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I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Barcelona, learning to love a city...

When I arrived in Barcelona is was early, I was tired, it was cool out, and it was cloudy.  My visit to Barcelona, while not bad, didn't start on quite the right foot.  It just felt like a city, but kinda short - as in short buildings.  But as I spent more time there the more city grew on me.  I guess it often works that way though.

I had met a woman on my flight who was going to be on my cruise through Cruise Critic, we decided to take a taxi together since our hotels weren't far from each other.  Much easier then taking the Aerobus and then walking 10 minutes to my hotel with my luggage.  We parted ways from there and I managed to meet another woman from my hotel that was on my flight.  We got to talking and ended up taking the hop on and off bus around the city.  It was nice to have company since I thought I would be alone for a lot of the cruise.  I was thankful I brought my fleece with me, it was cold on that bus!  It was also cloudy so Barcelona didn't get the chance to show its true colors, that happened when I returned to the city after the cruise.

But as time went on and I got to see all the different areas of the city - the gothic quarter, Montjuic, Barceloneta, Placa Espanya, Placa de Catalunya, and a bunch of Gaudi stuff, the city grew on me.  All the different areas seem to really complement each other, the city has a great flow to its architecture and several interesting buildings.

When I first walked around the Gothic Quarter I didn't really appreciate it, I think I was distracted by the thought of getting lost.  Also, when the area is quiet, it feels a little seedy.  It's made up of lots of little alleys and tight roadways and with the tall buildings there is often isn't any direct sunlight.  But, when everything is open and people are walk around, it's lively and inviting with shops and restaurants.  Granted, most of it is touristy, but there is a great vibe in this area, once you get past the fear of getting lost ;).  There are also lots of little (and occasionally big) open spaces for people to congregate, and for restaurants to have outdoor seating.  I don't think I appreciated this until I had gotten a feel for the city and could appreciate it. 
Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter
Barcelona is a great city, especially if you're interested in architecture.  I think it takes some time to get to know this city, for cruise passengers who may only have a day here they might not get a chance to see all that the city has to offer, but if you have the time to find the heart of the city, you will fall in love too.

Reminder: I can be found on Twitter @Travelingiraffe

Formerly the Athletes Village
Hotel Arts