to symbolize an invite to everyone in to practice prayer and celebrate the Eucharist. Antoni Gaudi stated, “The intimacy and depth is that of a wood, which will be the interior of the Temple of the Sagrada Familia”. As a way to allow natural light into the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi implemented skylights into the design using green and gold tiles and glass. The apse consists of stained glass which helps create an environment appropriate for introspection. The stained glass windows also play a role in providing bright light inside. Gaudi claimed that “color was the expression of life” which is why he felt it was necessary for it to be incorporated into Sagrada Familia.





The Basilica is the place of worship within the Sagrada Familia. It is help in the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament and Penitence. On the Sagrada familia website, is where the public can find dates of masses they are allowed to attend in the Basilica. It is rare that there are any open to the public, but if they are, the Sagrada Familia website is where a person would be able to find them. The next upcoming mass is April 1st at 6pm for an Easter concert. Then again on April 9th for Palm Sunday Mass at noon.








Valentí Sanjuan

On Wednesday, March 22nd, our Journalism 2.0 class was fortunate enough to have guest speaker, Valentí Sanjuan, come in and talk to us. Prior to hearing Valentí share his story, I did some research on him so that I would be educated on what he was going to talk to us about. My lack of knowledge on the Spanish language limited me to what I could learn about him before class. My only assumptions about Valentí Sanjuan before entering class on Wednesday were that he appeared to be some form of journalist, as well as an athlete. Once I typed in his name into google, YouTube videos of him biking came up. After watching little clips of these videos is when I came up with the assumption he was an athlete. Also, I knew he was involved with a television network called, “Visto Lo Visto,” because this network kept appearing whenever I searched his name. However, I was unaware of what his involvement with “Visto Lo Visto” included.

After conducting my research, I was very anxious for Wednesday’s class to learn about Valentí, and see if my assumptions about him were correct. I quickly learned that I was right to assume he was some form of journalist. Sanjuan started his journalism career about fifteen years ago as a traditional journalist as well as a radio personality. This was all before online platforms for journalism were as common as they are today. Eventually, Valentí transitioned into online media platforms and posted his first video on the YouTube channel, “vistolovistoTV”.  I was surprised to find out that “Visto Lo Visto” was not a television network, however it was a YouTube channel. I was under the impression that this was a television network similar to ABC or NBC, but once Valentí began to talk about it and show us videos, I learned that I was wrong. Visto Lo Visto is considered to be a comedy entertainment show, with guest speakers, comedians, and an array of recurring characters. This channel consitists of having a live audience while being filmed and is later uploaded to YouTube. The YouTube channel has roughly one thousand subscribers, in addition to having many people online streaming the program.

Once Valentí obtained a strong fan base, is when he begun to receive sponsorship opportunities from many different companies. He showed us a video of one of his shows where “Sony” was the brand that was sponsoring that particular episode. They had to showcase “Sony” in a short clip during the episode to show the products that Sony offers.  Valentí also showed us one of his videos that his sister recorded of them participating in a triathlon in Hawaii. This video has almost 390,000 views on YouTube which is an extremely large amount considering the video is over an hour long. He has competed in many different triathlons around the world that he has also filmed and uploaded to YouTube. These triathlons are funded by t-shirt sales, books, and other products he sells.

I really enjoyed hearing what Valentí had to share with our class. My favorite part about his lecture was that I could really hear the passion in his voice when he was talking about what he does. You could tell he really loves his life and enjoys his business. It is not easy to become a self-branded YouTuber, but Valentí truly loves it and has fun while working. Now thats what I call living the dream. It gave me hope for my future career, knowing that it is possible to have fun while working, if you’re doing something you’re passionate about. It is inspiring to learn about how one person can create such a large platform for themselves through the internet and become such a huge success. One thing he said that really stuck with me was how he has many different bosses. His bosses include himself, his sponsors, the social media accounts he uses (mainly YouTube), and his viewers. He explained to us that without his viewers, he would be nothing. If he didn’t get support from all his fans, he would never have made it to where he is today. Valentí stated that when you lose your audience you are “completely out”. Ultimately, his viewers are what keeps his company alive and what has helped make him such a success.

At the end of his lecture, another student in class asked Valentí if he had any motivational quotes he said to himself when he was having a hard time with his work or in his life. Valentí responded and stated “one day the funeral make-up person is going to shave you”. I was very confused by this at first and didn’t really understand how this quote motivated him when he was having a hard time. Then he explained what it meant to him and told us it is his way of saying “make the most of your life while you still have the time”. You can tell that this is a quote Valentí Sanjuan truly lives by through everything he showed us and talked about during our class. I hope that one day I become as successful as Valentí, and have as much fun doing it as he does!

Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism can be defined as the people who play a role in which they collect, report, analyze, and share information to the public. The main source used for citizen journalism is the internet. A majority of the general public could define themselves as a citizen journalist in one way or another. Think about how often you hear about something, you search for more details on the story, and then you go online to post the information you have obtained on Facebook or another social media network. Just by doing that alone, you have partaken in an act of citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is becoming increasingly more popular given the advancement of technology, allowing us the ability to share stories at the palm of our hand, whenever or wherever we are.

One of the first documented uses of citizen journalism was on January 15th, 2009, when flight 1549 landed on the Hudson River. The pilot, Chesley Sullenberger successfully landed the plane on the Hudson and deborded all passengers safely without anyone being injured. What may come as a surprise to some people is that the news of what was happening with flight 1549 was not first shared to the public by a news channel, but rather it was posted by an average American who was watching the event happen. Once Janis Krum had posted this tweet, it quickly blew up and everyone was talking about flight 1549. Krum’s tweet was posted fifteen minutes before any news broadcaster had shared the story.

Can citizen journalism be considered a bad thing?

One good thing about citizen journalism is it allows us to have easy access to current events. For instance, flight 1549 like I talked about perviously. If it weren’t for Krum’s tweet, it would have taken longer for the public to become informed about the plane on the Hudson River.

Aside from the positive benefits to citizen journalism, there are definitely a decent amount of cons as well. In fact, it seems as though the negatives outweigh the positives for citizen journalism. For starters, it is not necessarily a good thing that just about anyone has the ability to become a so called “reporter”. It is almost impossible to guarantee that every reporter will be able to give an unbiased opinion on the topic in which they are reporting on. Also, citizen journalists are not necessarily as as educated and skilled as other journalists are. Therefore, the information and tools citizen journalists are using to share stories may not necessarily be as accurate as a formal journalists.


Last weekend I traveled to Interlaken, Switzerland and absolutely fell in love with this tiny town. First off, all of Switzerland is beyond gorgeous. We flew into the Geneva airport, and took a charter bus from there to Interlaken. I’m really glad we decided to do this because we got to see all different parts of Switzerland aside from Interlaken. Lake Geneva is most definitely a site to see for anyone that makes their way to Switzerland. It is truly beautiful and unlike any lake I have ever seen before. Once we made it to Interlaken, I fell in love with the vibes of this tiny little town. Everyone there was very mellow and relaxed. It was almost as if the people of Switzerland didn’t have a care or worry in the world. They were all friendly, inviting, and fun to be around.


Interlaken has beautiful lakes throughout the town as well. Sitting and staring out at the lake was probably one of the most relaxing and soothing things I have done this entire time I’ve been abroad. I was amazed by how much time I could spend just sitting their and feel completely at ease, not thinking about anything at all. After we spent our morning at the lake, we went to the “Funky Chocolate Factory” for a chocolate making class. I must say, there’s a whole lot more that going into the chocolate making process than I ever thought. I also learned that there are many benefits to eating dark chocolate, so for all you chocolate lovers out there like me, this is good news for us! Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of white chocolate, it just so happens that it is the worst kind of chocolate for you. We got to choose if we wanted to make milk chocolate or dark chocolate, I chose milk, of course. Once we made it, they let us draw designs and decorate the chocolate, so I decided to make it for my mom and friend, Shae back home. Shae had been begging me to send her Swiss chocolate from the moment she found out I was going to Switzerland, so I thought she’d enjoy the nice surprise. Once we were done, we had to let it sit and harden in the fridge for three hours before we could pick it up to eat. I can honestly say this was the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.


Skydiving is another thing that has always been a dream of mine. As soon as I decided to go to Switzerland, I chose to make this the place I would skydive for the first time. Think about it, where else could possibly be better than skydiving over the Swiss Alps? A friend of mine did it when she was studying here last year and told me it was one of her best experiences abroad. She is part of the reason I decided to skydive in Switzerland, and I’m so grateful she encouraged me to do it. I can completely relate to her now and say this was my absolute best experience I’ve had abroad. In fact, skydiving in Switzerland was probably the best experience I’ve had thus far in my life.

My advice to anyone visiting Interlaken: GO SKYDIVING, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

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Luck of the Irish

Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Dublin, Ireland. Being Irish, this was a trip I was very excited for as I got to see where some of my family comes from. I was a little skeptical of the timing I chose to go because a majority of my friends were waiting to go to Ireland for St. Patricks Day weekend. However, after going on this trip I know that I absolutely made the right choice to go a separate weekend. While I was there, I learned that all the Dublin locals leave the city for St. Patricks Day because it is strictly a tourist spot. They all said they prefer to get away for that weekend because the streets get far to crowded with tourists roaming around.


I must say the local Irish people I met were the best part of the whole entire trip. Out of all the places I’ve been and people I’ve met, the Irish are without a doubt, the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever encountered. They were all very helpful when we were asking questions about places we should see and good places to eat. In other countries I have been to, the locals aren’t nearly as kind to the tourists as the Irish were. I am so thankful that I chose to come on a weekend other than St. Patricks Day because I would not have met all the amazing people that I did.

The first full day we had in Ireland we spent touring all of Dublin. As you can see in the photo above, we hopped on one of those city tour busses that took as all around Dublin. This tour bus was very helpful because we got to see parts of Dublin that we would not have found walking around on our own.

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The next full day we had we took a day trip to Doolin, Ireland to visit the Cliffs of Moher. This bus ride there took about three and a half hours, but it was a scenic drive so it did not seem nearly as long. As a matter of fact, it was a beautiful bus ride because we got to see the country side of Ireland. It was so green, I couldn’t even imagine how much more beautiful it is in the summer time! Once we arrived at the Cliffs, I was amazed at how unreal the view was. My breath was taken away by the natural beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. I can hoenstly say I had never seen anything more gorgeous in my life.


Ireland is a place I feel that just about anyone would enjoy visiting. From the breath taking scenery, to the lively night life, there is something for all types of people to do. After this trip I realized that Ireland is a place I would love to come back to and explore with my family one day. I wish I had more time there because one weekend was simply not long enough. I will be back for you, Ireland!

Mobile Journalism

Mobile journalism can be defined as reporters use of portable devices to spread, edit, and share news to the world. Reporters use devices such as cell phones, iPads, laptops, iPhones, etc. Mobile journalism is becoming increasingly more popular as technology continues to advance. The use of mobile journalism is far more convenient for reporters because they have the the devices they need at their finger tips to post information. Traditional journalism is decreasing in popularity because it is much more time consuming and inconvenient compared to using a smart phone or other hand held devices.479bdc21b95c293f36518f493b0f6c55Mobile journalists are often referred to as Mojo’s, and have used the advancement of technology to their advantage. Mojo’s can simply just pull their iPhone out to record something rather than having to carry around a massive video camera or tape recorder. This is a huge benefit when mobile journalist come across something that want to report on unexpectedly. For instance, imagine if a reporter is out on a regular day and a huge rally or strike begins to take place. Mobile journalist do not have to be concerned about not capturing the footage of this unexpected rally because they are always prepared as long as they have their iPhone on them. Just about anyone nowadays is able to capture and share important news or events with just the push of a few buttons. Another huge advancement in technology that is increasing the use of mobile journalism is the option for people to “go live” on social media networks. This means anyone can start a live video to film exactly what is going on around them and anyone can be watching this online at the exact moment it is happening. This is very helpful for journalists because they no longer have to go back to their office after recording material to be able to publish it.


Mojo, Stephen Quinn, states that “to be a mojo it requires a multimedia mindset or way or thinking which combines video, audio, text, graphics and stills”. Not just anyone can be a true Mojo without obtaining these specific skills. However, just about anyone is capable of sharing basic information with the same tools that Mojo’s use.


About a month ago, I took my first trip while studying abroad to Amsterdam, Netherlands. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed about visiting Amsterdam at some point in my life. If I’m being completely honest, I never really thought that dream would become a reality. I had BIG expectations for this place, and I can most definitely say Amsterdam lived up to them. I was a little surprised at how cold and windy it was compared to Barcelona, but then I remembered it’s still winter! I was truly amazed by the beauty of all the bridges and dams scattered throughout the city. I must say one of my favorite surprises in Amsterdam was all the pancake houses. I am not kidding you when I say there was a pancake shop on every corner, but I’m not complaining, who doesn’t love pancakes?!


The “IAMsterdam” letters were certainly a site to see. You could tell this was probably one of the biggest tourist spots in all of Amsterdam. Everyone was fighting over letters waiting in line to get their perfect picture. Not going to lie, my friends and I were definitely guilty of this. We must have spent two hours taking pictures on these letters. It’s safe to say that everyone around could tell we were Americans with all the touristy things we were doing.


The main reason I was so excited to go to Amsterdam was to visit the Anne Frank house. Visiting the Anne Frank house has been on my bucket-list from the moment I learned about her in seventh grade. I remember being so amazed after hearing her story, which never really left my mind. We waited in line for about an hour and a half to enter the Anne Frank museum and I can definitely say it was worth the wait. I would have waited six hours to get inside if I had to. I was even more amazed and inspired by Anne Frank after the tour than I was before. I had the chills the whole time walking through the hidden annex and was heartbroken being able to see what their family went through. I’ve visited a lot of museums while abroad and this without a doubt is the best one I think I will ever go to in my life. I strongly encourage anyone who is considering visiting the Anne Frank house to do so.

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Amsterdam was a great first trip to take while abroad and it definitely met my high expectations.