City Sunday: Eccentric Barcelona
“The haunting of history is ever present in Barcelona. I see cities as organisms, as living creatures. To me, Madrid is a man and Barcelona is a woman. And it’s a woman who’s extremely vain.”- Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This is a perfect description of Barcelona, the sunny energetic capital of Catalonia, Spain. This magnificent city is my favourite city in Europe so far. To describe it as quirky would be an understatement. In the city of Gaudi, quirky is but the norm. From the ever energetic La Ramblas still active at 4 am, to the jewels that are La Sagrada Familia, Guell Parc and Casa Battlo, the unconventional vibe is ubiquitous.
The food is another facet of this creative flair. From the gorgeous paellas simmered in fragrant stock and pure Spanish saffron to the long drawn tapas. Everything about the food is a dreamy experience that caters to all the senses. A long walk along the beach to watch the Mediterranean lazily brush against the sandy shores is a pleasure in itself. Grab a cold bottle of the local Estrella and the experience is heightened many fold.
Gaudi is another aspect of the city’s culture. The premier of Catalan Art Nouveu, Gaudi has left an indelible mark on the city. A visit to the Sagrada Familia is an absolute must. Casa Battlo is another awe-striking example of incredible thought and painstaking detail. A stroll in Parc Guell at sunset offers inspiring views of the city and the sea. Even here the eccentricity is not to be missed. It inspires a feeling of excitement and creativity within each visitor as they set about anticipating the next peculiarity of design and construction that wouldn’t have occurred to them in their wildest dreams.
Barcelona is like a vivid dream that you immerse yourself into and treat each surreal event like reality while you are in it.