There are no real words that do Barcelona justice. The towering old cathedrals, secret alleyways, and gorgeous architecture. There is always music in the air and incredibly, we found this old city more romantic than Paris. Everything just breathes old magic that stays with you long after you leave.
My favourite memories of Barcelona wasn’t at any particular monument or restaurant. It was just us exploring the old streets and alleys laughing, fingers intertwined, the Spanish guitar in the air tugging at our heartstrings. It was breezy, sunny and we had not a care in the world.
I was spellbound by the old cathedrals and churches. It’s hard not to feel incredibly small and close to a higher power in a place with so much meaning and history.
The place was steeped in the such emotional intensity. The walls whispered the hopes, dreams and fears of people from centuries past. I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the presence of the greater power that heard and answered them.
Among the many unforgettable, deeply spiritual moments we had in the city was the first time I’d heard Spanish Mass outside this stunning church.
Cathedral de Barcelona
It was a clear, beautiful evening and the turnout was huge. There was even an extravagant parade all throughout the city centre with everyone in costume celebrating a patron saint.
Of course, all that left us pretty hungry. Which brings me to the amazing tapas we found pretty much everywhere. The quality of food there is wonderful. You could hardly go wrong with any of the cafes and tapas is perfect for daytime snacks. We must have stopped at least four times a day at these small tapas places, tempted by what was displayed in the glass counters.
My favourite has definitely got to be the octopus. Seriously, no one does it quite like the Spanish. Oh, and those amazing omelettes. Mmm..
We also had quite an unforgettable albeit rather shocking encounter at dinner one night.
Here we were sitting and waiting for our steaks at the square (most if not all the restaurants had outdoor seating which I loved), and this guy just ran up to our table and grabbed my phone right beside my drinking glass. Haha! We were totally shocked at the audacity of it all we barely had time to react before a very helpful waitress chased him down and got the phone back. The police came down and arrested him and I felt pretty bad about it. Needless to say, I kept my phone real close for the rest of the trip haha.
La Boqueria Market
Another highlight was visiting this world-famous marketplace featuring all kinds of amazing produce like ostrich and emu eggs, humongous legs of premium Iberico ham.
There was also an amazing variety of exotic fruit, and a wonderful selection of bars and small tapas corners we could kick back and have lunch at with a chilled glass of white. I couldn’t stop smiling and felt like a total kid in a candy store. Just look at the crazy selection of meats!
La Sagrada Familia
Of course, how could we miss this tourist favourite? It was definitely interesting and a real aesthetic treat. But somehow I couldn’t quite relate to Gaudi’s take on a place of worship. Call me a puritan.
While we were in Barcelona, Sean made such a brilliant choice of home there in the form of Hotel 1898 which was in a stunning 19th-century, colonial-style building located just a stone’s throw from Liceu train station.
We fell in love instantly with the interior that just transports you instantly to another era. Not to mention the excellent location and proximity to restaurants and key monuments. Definitely recommend it if you visit the city.
Barcelona truly has an incomparable charm. There is no truly no city like it. And if you do visit, I hope you fall madly in love like we did. With the people, the city, the amazing food and each other. (: