I finally made it to Barcelona! This city’s been on my wish list for a long time and I can report that the wait was definitely worth it.
Eight of us language assistants took advantage of the four-day weekend and took a short flight from Seville on Friday morning. Our reason for travel? Sight-seeing, a double birthday celebration and plenty of photo-taking…
On all trips so far I’ve been staying in hostels, however with eight of us it worked out cheaper to rent an apartment through Airbnb. We also thought it’d be nice to be able to leave our valuables safely in our own place (Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets) and enjoy the perks of our own kitchen and living area. Also, three of us had been slightly scarred from a night in a mixed dormitory at a recent hostel in which three middle-aged men snored perpetually throughout the night, one in the bunk above me, two either side. There was no escape and minimal sleep for the price of eighteen euros. This time, for just fifteen euros per night we enjoyed a lovely apartment in the Gothic quarter – it was perfect.
Barcelona is relatively easy to navigate and fortunately we were staying near one of the main streets, La Rambla, so we could access lots of metro stops and visit all the monuments really easily. Some highlights of the trip (which you will see below) were of course the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, both of which were as colourful and magical as I imagined. We also visited an amazing food market La Bouqueria, wandered along the waterfront and visited the fountain at Parc Ciutadella.
Something that I couldn’t photograph was the Picasso Muesum. It was in a really beautiful part of the city and the museum displayed paintings, sketches and sculptures in Picasso’s amazingly diverse styles. There was also a unique collection of photography documenting parts of his personal life. It was so impressive to see the variety of his work, his early paintings are SO different from his cubism phase, it felt like you were seeing the work of about twenty different artists.
We had the best weekend exploring the city. The only downside was the constant fear of being pick pocketed; you truly have to be so careful. Unfortunately one of our group, Marissa, got her bag (containing phone, iPod, money and PASSPORT) stolen whilst we were sat inside a pretty fancy restaurant. As a consequence, we experienced the delights of Barcelona’s police station at 1am and a lot of stress trying to cancel her credit cards and sort out her journey home. She handled it really well but it was not ideal and it definitely made me appreciate the safety of other cities in comparison. Fortunately, I managed to return with all belongings intact. I was the very definition of paranoid tourist and wore a my bag across my body underneath my coat. It looked like I had a deformed left hip but it’s better to be safe than sorry right?