Two weeks ago my girlfriend and I headed out to spend a long weekend in Barcelona. It was a weekend lengthened due to the Reyes Magos festive day (January 6th), and an additional day of leave from the office. Since we decided to live in Spain, we had our eyes set to visit Barcelona at least once. Based on our experiences so far, we sure will visit this beautiful city again.
The city of Barcelona is quite impressive; featuring some lengths of beach, boulevards, narrow cobblestone streets in the Barrio Gotic (Gothic Quarter), photographic opportunities on every street corner, and some good food.
On the saturday we decided to join the Sandemans free walking tour on sort of a whim, so we just showed up at the meeting point where a few guides were already assigning people to various groups. Mainly splitting Spanish and English speaking attendees in separate groups. As our Spanish isn’t that strong yet, we decided to go for the English-speaking tour, under the bewildering guidance of Leon. The tour last about two-and-a-half hours, where we learned a lot from Barcelona and the Catalan people. He guided us through the Barrio Gotic and the adjoining neighbourhood of Born (pronounced with a low and smokey voice), and ended the walking tour with a brilliant poem summarising the history of Barcelona.
We had booked tickets for the Sagrada Familia already at home via their website, and had planned the visit for the sunday including a trip up to the towers on the Passion facade; it was well worth the visit and quite impressive in the morning. The sun entering the windows provides some cool and warm colours within the church. The museum and the church are worth a visit in my opinion, and not quite what you are used to when viewing a church.
We found the visit up to the towers less impressive, yet it provides nice views over the city from the Passion facade. Yet, if you’re looking for other views over the city of Barcelona you can visit Park Guëll or castle Montjúc, either place also provides a nice view over Barcelona.
Although Barcelona is a city filled with colour, the Barrio Gotic and other areas can also be appreciated in black and white, making some more modern artifacts, such as cleaning people or signs, less intrusive IMHO.