I made it back to Barcelona. Four years after my last visit. Same city, different sites, same story, different people. When reading through my last Barcelona post it seems a lifetime away. I enjoyed this time more. Must have been the company, I guess.
We stayed in the best location possible. Right on Las Ramblas, next to the Bouqueria Market. Perfect location to discover the city, especially the older part of town. I can recommend this hotel if you are looking for something not too fancy, yet modern, comfortable, clean and cute. Also, definitely book a room with a terrace which has a view over the market and going out to the back. I think facing the front would have been way too noisy. Las Ramblas never sleeps it seems.
The Cultural Part
What dominated this visit were “churches”, which is odd since neither my travel partner nor I are particular religious. I assume it was the architecture, the tradition, the history that fascinated us so much that we visited 4 churches. Not a lot at all when you start counting all churches in Barcelona, however not a bad turnout for us during our 3 day stay. If I told my family that I even went to Sunday Mass (in Catalan) they won’t believe me – I might need to add that I rarely go to church even on special days like Christmas and Easter. We did, in the Cathedral of Barcelona, an impressive gothic cathedral.
Then, there she was… the most stunning church I’ve ever been to. La Sagrada Familia. All the times I’ve visited Barcelona before, I didn’t feel the urge to go in. Assuming that the interior is just as busy and crazy as the outside. How wrong I was. The interior is the complete opposite. I have never experienced anything so calming, impressive and yet so humble than La Sagrada Familia. Goosebumps guaranteed. Gaudi intended to give the feeling as if walking through a forest made of stone. Walking between the pillars makes you aware of how small we actually are and at the same time how wonderful he world is and that we are part of it. It almost seems to be out of space, like being in an Avatar movie. Almost impossible to describe with words.
If anyone ever visits Barcelona, this is definitely a must-see! Just one recommendation: purchase your tickets online beforehand. Schedule your visit and save time walking around and queuing for tickets. In fact, this should be done for any tourist attractions in Barcelona (maybe even worldwide… the same happened to us last year in Berlin). We must have spent at least 3 hours of going from one site to the next just to end up buying online anyway. Continue reading “Back in Barcelona”→
I FINALLY managed to watch “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” last night. Thanks to a nasty cold that robbed me off my voice I decided to spend another Saturday night on my beloved couch and get a DVD. Vicky Cristina Barcelona(VCB) was high up on my list since I watched “Midnight in Paris” recently. Some might like it, some don’t, I do – Woody Allen’s virtual city guides covered by romantic love stories. Just like Midnight in Paris, VCB shows you the most famous sight-seeing spots of the respective city.
I love Barcelona! I love the Barri Gòtic with its gothic architecture, I love El Raval with its medieval character and I love Baceloneta with its baroque charm. I have spent the first 8 summers of my life in Barcelona. Then, after a long time of absence, I returned when I was in my twenties and since then I keep on coming back on a more or less regular basis.
My last visit to this city was somehow surreal and just like Vicky and Cristina I fell in love. Needless to say that just like Vicky’s or Cristina’s love story mine didn’t end with the happy end of a fairy tale either. Is it the influence of the likes of Picasso, Miro and Gaudi that shapes the way love goes in Barcelona? Thinking back, I realise that I already fell in love on the way to Barcelona in the plane (I can actually picture the exact moment). Not yet noticed by me back then, I was under the impression that it knocked me over at Parc Guell (Gaudi, another feature of Barcelona that makes it so unique compared to any other city). I finally melted away at the bar of the W. Where, in the spur of the moment and both of us already quite tipsy from all those Mojitos, I hear him say that he thinks he is falling in love with me. If he had only known that this had already happened to me (he would have probably not said anything at all ;)).
I have a feeling that the hotel we stayed in played its magical part, too. The baroque building with its pompous entrance hall, heavy curtains in the rooms and yet mixed with temporary furniture makes you feel you have entered another era. Centrally located, it is definitely a place to stay for lovers! Totally romantic!
When I watched VCB yesterday there was something Maria Elena said that just wouldn’t leave my mind throughout the night: “Only unfulfilled love can be romantic”. ..No matter how my story ended, this trip to Barcelona has been the most romantic trip of my life. I was never so happily in love before; I don’t want to miss those spontaneous kisses in the streets, spending the mornings in bed and the feeling of being in love in this magical city. Therefore I can truly say that it was definitely one of the best trips of my life!
My conclusion: I have only the fondest memories of this catalan city and I will definitely go back. Next time, I will visit my childhood love: Floquet de Neu (Snow Flake). He is the attraction of the Barcelona Zoo, a snow-white Gorilla. I remember nagging my parents every summer we were there to visit him in the zoo. I would like to know if he is actually still alive?