Welcome to a new feature I’m starting called Wanderlusty Wednesday. Today I’m going to be stepping back in time to my second trip out of the country to Spain, focusing on Barcelona! (P.S. Most of my posts for this feature won’t be this long, but every now and then I might do a full-on, throwback city guide.)
What is Wanderlust Wednesday?
Before I jump into Barcelona, there are two reasons I’m kicking off this feature. Reason #1 is that Mary Kate over at Wanderlusty Writer has been posting Wanderlusty Wednesday features for a while, and I asked if I could do the same, and happily, she said yes. If you want to see last Wednesday’s post by her, she’s got a pretty dreamy poolside photo up on that edition.
Reason #2 is that I received my first email from a reader! This was so exciting for me, that someone who doesn’t know me personally liked my travel posts enough to write and ask if I had some on a place they were going! It turns out, I had been to a place this reader asked me about, but it was a while ago, long before I began blogging. So I figured it was time to dig through my travel archives, and my Wanderlusty Wednesday feature seemed like a great outlet to showcase some of my former travels.
Anyway, onto Barcelona!
Almost exactly seven years ago, I studied abroad in Spain for about six weeks. That summer kindled the fire of wanderlust that my first time out of the country, in Ecuador, sparked.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of Spain, because I lost my flash drive — with all my pictures on it — at a hotel just before returning home. (Yes, it was back in 2008 before smartphones, more storage space than you could ever need, and auto-backup to Dropbox. And also before I really started caring about the pictures I took on vacation.) But I did capture Barcelona, if with less finesse than I would have today.
And if you’re making me pick a favorite, Barcelona was the one I’d pick out of the ten Spanish cities I visited during my summer there.
The downside to my time in Barcelona is that it was too short.We only had two nights there, and much of that time was scheduled. To be honest, it was a blur. But I was struck by the beauty of the city, its passion for art, its dedication to quirkiness mixed with elegance. Barcelona had the most personality of any Spanish city I encountered.
Sagrada Familia: An Unfinished Masterpiece
The most standout thing I remember about Barcelona, and I have a feeling it would be the same if I went back and visited again, is the Sagrada Familia. This cathedral that Antoni Gaudí began working on in the 1800s is still under construction today. Much like most things from Gaudí’s imagination, it’s spectacular and unconventional, and not like any other cathedral I’ve seen.
Gaudi loves to take every day things and then twist them into something much more imaginative and unreal-looking. If you’re an admirer of the unique, viewing Gaudí’s many idiosyncratic works throughout Barcelona will be a real treat.
The Works of Gaudi: Casa Mila
The works of Gaudí are strewn throughout Barcelona: in addition to his cathedral, you can see museums dedicated to his work, houses he built, parks he designed, and more.
The Works of Gaudi: Park Güell
We also visited Park Güell, another Gaudí creation in collaboration with Eusebi Güell. We must not have had enough time here, because when I look up pictures of the park, I’m sure that I didn’t see it all, but I did see the Gaudí House Museum. I remember enjoying the park a lot.
Walking Down La Rambla
On my last evening in Barcelona, I went out with several friends, using the fantastic metro system, and we walked along the tree-lined La Rambla to the Port of Barcelona. I was familiar with La Rambla from reading Garcia Lorca, who said it was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.” La Rambla is also known for street performers, and we saw plenty of them in elaborate costumes. La Rambla is a great reflection of Barcelona’s breezy, whimsical, and artistic personality.
Barcelona will always be a place that I’m eager to return to, a place full of beauty and inspiration. Maybe if the Sagrada Familia meets its 2028 completion date, that will be a good time to return and see the finished work.
Thanks for stopping in for this first installment of Wanderlust Wednesday, hope to see you for many more!