The calendar tells me it is springtime, but the weather clearly didn’t get the memo. To cope with the lack of spring fever and the threat of snow and cold temps, I can’t help but reminisce about our trip to Barcelona and think warm thoughts. Easily one of the most beautiful cities we’ve visited, I hope it helps you think of warm days ahead too!
Shortly thereafter, we went exploring.
Barcelona is simply beautiful–all the historical significance of cities like Paris, with a laid back and tropical feel that make it an ideal vacation spot.
During our stay, we joined a bike tour for a city-wide adventure…
We saw the Palau de la Música Catalana, which was designed by Lluís Domènechi i Montaner. A noteworthy building because it’s quintessential Catalan modernist style makes for a colorful and beautiful display. While most everyone who visits Barcelona associates this with Gaudi, it was refreshing and eye-opening to see how this particular architectural style is not limited to Gaudi creations, but instead exists as a unique feature of gorgeous Catalonian buildings throughout the city.
Having said that though, no trip to Barcelona could be complete without at least a little Gaudi, and in particular, La Sagrada Familia
An unfinished masterpiece, the church is projected for a 2026 completion date, after beginning construction in 1882. Antoni Gaudi, fresh out of school, managed to win the job from the Barcelona council with his innovative design sketches. There were numerous set-backs in terms of financing and construction, but Gaudi became so popular that he was able to finance the project from his own pocket by building homes for the wealthy all over the city. However, Gaudi faced a major setback when he died in 1926, and work on the project was halted. Thankfully it resumed once again and continues today. It’s a marvelous story when told in better detail and well worth a visit.
In our ride through the Barri Gotic, we got to see the castle (what’s left of it) where Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain sent Christopher Columbus on his travels. These were the steps where they stood, upon hearing about land overseas.
Wandering the Gothic Quarter was wonderful, and full of awesome buildings, winding streets, fun shops, and lots of food. I can’t recommend exploring it enough.
We also visited Barcelona’s Arco del Triunfo, which cuts an impressive figure
As well as the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is a gorgeous city park.
Not to mention a visit to Barcelona Cathedral, which is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, a martyr from Roman times.
We also saw the former Bull-Fighting arena, which is now used for concerts or sports because Bull-Fighting is thankfully outlawed in Barcelona.
We ended our tour with some more time on Barceloneta beach, soaking up the gorgeous imported sand (long-story) and the sunny rays.
There’s a lot to love about Barcelona, and while its history is a fascinating one, and its architecture is beautiful, no post would be complete without at least a tiny taste of the food that makes up a huge portion of the culture.
Pitchers of cava sangria became a daily routine during our visit. It was easily the most delicious and refreshing cocktail I’ve ever enjoyed, to date.
Platefuls of tapas….
Having fun at a Basque bar, where you get a plate with your drink and fill it up with small bites from a bar. You pay by the toothpick so you can try a lot of delicious bites!
Of course, paella.
I feel a little sunnier just reminiscing about Barcelona, and I hope mother nature gets with the program soon so I can enjoy the weather here instead of yearning for warmer temps abroad. In the meantime, keep warm and carry on! There may be a post in the near future on cava sangria, which will at least make us all numb to the cold and bubbly!