Wandering the Neighborhoods
Meandering through the streets of Barcelona, the city definitely felt like a cousin of Alicante – distinctly Spanish – but much, much bigger. Moving from one vibe in one neighborhood to a completely different feel in another vaguely reminded me of New York City. From El Barri Gotic to Poble Sec to Eixample to Gracia, the changing scenery kept us guessing about what we’d find next.
At some points in the Gothic Neighborhood, the streets were so narrow I could almost stretch my arms across and touch both sides at once!
It seemed like you could be transported from one world to another just by turning the corner! Another reason to feel like Barcelona is a strange land? The default language in Cataluña is Catalán, not Spanish. Most signs featured Catalán prominently with English and Spanish as secondary translations beneath.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Weltz
During one part of our wanderings, we hit the port, then strolled along La Rambla del Mar and headed down the Moll de Bosch i Alsina before dipping our toes in the water at the beach. (Yes, in February!)
For those that like to walk, there’s plenty to see by getting a little lost in Barcelona. Hopping on and off the metro makes it easy to cover more ground, too.
Wandering the City Sites
Adding to the big city feel of Barcelona are some of the more famous and popular landmarks that break up the residential areas.
Arc de Triomf, photo courtesy of Daniel Weltz
Me: “You cut off the top of the arc!”
Daniel: “You didn’t jump high enough!”
Barcelona Cathedral, photo courtesy of Daniel Weltz
Wandering the Parks
Even the parks here seem grand!
Montjuic is a sprawling park that includes, among other things, a fortress, the 1992 Olympic stadium, and one end of a cable car that was unfortunately closed for maintenance when we went there.
Enjoying the views from Montjuic, photo courtesy of Daniel Weltz
A metro line will get you most of the way up, but it’s still a hike. At its peak, the views of the port on one side and of the city on the other were enjoyably sunny.
For more musings on Barcelona, see Part 2.