Alicante is rather underrated. When you think of going to Spain, you’d probably think of Barcelona, Madrid, Andalusia, perhaps even Valencia, probably Bilbao or recently San Sebastián or Santiago de Compostela. Continue reading “The gem that is Alicante”
Spain is always a good idea – especially when it’s winter in the southern hemisphere. Northern hemispherians never believe me when I say it gets cold in Africa. That’s so far fetched. Although I mostly love Johannesburg winters, the nights get extremely cold, houses are not built for the cold and the air is so dry. That’s why I love to escape the winter here for a little bit if I have the chance. Continue reading “Spain is always a good idea!”
Recently, I was thinking a lot of how we used to spend our holidays when I was a child. It seemed so easy. No social media, no pressure to make it to the most exotic destination, the best hotel or the most adventurous tours. Airplane tickets were way too expensive, even within Europe and especially for a family. The norm was to pack your car and off you went to the mediterranean coastline. Some of my friends went to France or Italy, we went to Spain. Camping was what most families did. Continue reading “#throwback to how holidays used to be”
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”