by Erin Elaine
Click here to see complete gallery of pictures. Keep reading for the highlights, of which there are many!
Plaça Cataluyna, the main square in Barcelona. What a beautiful and cheery place!
Las Ramblas, the main pedestrian boulevard. There is one lane for cars on either side of the pedestrian boulevard. You can find tons here, from restaurants to souvenir shops to art booths to pet shops to flower shops. Very lively at all times of the day.
The Barcelona port. It felt so refreshing and soul-filling to finally see the water again! I think the ocean is one of the biggest things I’ve missed while living in Madrid.
Sagardi for a great tapas lunch! You grab whatever you want and they count the toothpicks at the end to calculate your bill. I had like 6 tapas and they were all delicious!
At Parc Güell, an architectural park designed by Antoni Gaudí. He originally intended for it to be a luxury housing development, though no one ended up buying any lots or moving in. So, it became a free park. It was very crowded while I was there. I usually don’t have any problems with crowds, but it was just an odd vibe. Las Ramblas was very crowded and Sagrada Familia was full of tourists, but this was just different. It was nice to see but didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The last picture shows the crowds waiting for a picture with the lizard. Notice you can’t even see the lizard there are so many people. I didn’t wait for a picture.
Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí. I didn’t go inside but I was mesmerized by the outside for the longest time! The first thing that caught my eye was the wonky windows. Then I noticed the skull-like balconies, then the vibrant colors of the building. Then my eyes were drawn back to the windows, and I noticed how much depth they have, with the mini pillars in front, and the overhang above. Then I noticed the intricate purple and blue glass at the tops of the windows. It was just so wonderful. And it stands out so much on the street full of square buildings with nothing but straight lines. It kind of emphasizes how plain most buildings are.
La Sagrada Família. One of the most visited buildings in Spain. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí and has been under construction since 1882. It is scheduled to be completed around 2025. Every single detail of this church is full of symbolism, from the height of the structures to the shape of the columns to the colors used in the stained glass windows. Gaudí meticulously designed this “church of harmonious light”.
It was unbelievable. I didn´t realize how gigantic it is on the outside. It is incredibly tall, and the tallest tower hasn´t even been built yet! One day I need to see the Sagrada Familia finished. I went inside and it was even more beautiful…
The inside of the Sagrada Família was unbelievably amazing. All the pictures and descriptions I saw beforehand couldn’t capture it. The stained glass windows bathed the entire place in light in a way I didn’t realize was possible. I love how the columns resemble trees and the ceiling resembles a forest canopy with light peeking through. There is symbolism in everything here, from the height of the columns to the shape of the columns to the colors in the stained glass and more. This place is truly a masterpiece.
Poblenou Cemetery, originally opened in 1775, destroyed by Napoleon, then re-opened in its current form in 1819. I visited 2 days after All Saints Day, when families go visit their deceased loved ones in the cemetery to pray for them, especially to pray for them to leave purgatory and ascend to heaven. The whole place was filled with fresh flowers.
This is a famous statue known as ¨El beso de muerte¨ or ¨The kiss of death¨. Very beautiful and haunting statue. It’s as if you can see the very instant the life leaves him, and his body droops as the angel of death holds him up.
Tons of flowers left for “El santet” or “The little saint”. He was a teenaged boy that died, and many people credit him for several miracles.
La Boqueria, a permanent market along Las Ramblas. It’s kind of like Pike Place Market, but it only has food booths. You can get ham, fruit, chocolate, olives, coffee, seafood, tapas, and tons more. It’s huge!
A view of the waterfront from Montjuic, a hill overlooking the city.
I had a lot of fun during my 3 and a half days in Barcelona! My favorite parts were definitely the inside of the Sagrada Família, and seeing the ocean. I’ll have to come back someday to see the Sagrada Família completed!
I cannot get over those stain glass windows! And Casa Batllo! I have never seen pictures of that building before I’m blown away
Isn’t it the craziest building? The inside and the roof are great too, I hear. Do you plan to go to Barcelona someday?
Great photos! I’ve lived here for a little over a year but haven’t been to the Poblenou cemetery yet. It looks fascinating.
It was! Old cemeteries fascinate me, they’re so beautiful and peaceful. I think this was the only time I was alone in all of Barcelona.
Barcelona is awesome, but I do agree with your other post and like Madrid more. Your photos make me wish I had taken the time to go inside the Sagrada Família, though, it was so crowded that we skipped it. Next time!
I’m glad I’m not alone in my preference! And definitely next time for the Sagrada Familia! There were some things I missed too, you always have to hope you will return. 🙂
Of course not. I think Madrid would be better for the long term especially.
What is it like being an American in Europe? Was it hard to get a visa to work there?
I suppose the two biggest things are the language barrier and the homesickness. I do know some Spanish so that helps but I’m not at the conversational level yet. I know I will improve through living here though, and all my work is in English.
Getting the visa wasn’t a piece of cake but it did work out in the end. It was a lot of paperwork, FBI background check, letter from your doctor saying you don’t have contagious diseases, and then basically it’s up to the Spanish govt to decide to approve it or not. If you’re a skilled worker and they need your skills you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Other countries might have different visa processes than Spain, I don’t know.