(This is a post which I had prepared for a friend a couple of years ago….)
She wanted from me some recommendations for places to see in Barcelona. She’s young and she aspires for travelling. I believe that she’ll be a real traveller one day, she’s really idealistic for that…
So while I try to spend in peace the last hours of this year, I thought to prepare this small guide as a gift to my friend. I hope that what I’ll remember about Barcelona , this lovely Mediterranean city, will guide you my friend… It was good to get lost in the Mediterranean sun, even if these are thru words!
“Las Ramblas is the main street where you can walk and enjoy some street performances. Nearby here go to Mercat de la Boqueria, one of the central markets of the city, with plenty of smells of famous Spanish ‘jambons’, fish and cheese. If I remember well, it was built on top of an old monastery.
Continue on the Las Ramblas, and you’ll see the Music Museum and Opera where Montserrat Caballe, the famous opera singer had her debut. (You may enjoy the small museum shop too!). Have a coffee at the local cafeteria nearby!
You can reach the Marina if you continue down La Ramblas, where you can maybe enjoy some seafood in the closed hall there. In the middle of the way, you should stop and pay respect to the Statute of Colombus and especially to men and women who are the pioneers of their time!
By the way, you should taste some ‘tapas’ in local tapas bars. If you get a drink, one or two tapas plates are gratis. In some tapas bars, you can choose your plates and pay for each plate very modest amounts. Don’t forget to taste the typical ‘whole grain bread with tomato purée, garlic flavour and real olive oil. And I really suggest you to buy some olive oil, you will see the difference in the quality. And also try “paella” if possible with sea food. It’s good and you will like it probably if you know ‘Italian risotto’. ‘Spanish omelette'(omelette with potatoe ) is also worth to try.
Back to the streets, I remember that the district Barri Gothic is the oldest part of the city (the other oldest part is l’Eixample) where you’ll spend most of your time by strolling in the narrow streets, between local boutiques and calm ‘plazas’ in front of old churches. In this district you will see the Cathedral of Barcelona and the Church ( Santa Maria del Mar) which columns inspired Gaudi for his La Sagrada Familia.
Don’t miss Passeig Gracia, a chic boulevard where you will find many luxury stores (Adolfo Dominguez is one of my favorites!) and surprisingly the ‘Casa Batllo’ designed by Gaudi.
And, yes, this the city of Gaudi. You should visit absolutely Parc Guell, it’s a fabulous place, as if it’s from children’s tales. But also the unfinished La Sagrada Famiglia will show you how genious was Gaudi and how he was beyond his time. He’s the inventor of arches used in this church (before only Roman or Gothic style arches were used) and this is the tallest unfinished church of the world. (And it always reminds me a castle in sand done by a small boy!). If you have time, read the sad life story of this architect.
And if you’ll still have some time, go to Montjuic, the hill of the city where you can have wonderful views of the city and where I had, once, sweet memoirs of my youth (the last ones belong to almost a decade ago!)
Have a wonderful trip my dear friend, enjoy Barcelona!”