Barcelona was the final destination in our Eurotrip – yes, after recapping for over a year I’m almost at the end! After close to four months on the road and moving around every couple of days, we were ready for a bit of rest and preparation for our re-entry back to home and our everyday lives. We spent 10 days in Barcelona, with only a few touristy activities and a fair bit of lazing around the apartment we hired through AirBnB. And what an apartment!
Set up in the hills, a bit of a bus ride from the city, the apartment looked like a regular two-storey house from one side, but a steep drop and amazing view on the other side makes you feel like you’re at the top of a high-rise building. Huge glass windows on that side and the rooftop made the most of the location. We did initially make the mistake of catching a train to the bottom of the hill, then walking up – on Google Maps it looks like a short distance, but it was a long and steep hike all the way up with luggage, which was somewhat heavier by that point than when we had started! If we had a shorter amount of time in Barcelona I think the 40 minute bus ride into town would have made this place less desirable. But as a little haven to relax in it was perfect. We ended up cooking most of our meals at home, and enjoying them with a beer whilst gazing out the window. Not a bad way to end the trip.
I spent a bit of time exploring the surrounding forest and paths in the El Carmel area, which seems to be a favourite spot for people to have a picnic and enjoy the view on a sunny day.
Located a fairly short walk from our apartment is the bizarre but Har Vokse incredible Park Güell, designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Apparently the idea was for the park to become a luxurious housing site for the rich and eccentric, but when it was completed there were no buyers other than Gaudí himself.
Park Güell is now a municipal garden, and a gorgeous showcase of Gaudí’s work which I think feels very ahead of his time. The bright colours, organic but unexpected shapes and intricate details feel like something out of Alice in Wonderland. We did a walking tour viewing some of Gaudí’s work in central Barcelona, but after the incredible Sagrada Família, Park Güell is my favourite. It helps that it’s free to enter!
Probably the highlight of our stay in Barcelona was going to see a soccer (or football, if you’re not from Australia or the US) match at Camp Nou football stadium. As it happened the match fell on our 9th (dating) anniversary – a bit of an unusual way to celebrate, but I’ll take it! The Boy is a big soccer fan and especially likes the Barcelona team, so there was no way we would have missed it.
Barcelona played Getafe, thoroughly outshining them with a score of 6-1. I think I went to buy a drink at one point and missed not one, but two goals. Of course the stadium was near filled with Barcelona supporters, passionate in both their cheering for their team and cheering for the independence of the community of Catalonia. The man next to us was teaching his young son the chants, which were mostly easy enough for The Boy and I to follow along with. Even if, like me, you don’t really have much interest in watching sport generally, the atmosphere and energy of watching a live game with such dedicated supporters is an experience worth having.
Okay, I will have to stretch this out to a Part Two so this one doesn’t become too full of photos! Coming very soon…