Love At First Sight in Barcelona
It was October 2015. I was planning a trip through Europe. I started in Paris and wanted to finish in Madrid. A few weeks before leaving, I realized that because I was an architect, I was missing out on a great opportunity to get to know Barcelona’s famous architecture. I decided to visit Barcelona instead of Madrid!
During the five days I spent in Barcelona, I realized that I could not see everything I wanted in the city. The city offered much more than I had imagined and that left me partially frustrated to spend so little time in such a special place. On the first day, I did a free tour of the historical part of the city. This tour left from my hotel and met other groups at the Jaume station, passing by the Santa Maria del Pi Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter, the Praça del Reial and ending at the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is very close to the Arc de Triomf of Barcelona. On other days, at a slower pace, I visited the Barcelona Aquarium, the La Boqueria Market located on the Ramblas, the Passeig de Gracia avenue where many shops are located and the Batló and Milá House Gaudí . Of course I visited the Holy Family Church. I also managed to visit the Sagrada Familia. As an architect, this church already impresses from the outside. It is a great work that began in the year 1882 & it’s where Gaudí devoted 40 years of his life exclusively to this project. His works were paralyzed during the Spanish Civil War and it is expected to finish by the year 2026. It is a place that is impossible not to move you due to its history and wealth of details. Anyone who visits Barcelona must, without a doubt, visit at least the Sagrada Familia, which although still under construction, has a very cool tourist system. In addition to visiting the Church, it is still possible to visit the museum below where you can observe the creative process in which Gaudí was inspired to design. You will see various mock-ups, plans and drawings.
As I said earlier, 5 days are not enough to see everything Barcelona has to offer, so I returned to the city after 6 long months after my first visit. I visited Barcelona again during the spring of May 2016. With more time, I was able to calmly visit the Batló and Milá houses, the latter also known as La Pedreira, which has a terrace with monumental chimneys. According to rumors, they were inspiration for George Lucas for the movie Star Wars. The director is a big fan of Gaudí.
But Barcelona can offer more than Gaudí to its visitors. The city has several high points from which I could observe the beautiful city below, such as the Montjuic Castle that offers you an alternative to ride a cable car ride, Spain Square which is located beyond the Museum Of Catalonia This square offers the great spectacle of the magic fountain; simply a must see!!! The incredible view of Barcelona can also be seen from the Bunkers del Carmel, where I went during the morning. Next time, I want to have the opportunity to visit in the late afternoon to watch the sunset. Park Guell has a great view of the city. Besides offering an incredible panoramic view, it is possible to visit it for free as well. The place was initially designed to be a residential condominium. Today it is a school of education for children. Have you ever imagined that you would be able to study in a school that was designed by an architect as renowned as Gaudí? I would very much have liked to attend school there!
I can’t forget to comment on the Barceloneta Beach, which is always buzzing with people. Whether it be sports, or just walking and enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean sea, there are lots of people around. Although I live in Brazil, which has a large number of beaches everywhere, I do not live in a city that has close access to the sea. This led me to value my time walking along the waterfront!
The Mediterranean food offered in Barcelona is great! There is a bit of everything at La Boqueria Market, but I would like to highlight some special restaurants that I selected for this trip. The Hostel Generator’s restaurant (where I stayed on the first visit to the city) is a good example of impressive decoration and that is why I chose it! I have a list on Pinterest of cafeterias, bakeries, patisseries, bars and restaurants from all around the world for my upcoming trips. On this trip, I went a few places from my list! I chose La Dolça – Tickets Bar, which seems to transport you into a fairy tale with its extravagant and playful decor, The Granja Dulcineia, which is famous for its churros with chocolate and the cute El Faborit, which has excellent food and service. I have many other restaurants and bars in Barcelona I want to visit but they will have to wait till next time!
It seems that I wrote a lot but I have so much to say about my admiration and passion for the city of Barcelona. Talking with a friend, he explained to me that all this love I feel for Barcelona happens when a city chooses you, and I really feel that is what happened. I want to visit many places in the world but I know I definitely want to go back many and many times to Barcelona. Even visiting Barcelona twice, I realized that I still have a lot to discover in the city. Of course I like all the other places and countries I have visited but I have a special affection towards Barcelona. Who knows what city or country will be next?