So I’ve not been around much in the last few weeks, partly due to being busy at work but also due to an impromptu trip to Barcelona… one of things is infinitely more interesting than the other, I assure you.
Why Barcelona? Well, why not? Late one evening we just decided we should go on holiday the following week, started looking online and after a fun day of scrabbling around trying to get my work to give me the time off, 24 hours later it was booked!
We chose Barcelona mainly based on the good deal we got for a central four star hotel and the fact that I can speak Spanish… which was actually no help at all. Catalan is their national language and they mostly refuse to respond to you if you speak to them in Spanish, even though they clearly understand. Honestly, they’re more willing to speak English than Spanish!
I won’t bore you all with a play-by-play of my five day holiday, but we had an awesome time.
La Sagrada Familia was one of the highlights for me. It’s an in-progress cathedral designed by Gaudi, but it looks like a melted Disney castle. It’s just beautiful. Inside, huge stained glass windows dominate so when the sun shines (which is always – hey, it’s Spain) the entire room is bathed in different colours.
We paid to go all the way up one of the towers, which gives you a magnificent view of the whole of Barcelona. Then I had to be dragged down the steep winding stairs, but as the alternative was cowering and whimpering at the top, I can live with it.
|It was actually more interesting than my expression would have you believe.|
Parc Guell is the other Gaudi must-see experience in Barcelona, but it’s very different from La Sagrada Familia. For a start, it’s entirely outside which will leave your skin with a lovely red outline of your dress, if you’re not careful. Which I clearly wasn’t.
This is where Gaudi’s iconic mosaic animals are based and his gingerbread-esque houses. He actually lived in the one you can see below, on the left.
We also visited the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which I didn’t find particularly riveting but is a lovely building. It was interesting at first but it had quite repetetive themes so we moved on fairly early.
We did visit the beach but as neither
of us are really ‘beach people’ and we accidentally stumbled across a
nudist beach, we just kept walking!
We went on a cable car ride up the mountain to a tiny little castle at the top. It was part of the Spanish invasion but tends to be visited for the views of the entire city and harbour. You can see for miles and it was a lovely place to just sit and consider how lucky and how happy you really are.
For me, I think the city itself is the best part of Barcelona. It just doesn’t stop. You can wander through what you think is an average park, but then you turn a corner and you’re confronted with the most magnificent fountain you’ve ever seen. Wandering down a tiny alleyway can mean you end up in a beautiful courtyard filled with quirky little shops.
I swear I nearly cried when we had to come home. I really just ‘clicked’ with Barcelona. There was so much more we could have seen and done, and we packed in as much as we possibly could.
If there’s a point to this post (other then explaining why I haven’t been around much) it’s that you really should go to Barcelona. It’s so much more than I expected in every possible way and I definitely want to go back there one day.