When I first visited Barcelona, I only had 24 hours to dive into all its cultural wonders that it had to offer. After I dropped off my bags in the hotel room, I hit the ground practically running. I was determined to check as many sights as possible in 24 hours. At one point I even thought about not sleeping for 24 hours.
Well, I did find something along the way: Barcelona is small enough to be explored on foot, but big enough to let anyone know that can handle the buzz.
So, my first stop was at Park Güell. As I found out, that was the first day when the park started taking entrance fees. Just my luck. Well, I didn’t regret buying that ticket because the Güell Park is fantastic. I found out later that if I’d had taken the escalators to reach the park’s upper portion, I would have spared some money.
I’m really a fan of Gaudi’s work, so my next stop was at the famous La Sagrada Familia. Gaudi was commissioned to oversee this project only a year later after the construction begun. Although he worked at it until his death, the basilica was never completed. It’s a shame because of all these constructions, the charm kind of fades away and it reminded me about those sand castles I used to make on the beach.
From there, I hit the road again, this time I was headed to Las Ramblas. This famous street runs from the Barcelona waterfront at the Christopher Columbus Monument all the way to Plaça Catalunya. I could have easily spent the rest of the day here. I also found an amazing market, Mercat la Boqueria, boasting with fresh food, home-made pastries and fresh squeezed juices. As I was strolling around, I found a nice restaurant tucked into a small, hidden alley in the Barri Gotic Quarter. In its secret little courtyard I had a delicious plate of tapas…… well, not only one, I had to try them all. I regretted it when I realised that I couldn’t even get up, but it was worth it. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about the sangria that washed away all those yummy tapas.
After this experience, I rolled myself to the Metro. After a few stops I finally arrived to another Gaudi’s unusual work of art. Casa Mila is part of UNESCO and it’s currently home of a lot of art exhibitions and tours for the creative minds. The sun was preparing itself for a good night sleep, but I didn’t.
I took the road back to Barcelona Waterfront. I wanted to smell the salty sea air and take a stroll amongst those beautiful palm trees. There are plenty of things to do here, if you come during daylight. The place is home of the Barcelona Aquarium, Port Olympic, Catalonian History Museum and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Obviously, I got hungry again…. or I was just craving for some tapas again. Well, I found a restaurant on the pier that served tapas and paella. I enjoyed every single bite as I was watching the seagulls playing over the water. For the rest of the night I returned to Placa Reial to experience Barcelona’s nightlife. This place is well-known for the numerous bars and clubs and you can even make friends.
I really enjoyed Barcelona, therefore I decided to return. This year (2014) I’ll go back for one week and this time I’ll add Andorra on my visit list.
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