I’ve heard of cities which are described as ‘colourful’ ‘alive’ or ‘vibrant’. It’s a difficult thing to quantify but the flamboyant Catalan capital city of Barcelona most assuredly falls into the category. Dividing the old town from the new, Las Ramblas, the three quarters of a mile long main shopping street, is filled with busy flower stalls, pavement cafes with their brightly coloured parasols and tapas restaurants that spill out onto the streets as their owners try to entice people in to try the paella and sangria. The purchase of some pieces of the brightly coloured tableware proved irresistible.
Totally enthralling are the street performers who sing, dance and even eat fire; it’s noisy but happy-noisy with the excitement of the most extravagant carnival. The wide street is crowded with tourists and fortunately traffic-free. I don’t like crowds but in exchange for the experience, I’d have to admit that in Barcelona’s case these were tolerable.
From Las Ramblas, the entrance to La Boqueria can be found. This is the most famous of the city’s markets and is bursting with a vivid array of seafood, fruit and vegetables beautifully and imaginatively displayed with both the familiar and unusual.
The narrow, medieval streets of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) are home to the the remains of the Roman city and are nowadays filled with restaurants offering traditional Catalan foods and a museum devoted to Picasso. Although born in Malagá, his family moved to Barcelona when he was a child.
The architecture of Gaudi is nothing less than awesome and many examples of his unique work are evident across the city, several of them holding UNESCO world heritage status. Love his work or hate it, you certainly can’t ignore it and no visit to Barcelona is complete without seeing Gaudi’s still to be completed Sagrada Familia. I think that perhaps the most asked question is …why?
The quirky detail is staggering and is as impressive inside as out. You’ll spend a lot of time looking upwards!
Evidence of Gaudi’s work is everywhere in the city. Casa Calvet and Güell Pavilions
It’s a while since we were there and with only a short trip scheduled it was impossible to see everything that Barcelona has to offer. A return visit is definitely required.