wanderlust wednesday :: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

The second installment from my most recent trip across the Atlantic.

Barcelona is different than the rest of Spain.  It’s in Catalonia, which basically has it’s own separate culture.  Many of the people don’t even consider themselves “Spanish” rather “Catalan”.  Barcelona has 2 official languages, Spanish and Catalan (which sounds like a mix of Spanish and French).  It has such a rich culture and is such a unique city in Spain.

One of my favorite parts of Barcelona is Barrio Gotico with its narrow cobblestone streets and buildings shooting straight up.  It’s the essence of the old city of Barcelona, magical.

What’s a trip to Spain without tapas?  I had tapas one night at a restaurant in Barrio Gotico.  Such a neat little restaurant.

This was one of my favorite places in the city.  The darker narrow streets of Barrio Gotico opens up to this wonderful open plaza called Placa Real.  It was a great place to people watch and relax.

Main cathedral of Barcelona in Barrio Gotico

Another huge part of Barcelona culture is the art of Antonio Gaudi.  He is the most famous and well known Catalan artist.  He drew inspiration from architecture, nature, religion and love for Catalonia.  His work is literally ALL OVER Barcelona.

Perhaps the most famous Gaudi work is La Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction today.  It was started in 1882 and isn’t set to be complete until at least 2026.  It’s such a sigh to see and photos can’t even begin to show the amazing structure.

There are going to be 3 facades.  The top photo is the nativity (chronicling Jesus’ birth) facade and the one above is the passion (chronicling the last week of Jesus’ death) facade.  The glory (which will depict the present and future glory of God) facade is still very much unfinished.

Below, is the inside of La Sagrada Familia, which look very much like a canopy of trees above.

Parc Guell is another Gaudi project.  It was his version of what a garden/park should be, carefully designing it to be peaceful and calm.

Below, is the dreamy, magical entrance to the park.

Gaudi also designed many buildings throughout the city, all worth visiting!

Barcelona has hills and the sea.  Perfect.

La Boqueria is the main market of Barcelona.  It is one of the largest and best in Europe.  What I wouldn’t give to have this huge market at my dispense every day.

Let’s talk a little more about food.  One of my favorite ways to experience a new place is through the food.  While I was in Barcelona, I took a little cooking class and learned the basics of making paella.  We took a trip to the market before we started and got fresh seafood (like basically caught that day and still alive).  I would really recommend doing something like this if you are in Barcelona!

We made an crazy amount in this huge pan.

Spanish hot chocolate is quite different than ours.  It’s very thick, like drinking chocolate, but you get a larger portion than you normally would.  It is just amazing and such creamy chocolate like you wouldn’t even imagine.  I drank my chocolate in my favorite place in the city, Placa Real.

Barcelona is such a great city to experience.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  It’s not true “Spain”, that’s more Madrid, but from what I’ve heard, Barcelona is just better.  Catalonia forever.

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