This city was on my priority list of must-visit cities in Europe, but after spending a few days in Paris, I had less motivation to head over to Barcelona. But when I got there, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
I had no definite itinerary, so as soon as I arrived in Barcelona, I went straight to the famous La Rambla. I walked the whole stretch of the tree-lined promenade, sifting-through the moderately chaotic alleys, looking for whatever is interesting to eat, buy or take photos of. And in as much as La Rambla is just a very small portion of Barcelona, each structure and each turn has so much history; overflowing with beguiling character that will take a lifetime to uncover.
Barcelona is no Paris or Rome. But that is not to say that the city’s architecture is not up to par with those in Paris and Rome. To compare Barcelona to any other city in Europe is like comparing Oranges with a Zucchini. Barcelona is studded with Gaudi’s modernist architectural marvels which sets it apart from the other famous historic cities in Europe and perhaps the world. It is as if Gaudi had made Barcelona his one big canvas; a living masterpiece.
There’s more to Barcelona than just the other worldly architecture though. Much of is charm lies in it’s people, history and culture. All three are interlinked making the city uniquely Barcelona.
I’ve met this lovely couple (locals) Sergi and Regina. They were very kind to show me around Barcelona. They even took me, along with other couchsurfers one night to this place called Can Batlló in Sants. Can Batlló was a former factory complex that was originally built as a so-called “textile colony” back in 1878. It was said that one of the buildings “Bloc Onze” (Block 11) was to be demolished but the people from the neighbourhood fought for it and converted it to a social center where they can host activities from concerts to food bazaars.
People in Spain knows how to have fun. In Barcelona even more so. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with a few locals, and it was definitely a unique experience! That night, when we went to Can Batlló, there was some sort of “open mic” night in Bloc Onze where everyone there (I mean everyone!) can perform on stage. You can even bring your own instrument and play!
There were a lot of couch surfers who came that night and I was overwhelmed at the amount of interesting characters/people I was lucky to meet. We hopped from one bar to another and ended the night just hanging out at some alley with a bunch of locals just chillin’, playing the guitar and goofing around. It turned out to be an unbelievably fun night. In fact, I think that was the best night of my life so far!
You may see the photos I took from Barcelona in this photo album.