When thinking about Barcelona, only one word comes to my mind: HAPPINESS! That's the vibe I felt during our visit to the timeless Mediterranean city. The truth is Barcelona suprised and inspired me. Barcelona is like Paris, London or Rome-there's always something to do and you'd need a lifetime to do it. I fell in love with the city- the street performers, food (oh..the food!), laid-back lifestyle, history, people and plethora of activities. The people are warm and the city has a palpable energy that cloudy days cannot dampen.
But as tourists we don't get a lifetime to see a city. We get a few days, maybe a week or two if we are lucky. We see as much as we can before we move on. I loved wandering through the starkly different neighbourhoods in the city, obnoxiously snapping pictures at each stop and along the walk.
We arrived Friday morning after a 3 hours flight. Full of desire we began our journey visiting the famous Park Guell. It was intented to be an estate for well-off famillies. When Eusebi Guell bought the site located on a hill with little vegetation and few trees called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain) in the 1900s, he wanted to recreate the selective British residential estates and entrusted the development and urban-planning of the entire estate to Antoni Gaudi. The location was unbeatable with a splendid view over the sea and plain of Barcelona.
We went on to see the brightest star of them all: La Sagrada Familia. Everything here has a story behind every single detail. I wish I can explain all of them to you but it will take us forever. Besides, let's face it: my friend Google is so much better with that. Instead, I'll just tell you the little tidbits I found interesting. With such an intricate design, a project like this takes years to be completed. La Sagrada Familia started construction in 1882 and is expected to be completed in 2041. Gaudi knew he wouldn't live to see this happen which is why he made really detailed plans so that other architects can still continue the project without them. As you will see in the pictures, both the exterior and the interior of the church were heavily influenced by nature, as all of Gaudi's work. From the pillars to the ceiling and even the stairs, they all seem to resemble trees and branches.
On the next day we visited MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya), Poble Espanyol were I had an amazing paella, the Montjuic Castel where we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of Barcelona and we ended up in the port where we took a stop at the Aquarium to see the sharks and different species of fish. The National Palace or Palau Nacional that houses MNAC is already an example of reviving architecural styles, which only meant Barcelona did not stop reinventing itself even after Gaudi's death. As we went through the Palau we marveled at the beauty of Romanesque frescoes, Gothic retablos, a few Renaissance and Baroque paintings, photography, modern art etc.
The Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol) exhibits different cities and provinces with different architectural styles from all Spain regions. It is filled with souvenir shops and localy made handicrafts and offers a wide range of sights without travelling extensively around the country.
That's all for today. I will let you enjoy the pictures. But stay tunned because soon I will show you the next part of our trip!