For our last destination of our Eurotrip, we decided to treat ourselves with a few days in fiery Barcelona. We were hoping to soak in the Spanish sun and finally get a taste of summer. But that didn’t happen, the weather was unusually cold for the beginning of April. It didn’t deter us from enjoying the burgeoning city of Barcelona. So, the first night, we strolled around Sagrada familia in search of the best paella, a traditional Spanish seafood dish.
The next morning, we crossed the city by foot from Sagrada familia, el Barri Gòtic to la Barceloneta beach. Barcelona's history began where the Barri Gòtic is today, in between the Rambla in the west and Via Leietana in the east.
The famous Old Town or Gothic Quarter is a fascinating mix of old traditions and new modern and contemporary Catalan cultures. As one of the oldest areas in Barcelona, the neighbourhood is famous for its fantastic architectural heritage inspired by the Roman and medieval times. The mazes of narrow streets s filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants make the Gothic Quarter a must visit while in the city. The main sights in the Gothic Quarter are the cathedral and Placa Reial.
Barceloneta beach, a former fishermen's town, stretches on around one kilometer of golden sands, lined with bars and restaurants. Although disappointedly cold, I couldn’t hide my excitement when I saw the blue water. It felt amazingly good to sink my toes in the sand, breathing in the salty sea winds. It was a great place to take a break from walking and just sitting down, watching the waves and the people surfing it.
In the evening, we looked for a place to fill our hungry stomachs at Las Ramblas, a vital tree-lined pedestrian boulevard connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with Port Vell. It is packed with restaurants, terraces, buskers, street artists, mimes and flower shops.
The next day was a hunt for all the architectural treasures of Barcelona: La Pedrera, Park Güell, Palau Güell, and Casa Batlo.
Casa Mila or la Pedrera was stunningly impressive by its organic curving facades, mass of undulating stones and its iron vine-like balconies. This sculpted artwork explores the irregularities of the natural world through its soft forms and shapes in rough materials.
While Parc Güell is almost on the city’s outskirts, it is relatively easy to reach with public transportation. It is known as one of the masterpieces of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Park Güell is certainly the most impressive park in Barcelona. The paths guide you slowly through enchanting landscapes: mosaic dragon, a forest of 86 stone columns that seem to bent by the weight of time, twisted stonework columns, and so on. It’s a sort of a game for the eyes and mind. From the terrace, you get one of the most beautiful views of Barcelona, with Gaudí’s work in the foreground, and the city in the background.
A few days in this Catalonian metropole was definitely not enough to experience every part of it. However, this small glimpse into the capital tipped us to another side of European culture and history. It was a wonderful way to end our Eurotrip with amazing memories and experiences. Looking forward for new adventures very soon!