I’ve read tons of fairytales and I know that they all begin with “Once upon a time” and end with “Happily ever after.” Whatever the story is between those two sentences vary depending on the book. Recently I took a trip to Barcelona, Spain for work but the city with so much culture, so much life and so much energy, quickly swallowed me up and tossed me at the center of my own “once upon a time.”
Barcelona is so enchanting, so magical, so majestic with its mountainous terrains, vintage buildings and rich culture, that everyday I stepped out of my hotel room, it indeed felt like a fairytale. I think the shutters on both my phone and Samsung camera were in overdrive for the seven days I made Barcelona my home. From beautiful sprawling buildings, to roadside flower shops at every turn, the popular fresh food market, statues galore and branchy trees struggling to regrow the leaves blown away by winter’s fury, everything was worth a picture, even the horse drawn carriages that added a special touch to my fairy tale! For each day I spent in Barcelona I slipped on my glass slippers to hit the town like Cinderella, took magic carpet rides throughout the city like Princess Jasmine and painted with all the colors of the wind, just like Pocahontas.
Once upon a time, she fell in love with Spanish architecture – Upon arriving to Barcelona, I learned really quickly who Antoni Gaudi was. He was Barcelona’s most prized architect.Taking taxi rides around the city I couldn’t hep but take a photo of each building I passed. The designs were so elaborate, the details so ornate, but all the structures had a similarity; neo-Gothic art with Oriental technique. Many of the buildings we passed were designed by Gaudi and executed by the Spanish people who praised him for his genius. But Gaudi’s most famous work is the Segrada Familia (Sacred Family) Catholic Church that was designed in 1915 and is still being built today! It’s Spain’s most visited site. Barcelona’s architecture is so rich, so full of culture, so mythical and enchanting. Perhaps, here is where our favorite fairytales got their inspiration.
Once upon a time, La Boqueria stole her heart – I’d never seen cherries so bright, strawberries so red, bananas so yellow! Researching Barcelona before my trip I often stumbled across pages pushing La Boqueria as a must see. And it for sure was! La Boqueria oozes Spanish culture and plunges you in the middle of Barcelona. Aromas of fresh thyme and green pepper mixed with scents of tart kiwi and sweet grapes sat on my nostrils as I toured this rainbow. Everything had its section; several stalls displaying candy, nuts, fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and straight out of the ocean seafood.
Once upon a time the food left her speechless – Paella at Patron Restaurant, nippon burger, the meat from pig face, fried chicken skin with curry powder at Los Dos Palillos, steak and pumpkin soup at El Nacional! yummy! Tapas-styled bars run rampant in Barcelona as the small plate options are preferred in the Spanish culture. Whether we were at a dinner party, a tapas bar or a traditional dinner for two, the food was amazing! The photos will tell the story here.
Once upon a time she climbed Montserrat (Mountain) – There are mountains galore in Barcelona, but being able to go up into Montserrat was absolutely an amazing experience! From the churches, to the statues, the waterfalls, the up close and personal view of the rocks that build into the mountain was insane! It’s one thing to see the mountain from ground level, or from the plane, but being there at eye level was supreme. The multi-peaked mountain is home to Santa Maria de Montserrat, one of the most beautiful churches in Spain.
Once upon a time graffiti turned to art – At first I was insulted. “How could such a beautiful city be littered with graffiti?!” Colorful characters, airbrushed words and abstract designs were the faces of every other door I passed. But more and more I fell in love with the graffiti and soon realised that it was a part of Barcelona’s culture. The designs added personality to this city and provided a cool contrast for the rest of the city: modern art fused with colonial structure. And this is something the city is welcoming, giving burgeoning artist some shine in Barcelona.
Although this amazing trip has come to an end, I don’t think my love for Barcelona ever will. Because I will of course relive this European experience through these amazing photos and of course I plan to return, that’s the only way I think I will get my happily ever after.