If I could describe Barcelona in one word, it would be paradise. Barcelona is a mix between the eclectic and the historic, but very modern city that is famous for it’s fascinating architecture, speaking it’s own unique language, Catalan, it’s fabulous and vivacious people and an impeccable location on the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. When the Imagewest International Team arrived in Barcelona, one of our hosts, Mariella, picked us up at the airport to find an abundance of luggage, which occupied her entire Fiat car. We decided to take the metro to our hotel and were given an instant dose of reality. At first, it was very intimidating to navigate a vast city where most people do not speak the same language as you do. Every person that we asked for help was patient, friendly and helpful; which was something that I am unsure a busy American would do for a confused foreign tourist.
The Imagewest team visited many fascinating places while in Barcelona. We went to Antoni Gaudi’s breathtaking La Sagrada Familia Church that is still under construction and will be completed by the year 2026. We also walked down the buzzing Las Ramblas, a street that goes to the port through the very historic Barri Gotic district. We visited La Boqueria, a market that had a wide assortment of goods, displaying fresh produce, seafood, meats and cheeses. A fishy smell lingered throughout the market and as seafood was displayed on ice, fruits and vegetables were piled and organized, garlic and meat was hung from the ceiling. We took a stroll down the very chic Carrer Gran de Gràcia, shopping at stores like Jimmy Choo, Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana that were all out of my price range. In true Barcelona spirit, we also went to the Barceloneta City Beach and the Port Olimpico for some dancing.
So it’s official: I am in love with Barcelona. Not only was the city beautiful, but also the people had a sense of freedom and passion for life that was represented in their customs. I greatly admire the Spanish focus on spending time enjoying the day with family and friends and less on work, time and obligations. I think that often times we get caught up in the moment, sweating the small details and not living and experiencing life for what it’s worth. ! Gracias Barcelona, Hola Madrid!