Barcelona is my type of city. Quirky, different, and the people have a rabid love for their football team. In a perfect planned out world I would have been in Barcelona for a FC Barcelona football game. However, it was not to be. Instead I toured the almost 100,000 seat stadium Camp Nou. The history and magnitude of the team and stadium was incredible. As a sports lover, the “Camp Nou Experience” was fantastic.
Again I ended up doing a self-guided walking tour of the city with recommendations from the people in my hostel. The beach was pretty good. The buildings and art were better. You could feel the quirkiness of the modern impressionist influence in the city. Of course Picasso was in Barcelona but so was Gaudi. It felt like Gaudi basically built the city. I went to take a look at the famous work-still-in-progress Sagrada Familia and it quickly jumped to the top of my favorite buildings ever list. Yes, I understand it’s not complete and may not be for another 20 years or more, but it just had incredible design and it felt so unlike everything else I had seen. It felt almost alive. One of the sides looked like its stone was melting in the smoldering sun and the classic straight lines and right angles were lost to curves and bends. I just hope it’s completed in my lifetime so I can have an excuse to go back and actually go inside. The line was a bit long and the price steep to make a journey inwards this trip.
Another big part of Barcelona is the nightlife. The crazy Catalans don’t even startgoing out until 1am. My hostel had free trips to clubs with VIP entrance every night and so at 1am I joined our fun group filled with Germans, Canadians, Australians, Americans and a Parisian to hit the Barca clubs. I won’t get into too much detail, but it reminded me of a Vegas club but with more beautiful people and the nights seemed to always end on the beach being harassed by beer sellers while watching the sunrise.
The next day I went and found some beautiful views overlooking the city from the castle on the hill (castles on hills pop up quite a bit in Europe…). Unfortunately, I also spent a lot of time at the Barcelona train station trying to figure out how I was going to get to Zurich on Friday. I’ll just say it was a lot harder than it should have been for a number of reasons. But, I figured it out and had to sacrifice my Friday to get there to meet our family friend Erica who was graciously hosting me during my stay in what is a naturally beautiful country.