The following is a post by a friend who has visited Barcelona and wanted to share his experience with my blog readers. He’s a budding travel blogger so I’ve given him a shot.
Visiting Barcelona was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I was very impressed by this city, it is so dynamic and alive. People there seem to make the most out of every second of their lives, and this experience as a backpacker was exactly what I needed.
My main aims for the trip were to enjoy myself in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, to improve my Spanish, take in the culture and admire Gaudi’s masterpieces.
I’ve been studying Spanish for a while, but I didn’t seem to make much progress as I never had a chance to practice my Spanish in the real world, so I decided that a trip to Barcelona would be perfect for taking my knowledge of the language to the next level.
I started my preparations by choosing a place to stay in the form of a hotel, I didn’t fancy a backpacker hostel since I had a lot of expensive gear with me. To tell the truth it is not an easy task when you are on such a tight budget as I am.
After hours of searching the web I finally decided to book Alba Pension Barcelona, it seemed just perfect and not too expensive. It was only 20 minutes from El Prat International airport and it’s quite close to Liceu Metro Station. The hotel is next to Plaza Cataluna and Museo Picasso. I needed a good location like this, but What tempted me the most was probably the proximity to Sagrada Familia.
Sagrada Familia was the first thing I visited, the Sagrada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s an extraordinary Gothic architecture designed by Gaudi.
Gaudi spent the last years of his life working on this project but unfortunately when he died only a quarter of the project was completed. Everything in Sagrada Familia is symbolic, the entrances are said to represent the three virtues: Hope, Faith and Love.
The towers at Sagarda Familia display the words “Hosanna”, “Excelsis” and “Sanctus”. These words are written a number of different languages, including Catalan. Tourists may access the Crypt, Nave Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity towers. I got my ticket for this online before I left, but you can buy them at the site too.
Sagrada Familia however is not the only display of Gaudi’s work in this area, other places I wanted to see are Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and Park Güell. Honestly speaking I was more impressed by Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. I spent almost a whole day at Park Güell and it was fantastic.
Gaudi’s main interests were religion, nature and his affection for Catalonian culture, it’s plain to see his passion reflected in his architecture. People from all over the world come here to enjoy this beauty, and I’m glad to say that I was one of them!
Among the most interesting museums I visited in Barcelona were Chocolate museum, Barcelona Rock Museum and Wax and Erotica Museum, I also strolled through Las Ramblas, Passeig del Born, Port Vell, Passeig de Gràcia and went to the bar for a well deserved drink in Carrer Verdi. I think i lost a couple of pounds in weight walking around sightseeing!
During my trip I met a lot of interesting people and we are still keeping in touch on facebook and twitter, it was good to make some Spanish friends too. I did eventually improve my Spanish a bit, but I have a lot of studying still to do to make it better, I’m not quite fluent yet.
I could go on and on writing about how much I enjoyed my stay in Barcelona, because to be absolutely honest I fell in love with this city, and it’s ignited my passion for travel to more Spanish and European cities, there’s so much culture to take in, it could take more than a lifetime.