That Time I Was Back From Barcelona. Sadly.

It goes without saying, but I write this post in a state of heartbreak and sadness.

Because I’m sadly back home (and back to work) after an amazing week in Catalonia’s capital, and my heaven on earth.

Devastated.

My precious city!

My precious city!

As expected though, it certainly didn’t disappoint, and any of my pre-return doubts were quickly laid to rest by the sensational city that reminded me just why I love it so much!

Indeed I was having such a great time in the city that the only thing I had planned for my time there – making the day trip out to Sitges – got dropped completely. Sorry guys, I know that’s not impressive coming from a traveller running a travel blog! But what can I say? It was a passionate reunion with my beloved city!  Never mind it being the 4th one…

So what did I spend my time on in seriously sunny Barcelona? Well first and foremost it was a major photography binge! With it being the first time I’ve taken a decent camera over to Catalonia, I was damn well gonna make the most of it and snap absolutely everything I could feast my eyes on. Epic tourist here…

One theme I was keen to check out though was the various vistas of Barcelona from up high, which you’ll no doubt be able to see from several upcoming shots of mine. I took the chance to snap the views from up on Montjuïc, in the Teleferic, in Park Güell, from the MNAC, from Barcelo Raval Hotel’s 360° bar…

And best of all, the list was rounded off by a brand new experience – Checking out the epic vistas overlooking the city and Catalonia from Tibidabo. I’d never really had the time to get up to the hills above the city before, but this time I took the opportunity to hook up with some of the crew from the hostel and check it out with them. I couldn’t recommend it more, particularly on a clear day when the views are stunning, and can stretch to almost 70km away!

It might not be Rio, but it's still epic!

It might not be Rio, but it’s still epic!

And hey you even get to ride up on a tram – Just like Hong Kong!

It’s safe to say I lucked out with the weather big time during my stay too, what with temperatures still being pretty damn warm. In fact it even stretched to 30 degrees on Friday/Saturday (according to the street boards anyways). It certainly felt warm, as I ended up requiring a couple of showers each day, and I was pretty damn relieved to have a cooler, slightly damp day on Sunday. I definitely didn’t need to take that jacket in hindsight though, and it was the perfect trip for squeezing a little bit more sunny weather out of my summer before I landed back in the damp, dank UK. Urgh…

The flip-side to the sunny weather though was that I found the city rather busier than I had expected to. I thought the term “shoulder season” would mean less tourists and guided tours hogging all the pavement space on every street – rich coming from a tourist myself I know – but lo and behold September is one busy time for BCN. Whilst it was ever so slightly less rammed than my visit of last August I definitely didn’t expect numbers like this. I guess I lucked out by experiencing a quieter city on my first few visits, and may well make my next trip a winter one. Like December maybe…?

Like this busy!

Like this busy!

One other aspect I was also interested to experience this time around was just how much momentum the “independence for Catalonia” movement was gathering. It’s a shame I arrived really late on “Diada de Catalunya” (Catalan National Day) as I missed the historic “Via Catalana”, which was formed by patriotic Catalans linking hands to form a human chain stretching for 400km along the region. Whilst I did see masses of Catalan colour bedecked citizens leaving the streets and travelling on the metro just as I arrived in the city centre, it would have been good to see the movement in action that day.

Despite missing the main event, Catalan colours were noticeably being displayed louder and prouder than ever before all throughout the city, and it’s clear there’s a real groundswell of support gaining momentum for independence from Spain. I wouldn’t claim to understand the politics properly at all, but it’s a very interesting subtext to my favourite city. Will it come to the point where I’m no longer visiting Spain when visiting Barcelona? I wouldn’t be surprised…

Catalan Graffiti on Avinguda Paral·lel

Catalan graffiti on Avinguda Paral·lel

On a lighter note, one other aspect of Catalan culture I was delighted to stumble across was some examples of the traditional dance – the Sardana. A wander through the awesome streets of the Barrí Gotic on a Sunday lead me to several showings on Plaça Nova, which I was delighted about as I’d always managed to miss these before. And it’s always good to see a bit of local culture still existing in the heavily commercial centre.

dfd

Sunday Sardana dancers!

Oh and I almost forgot, but I also finally got round to spending some time in the awesome El Born district at last! Having only been able to wander through it on previous visits, I saw that I’d been seriously missing out! With some of the coolest bars, quirkiest boutiques and quite possibly the best burger I’ve had in a long time (kudos to you PimPam Burger!), this area really had it all! Argh get me back there…

Having raved about all the positives though – and there were oh so many – there was one aspect to my trip that I suddenly realised I really wasn’t enjoying anymore. It’s not Barcelona (of course!), but another word beginning with “Ba…”. I seriously hope it’s only temporary, but more on that in the near future…

As it is though the Barcelona dream is over for another short while. Yet again it’s proved itself to be the city of my dreams, and yet again it’s left me devastated to leave. Even on my 5th visit I discovered so many new aspects and angles… It truly is the city that keeps on giving! And there’s no way I can wait another year to return.

So I’ll be back in a few months! Hasta luego Barcelona…

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for plenty more on my latest Barcelona adventure.

Anyone else off to Barcelona before the end of the year? What are you looking forward to?

Advertisements

9 responses to “That Time I Was Back From Barcelona. Sadly.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns | That Time In·

  2. I live in this lovely city! Next time you come here, leave a comment in ROCAVENEN and I will show you the city from the point of view of a native citizen! Kind regards from the sunny BCN!

    • ¡Hola! Y gracias por su comentario. Sería genial para conocer la ciudad con una ciudadano. Es posible que volveré antes del fin del año, pero te informaré. 🙂

      Gracias por su oferta, ¡y disfruta Barcelona!

  3. Pingback: Five Photos From… Barcelona – Up High | That Time In·

  4. Sounds like you had a great trip! I’ve never been up Tibidabo after 2 years in BCN (the shame!), but it looks incredible. PimPam burgers are pretty tasty, though I actually like Kiosko’s better.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your Barcelona adventures!

    • Thanks Jess! Yeah it was ace thanks, never lets me down 🙂

      Ah I’m surprised you haven’t been up there. Bit of a trek admittedly, but well worth it indeed. I’m yet to try Kiosko actually. If they live up to your description it’ll be like completing the holy trinity after trying PimPam and Bacoa’s burgers haha!

      Yep plenty more on the way. And best of all I may well be back before the end of the year too… 😀

      Hope you’ve had/are having a good vacation!

  5. Pingback: That Time I’d Had Enough of Budget Backpacking…? | That Time In·

  6. Pingback: That Time I Recapped My 2013 | That Time In·

Have your say...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s