Barcelona: a vibrant city full of unique art, diverse cuisine, and eye-catching architecture at every street corner. Every area of the city has a different feel, due to the medieval roots of the Gothic quarter and the modern, quirky style of architect Antoni Gaudi’s work.
Walking down those varying sidewalks, I felt right at home.
I went into Barcelona a total of three times during the trip. On the first day, a bunch of cousins and I took a bus from Sitges into the larger city with the collective objective of seeing the iconic Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.
The architecture was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, with detailed carvings in the stone and looming parabolic arches.The stained glass windows were definitely my favorite part, though, the colors refracting across the walls as the sun streamed through. They were glowing.
After seeing the church, some of my cousins and I headed out to grab lunch and explore the city. This was also the day that I got hooked on cold brew coffee, and just within this one day, I had two cups of it (trust me, 2am Arya that night would most definitely be feeling it). We migrated from the area of broader sidewalks to one where the streets were, in some places, practically an arm-span wide.
I stopped so many times to take pictures of those alleyways.
The next stop was the Arc de Triomf, which served as a place for us to rejoin with the rest of the family. Before this trip, I was not aware that there were more than one (meaning the one in Paris).
Continuing with the trend of being extremely tourist-ey, we headed over to Parc Güell, another one of Gaudi’s major works in Barcelona. By this point in the day, I was admittedly extremely tired and grumpy and ready to go home to sleep, but it didn’t stop me from walking around the shady grounds at least once. The mosaic work and curved structures will never fail to captivate me.
Later in the week, we headed back to check out Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Spain with a seating capacity of over 99,000. Though I do appreciate soccer and some other sports, I would definitely not consider myself a “sports person;” however, I’m extremely glad that I decided to tag along with the group to tour the stadium since it was pretty incredible to see a place that brings together so many people in support of a game. After seeing the actual field, we wandered around hallways filled with memorabilia and items from teams across the past 100 years. The cool presentation graphics were also a huge plus, since I really enjoyed seeing the awesome photos and videos.
The last day we spent in Barcelona was the day after we left the villa. The plan was to stay in a hotel in the city for that one last night and catch a plane home at about six in the morning, meaning that we would have to leave for the airport at around three. Fun stuff.
On that final day, three of my cousins and I took the metro and then the bus up to explore Montjuïc, a prominent hill in Barcelona. We stopped by the castle and the Olympic stadium, and spotted some cool structures that I actually don’t know the names of.
Afterwards, we went back down to walk around the city once more, enjoying the various plazas and the amazing views from some of the tall buildings.
Barcelona provided an overall very positive experience for me, and it’s the type of city that I felt at home in. Of course, I am biased when I say that San Francisco is currently my favorite city, but Barcelona with its endless art, stunning views, and quirky cafes and architecture has proven to be a close second.