This summer me and my friend decided to leave our jobs, studies and other duties for a while and fulfill one of the long-standing dreams. We packed our backpacks and started a three-week trip around Europe. Our first travel destination was Spain.
Probably, It sounds trivial. We all heard about Gaudi’s works so many times. Nevertheless, I couldn’t even imagine how great they are. Let’s look at the most famous one —La Sagrada Familia temple. Almost every traveler who had been to Barcelona has a photo with this Basilica on the background. But none of the pictures could show the real dimension and power of this building. It looks different from each side. You will see a new style, new theme, new story at the every corner. The most amazing thing that altogether It shows an incredible harmony. The Basilica La Sagrada Familia is so huge and magnificent that you can’t even understand how It might be placed in the head of the one man.You feel the same near every Gaudi’s work. Separate houses on the streets or fairy Park Güell — everything is exciting.
Walking around Barcelona you cant even take a break from rapture waves. Beauty is everywhere. Aesthetic delight is a permanent feeling in this city. Doesn’t matter which part of Catalonian capital you are in. Fabulous Gaudi’s works and small houses built by unknown architects are equally glorious. Wide La Rambla promenade or narrow streets in Gothic Quarter? Be sure, you’ll enjoy both! Cosy and gorgeous. These are two words describing Barcelona.
Every time I’m visiting a new city or country I’m exploring locals. I like to notice differences and similarities of people from other cultures, nationalities and places. When I arrived in Barcelona I immediately felt a specific atmosphere of this city. I caught hot energy coming from local people. It doesn’t depend on age, gender, social status e.t.c. It’s just a distinctive feature of Catalonians. People are very outgoing, creative and open-minded. They are as sunny as the sky above them. They don’t hesitate to dance or sing in the middle of the square. Who cares if it makes you happy?! So easy for them to start talking with strangers. Men and women simply pick up each other. Moreover, Barcelona is filled with creativity and art. People are performing everywhere. There is an artist finishing a new picture just behind the corner. Someone is playing guitar next to him… There is a non-stop festival of art covering the whole city.
No boring museums
There are a lot of different museums in Barcelona. If you want to learn more about the Spanish and Catalonian culture you could visit Barcelona City History Museum, National or Picasso museums e.t.c. However, Barcelona is already like a huge open-air gallery. That’s why I advise you to pay attention at small galleries and museums of contemporary art. This is a nice way to find out something about the modern Catalonian culture and feel the atmosphere of this city. Moreover, these places are good to relax and just have fun! Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Museum of Illusions — these are at least three must-see places.
No, we are not shopaholics. Since we had only 5 days in Barcelona we weren’t going to waste our time on shopping. However, during our long walks around the city we found so many lovely small clothing stores! We haven’t remembered their names. Maybe they are unnamed at all. But these vintage shops became a remarkable part of our journey. These stores are full of cute handmade clothes which mostly have only one size. Low prices, good quality and possibility to have exclusive (even if it’s not branded) cloth — yeah, we couldn’t resist and bought a couple of dresses!
If you’re keen, here are two places where you can find this kind of shops. There are at least 3 stores in Gothic Quarter. One shop was found not far from the Park Güell, as well. Of course, there are more stores all over the city. So just enjoy Barcelona, look around and you will surely find one.
Neighbourhood of urban and natural
Barcelona is bound in architectural sights. After a couple of days, we were already overfull of emotions. That’s why we decided to spend the last day of our journey in the countryside. Fortunately, we found an amazing place not far from the city. Our choice fell on Montserrat. This is a rocky range in 50 km from Barcelona. It took about two hours and 31.80€ to get there. We bought Trans-Montserrat return ticket which included a train from Plaza de Espana to Aeri Montserrat and a cable car from that station to Monistrol Montserrat.
On the top of the mountain you can visit a museum and monastery, have a nice dinner or book a suit in the local hotel. But the best way to enjoy your time is walking in the mountains. A path is not too tough, so it’s easy even for children and elderly. If you’re confident enough you could reach the top of the peak and discover an exciting view. Wide green forests, blue sky, fresh air… Only tiny orange roofs far afield remind you about the closeness of the city.
We left our flat early in the morning and came back in the evening. We returned very tired and absolutely happy. No matter how long you are going to stay in Barcelona, a trip to Montserrat will be a perfect ending for your journey.