I never meant to fall in love with Barcelona. Big cities sometimes scare me and this city was no exception. I was warned with the pickpockets in Las Ramblas and metro, overcrowded tourist attractions, super hot weather – meh! What am I doing going to this city anyway?!
Well, the first time I came to Barcelona was actually to tag along one of my friends. I stayed in her new flat where she shared with a Colombian couple. The guy was studying architecture and one day he showed us around some places in Barcelona. Not only did he just took us around but he also explained architectural background and interesting facts of some of the buildings we went past. How lucky was I! The couple also took us for a picnic in Montjuïc. Even though this hill, famous for its castle, is always crowded with tourists in the summer, we managed to find a quiet space with picnic benches and enjoyed the evening breeze while chomping down our sandwiches. I slowly started to like this city.
Then Gaudi happened.
To be honest I wasn’t too familiar with Gaudi before coming to Barcelona, but you simply cannot come to this city and ignore his presence. Everywhere I looked was his glorious works. I went inside the unfinished Sagrada Familia and was mesmerized by the whole building. I promise to come back once the church is complete (which is still a long time but hey a girl can dream right?!). I also visited La Pedrera, another of Gaudi’s work, where I imagined living in such a cool appartment!
My love affair with Barcelona continued the next summer. I visited Barcelona once more. My craving to see Gaudi’s Parc Güell was finally fullfilled (plus it was the last time getting inside the park for free – lucky me!). Although it was hot and full of people, I still loved it! Everything was “so Gaudi”, from the colourful tiles decorating the buildings and benches to the gingerbread-like house that reminded me of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel.
On my second visit I spent quite a lot of time lazing on the many beaches of Barcelona. This time I stayed with my friends who have stayed in Barcelona for a year during our study. They showed me some of their favourite spots in the city including La Paradeta – a delicious restaurant with the freshest seafood. Being an Asian girl, I’m used to having seafood with spices but in La Paradeta the seafood are cooked in its simplest form but it was so delicious that I couldn’t get enough of it!
As I was spending a week in Barcelona, I didn’t have an exact plan and I pretty much lazed around a lot. It was the perfect way to spend my time in Barcelona, it is a city to be enjoyed lazily and slowly! I also opted to go out more during the evening and night time as the weather was cooler. Opting to go out during that time didn’t limit the choices of activities. Barcelona is a 24 hours kind of city – there is always something interesting you can do anytime of the day! I particularly loved going to the open air cinema held in Montjuïc, the perfect way to spend time with my beloved friends.
There are still so many places I want to see in and around Barcelona. I think in the future there will be more visits to this amazing city.