My trip to Barcelona was a quick decision made while planning a month long holiday to London with my folks. I’ve been to other parts of Europe but never to Spain so Barcelona seemed an ideal breakaway to adventure out on my own and indulge my hunger for travel.
I departed London on a cold Monday afternoon and arrived three hours later at Barcelona’s El Prat airport. I was anxious having landed in a foreign city at night. Everywhere I looked, instructions were in Spanish and the locals I spoke to couldn’t understand English. I eventually found a taxi and headed to my hotel situated on the outskirts of the city. While driving through the streets, I got my first taste of the Spanish culture that fills Barcelona. This Catalonian capital does not sleep and the bustling continues long into the night. The energy instantaneously engulfed me and going to sleep felt like a waste of precious time.
My first few hours of day one in Barcelona were spent navigating their Metro system. I purchased a three day Metro pass and proceeded to get insanely lost. However, being lost proved to be the best way to see the hidden gems and rich history of the city. I stumbled upon buildings and creations that I certainly I wouldn’t have seen on a guided tour. I eventually discovered Las Ramblas, a long street lined with green trees that were picture perfect against a clear blue Spanish sky. I spent the rest of the afternoon browsing through Las Ramblas, nibbling from the La Boqueria food market and strolling through the surroundings.
In the evening, I headed to Camp Nou for a match between Barcelona and AC Milan. I walked into the stadium and was immediately amazed by the size and capacity. I took my seat up high and watched as events unfold beneath me, the stadium filled up to its capacity of 98,787. The teams emerged to the overwhelming screams from the FC Barcelona faithful passionately belting out their anthem (El Cant del Barça). I found myself captivated by their passion and wished I could join in their chanting. The match was enthralling, nail biting and very high paced. I watched as Lionel Messi entwined his feet around the ball and mesmerized the crowd with his skills. The night ended with a well deserved victory for Barcelona. I left the stadium filled with awe and gratitude, it didn’t take long for me to realise that I was witness to the greatest team of this decade and to the best player in the world currently.
After my enthralling first day in Barcelona, I wanted to take in more of the many wonders it has to offer. I woke up on a rainy Wednesday morning and set out to visit the Sagrada Familia, an Anton Gaudi masterpiece. The architecture left me astounded; each corner I turned to in the structure revealed a story. I left Sagrada Familia wanting more and made my way back to the Camp Nou for a stadium tour. The tour has everything to captivate football fans, the technology is beyond what one would expect from a football stadium tour. I enjoyed a few hours roaming the stadium and spent my afternoon browsing the official merchandise store. I headed out into the rain and back to my hotel.
The following morning I journeyed to Park Guell, another of Anton Gaudi’s works of art. Park Guell is a stunning park with nature nestled amongst beautiful structural designs. The park is bustling with tourists and made lively by the locals. On my walk through the park, I stumbled upon a local music band playing vibrant Spanish tunes coupled with comical dance moves. I spent my morning at leisure, hiking through the park and enjoying the spectacular panoramic views of Barcelona. I left Park Guell and made my way to the city centre, I wanted to get lost again, enjoy the narrow side streets and old buildings that fill Barcelona. I then found myself in the medieval Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. What happened next is a feeling that remains with me to this day. I came across the Barcelona Cathedral and upon entering the Cathedral I felt an instant spiritual upliftment that brought tears to my eyes. The enlightenment I experienced that day is what draws me to Barcelona and it’s this feeling that makes me light up when I hear “Barcelona”.
This city has been ingrained in my heart and soul. I felt at peace walking the streets of a city that captures every inch of your being makes you want to go back for more. For me, Barcelona has become my guilty pleasure and I will certainly be returning to indulge my addiction. Mention Barcelona to me and my face lights up instantly.
About the Author: I am a passionate football fan that loves travelling and incorporating football into my travels. I am also an animal lover and want to see them protected for many generations to come. Twitter handle – @deepa910