Barcelona: the “other” Spain

Independence supporter of Catalonia

In a previous post, I alluded at my trip to Barcelona as being one of the last trips obtained thanks to American express and Zuji. This trip was the occasion of seeing Barcelona, a facet of the “other Spain”, or if you prefer, Catalonia. If you remember, 2017 was quite agitated with a half-baked “referendum” organized by the Independence claimants to ask for a declaration of independence of the region.

We arrived a few months later, when the excitment had somewhat died down and we were able to visit Barcelona in an appeased atmosphere.

Arriving in Barcelona

B737 Ist to Barcelona
The B 737 we took from Istanbul to Barcelona.

The passage at the airport immigration was basically a breeze. We got our luggages and recuperated our rental car, a seat. Having some issue with finding the components of my gps, I had to drive using google maps and it was something of a troublesome venture.

Our hotel was very near to the Ramblas, the main Barcelona avenue. Despite there having been a terrorist attack last year, Spanish went along quite peacefully.

Mitchy enjoyed shooting some nice street photography with her brand new Fuji. And for a first-timer at it, she did shoot some nice pics.

Locals on a bench in barcelona
Locals sitting on a bench in Barcelona (by Mitchy)

 

Two strangers
Two strangers talk to each other in a park in Barcelona (pic by Mitchy)

Sagrada Familia Basilica

Our first goal was to hit the Sagrada familia basilica, in the center. To get there, we loitered in the center, then finally got onto a metro.

Barcelona metro
Barcelona metro

As you can see, metro in Barcelona is just similar to other cities, with a cosmopolitan population.

When we arrived to the Sagrada Familia basilica, the evening was already setting in, but it allowed me to take some lovely shots in the warm sunset light. I used my 20mm lens to shoot the basilica, but being a lens which is not exactly made to compensate for architecture, obviously the perspectives are somewhat elongated.

 

Sagrada Familia Basilica
Sagrada Familia Basilica

The basilica is the fruit of the imagination of the great Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi. Born in 1852, this genius of architecture was commissioned in 1893 with realizing this church. He completely changed the original design, and obviously, his genius made of a church a monument of human ideals.

Gaudi was also involved in the fight for Catalan autonomy. So, today, while Gaudi’s work define Spain to some degree, his creations are purely the creation of a free mind, with an exquisite inspiration from nature. As such, he is also a symbol of Catalunya.

We could not miss taking a pic of our alter egos, Cony and Brown in front of the Basilica…

Cony and Brown before the Sagrada Familia
Cony and Brown in Barcelona before the Sagrada Familia

I believe however, it was Mitchy who got the best shot of the Basilica.

 

Walking through Barcelona at night

Temperatures were ranging from 12° to 14° C during the day, and moving towards 8° C in the night. Nevertheless, Barcelona, like many European cities is an ideal city for strolling at night.

Thus, instead of taking the metro, we decided to walk back to the hotel.

While walking, we came across a shop selling Ham (the famous Spanish “Iberico”). This shop, “Enrique Tomas” sells original Iberico ham, which is made of pigs having being fattened on a diet composed of acorns (hence giving the meat an exquisite taste).

Iberico in Barcelona
Iberico, the delicious Spanish ham in a sandwich

The taste of that ham sandwich was unparalleled and I finally understood the speciality of Spanish ham.

We went back on foot from Enrique Tomas, walking through the streets of Barcelona (which seems to be pretty safe and perfect for walking).

We arrived on the “Champs-elysées” of Barcelona, the Paseig de Gracia. A long and wide avenue, it hosts many luxury shops, and of course, the main attraction, the Casa Battlo, of Antonio Gaudi.

Paseig de Gracia in Barcelona
The famous Paseig de Gracia in Barcelona

And it was our first time to see the Casa Battlo…. But telling you about our visit inside is another story.

Casa Battlo in Barcelona
Casa Battlo in Barcelona

 

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