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This is part five in my trip report series from my July 2016 trip to Spain. For an introduction, see this post.
Thirteen years ago, in the summer before my junior year of college, I got off a plane from JFK to BCN (on Delta, paid for with my parents’ Skymiles), and started my first solo adventure, and my first trip to Europe. (I made my way from Barcelona to Valencia, then Valencia to Madrid. I then flew Spanair from Madrid to Copenhagen, where I was studying abroad.) In Spain, I stayed in a dirty hostel on a sketchy street, carrying my massive laptop, huge suitcase, and a Let’s Go Europe guide. I went to (and got freaked out at) my first sleazy gay bar. It was hot, crowded, confusing– and I loved it. I’ve been to countless cities and 37 new countries since then, but Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart, something I was reminded of when I returned – my third visit — as I strolled through the crowds of la Rambla, meandered through the side streets of el Barri Gotic, and gaped at the only in Barcelona architecture and design that made a 19 year old fall in love.
One thing about visiting a city like Barcelona for the third time is there’s a lot less pressure to see things, because you’ve already done them. So this post in no way reflects the “must sees” of Barcelona. I’ve been to la Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Casa Batilo, Park Guell, and Montserrat before, all of which I recommend. When I was 19, I had planned out every activity down to the hour, and made sure I saw everything I wanted to. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate a more leisurely pace, and the simple joy of wandering a foreign city.
There were still plenty of sights I hadn’t seen. Given that it was peak tourism season, it was great that I was able to buy timed tickets online for a few of them. On the day I arrived from Sitges, I had a ticket in the afternoon for the Palau de la Música Catalana, a concert hall built in the early 20th century by Catalan modernist architect Montaner. The ticket includes a guided tour and a brief movie about the history of the concert hall and was pretty enjoyable, getting up close to the auditorium and some of the funky design elements on the outside of the building. It is definitely a unique space. One of the coolest parts of the tour was getting to listen to the computer-controlled organ, a video of which I tried to post on here but failed.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
The Palau is a short wa...Read More