In the scheme of things, I probably would never have opted for a trip to Barcelona, Spain. There seemed to be numerous vacation destinations that I would have placed much higher on the list.
This October, I had the great fortune to cruise the Mediterranean. The port of departure was Barcelona. The more I googled and learned about this Spanish/Catalan city, my excitement to experience Barcelona grew by leaps and bounds.
I was not disappointed. We spent two full days wandering up and down La Rambla enjoying the crowds of people, the street performers and the artists. We sought out as many Antoni Gaudi buildings as time would allow and tried to lose ourselves in the Barri Gotic section.
For a photographer who loves architecture, this city did not disappoint. It was a slow walk on La Rambla and in the Barri Gotic as I had to snap a building, an unusual focal point or a piece of antiquity.
Signs and advertisements are also fair game for "Miss Snap Happy".
No knowledge of the native language while in Barcelona.....no problem. Many of the restaurants, pubs and tapas spots offer menus in numerous foreign languages. Food issues....no problem. It was all delectable. For those faint at heart and stomach, they even have good old American fast food.
The market on La Rambla was an exciting experience. Colorful produce, artfully displayed, beckoned any and all visitors to sample and ultimately purchase. A vivid memory was the melon display.....packaged to take and eat while milling about the market or as a snack on La Rambla.
Following our cruise, we spent a final day back in Barcelona. We ventured north on La Ramblas to a tapas restaurant and more Gaudi architecture.
I have to chuckle when I was first introduced to the works of Antonio Gaudi by watching a PBS documentary. His work seemed so strange that I was not even sure that I wanted to take the time to seek it out while in town. So much for first impressions......once seen, I became obsessed with anything Gaudi. We walked and walked looking for every piece of Gaudi architecture we could find. My one sorrow is that we did not have time to see his park--Parc Guell. My mantra when traveling is to always have some reason to go back.....I guess that would be to see the park.
Barcelona never sleeps. There is always a constant stream of folks strolling around...almost 27/7....enjoying the sights, museums, history, food and beverages. The perfect way to utilize a city.
I highly recommend visiting this fascinating city…staying as close to La Rambla as your finances will permit….put on your walking shoes…and go have fun.
P.S. If you need a travel book.....I highly recommend DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Barcelona. A nice pocket size guide complete with maps of the city, the subway system and guides to everything you would want to see and do.
© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser