Barcelona, Spain

I wish that we could say that we loved Barcelona. It is Spain.  Shouldn’t we love Spain?  Well, we didn’t love it.  We went to Barcelona so that Ryan could attend a conference.  I was just along for the ride.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice vacation for me.  I was able to sleep in a bit.  Go for a nice run in the mornings because the weather was beautiful, unlike Germany where I would have had to bundle up with gloves and ear-warmers.  It wasn’t a bad trip.  I can’t say we have ever had a bad trip together.  We always find a way to enjoy things together.  And, this trip was worth it for the weather, the wine and the tapas…
It may have been worth it for the baked Camembert alone….

We didn’t like that the city was somewhat dirty.  We are used to getting lost in the narrow side streets so common all over Europe but this time Ryan was warning me where not to go without him.  Most areas of the city just seemed a little too shady.  Being followed for a couple of blocks and into the subway didn’t make it feel any safer.  Thankfully, I saw police uniforms and walked toward them, which caused my would-be pick pocket to run the other way.  It’s not as much fun to explore a city alone after that.  Barcelona was not without it’s charms.  I loved the market.  Everyday, after I went sightseeing, walking the safer-looking narrow streets, sitting in the palm tree lined parks, sipping coffee in the cafes, I stopped at the market to get fresh fruit juice and lots of fresh fruit for breakfast the next day.

We enjoyed the pretty parks too.  There were a few nice parks in Barcelona proper but we took the subway, then a cable car up to Montjuïc to see a castle and enjoy the quieter parks.  Here we could see the local birds, which were beautiful up-close.  We sat in the ruins of an open-air theater, which is still in use today and just listened to the wind sweep through the leaves of the picturesque trees.

We didn’t love the architecture as much as everyone said we would.   I think you either love Antoni Gaudi’s work or you hate it.  Some of the buildings were interesting and very unique.  I spent some time just appreciating those but another example was Sagrada Familia Cathedral. After working on this cathedral for over 100 years, the Spanish decided fruit would be a nice addition to the peak of the steeples…. fruit!

There were also several protests while we were there.  Some more boisterous than others.  One of the calmer protests was this communist flag waving occurring in a random square.

Luckily, we left when we did because while we were en-route to Frankfurt, the airports north of Frankfurt were closing due to the ash plume from the Iceland volcano.  Shortly after we landed, Frankfurt was closed too.  The trip wasn’t all bad.  We enjoyed the evenings together… it’s always better when we’re together!

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