Colors of Barcelona
Barcelona was my entry point to Spain and frankly speaking, I fell in love with the moment I stepped in. There was so much to see and a plethora of activities to engage in. I had little time to spend there and keeping my duration in mind, I decided to cover the maximum of the city before leaving. On my arrival, I took a two-day unlimited metro and bus pass from the tourist information counter at the airport. It was not expensive, easy to use, and offered great connectivity to many places.
Barcelona offered a lot in terms of history, art, culture, beaches, and the delicious food. The city boasts of the architectural marvel of the Spanish architect Gaudi.
I started with the famous Roman Catholic Church La Sagrada Família, designed by Gaudí. It is huge structure and is difficult to miss. It has been under construction for quite a long time and is expected to finish in few years. As I entered, I was greeted with different coloured glasses on both sides of the main hall. I took a pre-recorded audio tape in English about the history of the church. The architecture of the church and its towers was worth admiring as I spent my time listening to the tape while I explored the different parts of the church.
Thereafter, I made my way to the Gothic Quarters which is located at the heart of the city. It is called so because it used to be the Roman village and thus has some remnants of its glorious past. The entire area was around 4 blocks with the narrow, winding streets that create a labyrinth. Walking in those narrow streets were a delight somehow as every turn had something new to look forward to. For that matter, the entire quarter was something I had never come across in real life.
As I walked in these lanes admiring the history and architecture that exists so beautifully in the city, I reached right in the heart of the quarters. There is the huge Cathedral with a small but stunning courtyard full of plants and oddly geese. At the end of the quarters are some good restaurants and bars to treat yourself while you relax and enjoy the surrounding.
For those who would like to indulge and experiment with their cuisine, Barcelona had a lot to offer in terms of some good restaurants, lively cafes, and endless options to treat yourself. And being a foodie, I had a great time in spite of being a vegetarian.
My trip to Barcelona would have been incomplete without visiting the famous and most beautiful street in the Spain, Las Ramblas. Famous and infamous for many things, you will find almost anything you wish for somewhere along the Ramblas, if not on Las Ramblas itself. There is an abundance of restaurants, cafes, sketch artists, live performance, flower and craft stalls, fashion shops and much more. The best part which I loved was the La Boqueria market, also known as Mercat Sant Josep, a world-renowned indoor market.
The moment I entered, I knew that I was in for a treat. The market was full of candies, sweets, fruits, spices, meat and fish products (Oh the food!). At the end of it were some bars which served delicious cuisines and amazing drinks. It was full of people and yet somehow everyone was able to reach their desired shops with no problem. I had a difficult time resisting myself from all the delicious food due to my shoestring budget but I did treat myself with the delicious confectioneries and juices before I went to explore the rest of the street.
I then made my way to the nearest beach/port area at the end of the street. It was a crowded beach but still relaxing to spend some time there. After exploring the city and gorging on the food, the best way to relax is siesta all day with its famous beaches and get a good tan and it was one good tan.
My visit to Park Güell was a bit unplanned. It was in Barcelona that I decided to give this place a try and was wondering how did I not plan for it earlier. It is no ordinary Park and boasts of the work of famous architect Guell. It was easy to reach there by metro, but the walk up to the park was a task in itself. The Park Güell contains amazing stone structures, stunning colourful tiling, and fascinating buildings. At the top of Güell Park is a terraced area where I got a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City. I could see La Sagrada Familia from there as it stood tall amongst other structure and was really hard to miss. The vibrant colours of the tiles are truly breathtaking and really gave that place a different look.
At night, I went to see the magic fountain of Montjuïc's. The magic fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. It was a good way to unwind as I found a comfortable area to relax and admire the beauty Barcelona is.
There are a lot of other places to explore and many good restaurants to treat your taste buds and indulge in fine Spanish cuisines. There are various walking tours to try different Spanish cuisines and explore the history and culture of Barcelona or Catalunya.
Though the time I spent was not enough to truly live the culture and beauty of Barcelona, it was a great start to the beautiful and one of my favorite countries outside India. After thanking my host for his hospitality and requesting for a photo which he happily agreed to, I reached the nearest bus station as it was time to bid goodbye.