This was my second visit to Barcelona. The previous visit for business purposes (here) so I had very limited time to walk around. This time, it was different. Four days only, joined by friends and my kids, but we had plenty of time to walk around and soak in the city mood.
Barcelona is a unique city. Once the world center of anarchism and the birthplace of the greatest in 20th century art, it combines the modern with classic, form with improvisation, good weather with cheerful people.
Home to the ingenious architect Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona has arguably the most interesting city architecture on the planet. I could not agree more with this: “Bold, brash, colourful, distinctive, harmonious,varied and unique are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing Barcelona architecture. Barcelona has successfully blended the old and the new in a way that makes this city simply breathtakingly beautiful. There is nothing more enjoyable than strolling around the streets of Barcelona and taking in the atmosphere that radiates out from the architecture.”
Besides the famous Sagrada Família – construction commenced in 1882 and is still unfinished – and the better known Gaudí creations, there are many other interesting buildings to visit. Most impressive is the the diagonal facade off all corner building to form an open space in the city junctions.
The citizens of the Catalan capital take advantage of the wonderful weather to flood the streets of the center on a daily basis. There is nothing more entertaining for a photographer other than mingling with the city crowd.
As any major European city, Barcelona hosts a myriad of street artists. Music, mime, peinture, they all have their place under the bright Catalan sun. It helps that the population is predominantly young and that the region has a deep and long cultural history.
One cannot visit Barcelona without tasting the local delicacies in the numerous tapas bars all over the city. The concept is rather simple: take rounds at the bar, select from the rich variety of food on toast bread and in the end, count the toothpicks to figure out the bill. Once you think you are full, most certainly a waiter will come around with a fresh tapa that you have to taste.
I reached the gastronomical peak, in a humble tapas place in Barceloneta, where I devoured the most tasteful prawns of my life.
Once a poor, dirty neighborhood next to the city harbour, Barceloneta was transformed for the 1992 Olympics into the city’s promenade. An excellent example of how money spent for sports fiestas could positively affect a city.
Barcelona hosts one of the best aquariums. The most impressive feature is the huge water tank with the glass tunnel, which enable the visitor to walk under sharks and other big fish. Must see for kids and grown ups alike.
Do not leave the city unless you visited the food market. Noisy, colorful, sometimes overwhelming, it is the best place to taste jammon with beer.