Wherever B.H. and I go, we walk – with two exceptions. The most notable was in LISBON, where I met my old adversary the hills. Don’t get me wrong, there most definitely was Lisbon walking, but it was of the downhill kind, otherwise the famously free and circuitous Tram No. 28 filled the gap.
The other exception was Saigon, where the heat was so draining on our walk from District 1 to Cholon, that I slipped out of character (I like to think), and hailed a taxi with a don’t mess with me attitude.
Luckily on the streets of Barcelona the weather was Goldilocks perfect – not too hot, nor too cold, and just right for walking. When I think of Barcelona I remember Gaudi and Gothic highlights for sure, but just as readily I remember the everyday sights from the Streets.
On arrival in Madrid after 6 days in Barcelona, B.H. discovered the memory card in our good camera (his) had failed and we were left with my “special” brand of point and shoot photographic memories. They were of random events and views that caught my eye and were quickly snapped, but were only ever meant to compliment our “proper shots“.
The afternoon we visited the interior of Sagrada Familia my camera battery had expired after a busy morning, so I thankfully accepted B.H.’s offer to use the good camera and took at least fifty photos.
Oops. Our subsequent discovery meant we then had No Sagrada Famila shots of soaring ethereal tree like pillars in the most stunning man made space imaginable. I thought the exterior was spectacular from afar and awful up close, but the interior was a masterpiece of Gaudi brilliance. The loss of those photos was and is a huge disappointment to us.
When I think of Barcelona, I think Bracafe, a chain of cafes/bars that we only found in the Catalunyian capital. While they were a chain, their coffee was full of flavour and smooth and the cafes themselves displayed individuality. Our local had a polished dark timber bar at the front where some locals took their shots standing, tables for two down the side of the bar culminating in a discreet room at back (clandestine liaisons come to mind) and an old world charm. Street side elderly ladies sat at tables, to catch-up on coffee and news after their morning walking of the dog.
We were told to request Cafe Cortado – a shot of espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk. Cortado comes from the word cortar – to cut. Our waitress brought the warm milk to the table as she was positive we would want more than just a cut of milk. Cafe Con Leche was a milkier version of Cafe Cortado and I am not sure which category mine fell into but it was always superb.
Early one morning we wandered down a different street on our way to Las Ramblas and came across a basketball game.
Spain’s style of decorating buildings is refreshingly different, and it is not just the famous Gaudi-esque ones that differ.
Barcelona is good at mixing it up. A lot of the Old and a little of the New. This photo was taken in Catalunya Place.
What I really liked was how the sombre, old world feel of the Gothic Quarter was counterbalanced by the bright spontaneous feel of Port Vell and Barceloneta, the closest beach area to the city.
Once an ugly duckling, Barceloneta was transformed for the 1992 Olympics, when the beach was topped up with golden sand (rumoured to be from the Sahara) and imported palm trees, with beach bars or “chiringuitos” adding charm to the mix. Some people consider the sprucing up of Barceloneta played a big part in the success of those Olympics.
When the sun shone, it was most definitely the place to be.
I did not have to search far to find character in the streets and the Barcelonés.
I hope you have enjoyed my impressions of Barcelona.
This post is linked to BUDGET TRAVELERS SANDBOX FOR TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY.