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Hola! Barcelona!!!!

July 17, 2020
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In my wildest dreams, also, never had I thought that I would get an opportunity to visit and experience the Spanish city of Barcelona. However, as the saying goes – “The only thing you can expect in life is the unexpected.” Well, it wasn’t a great start, with the jetlagged mind and body, further loaded with the stress of delayed luggage, we somehow sailed through endless wait of 5 hours at the airport. Oh yes, realized one thing that if you really wish, then you can be happy during your testing times – which we did to our surprise! We waded our way to our apartment while communicating with the cheerful cabbie about an early morning pick up for return. Our hearts were filled with joy with the sight of a beautiful sunny day, bright streets, and our apartment at Marina area overlooking the stunning monument of Basilica of La Sagrada Familia….

DAY 1 – With loads of curiosity and excitement, we take Hop-on Hop-off bus (the best way to explore Barca but, of course, the slowest and reach Parc Guell (Park Guell)! Architecture in Barcelona is considered as unique, one of the best, disputed though special in the world and of course Europe! And it is all by and about the Great Antoni Gaudi I Cornet!!! One just wonders how an individual can be a creator of so many marvelous, humongous, and exotic structures (monuments), coming back to Parc Guell – the UNESCO World Heritage site. It houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudi’s house. Most buildings in this garden complex have ‘Trencadis’ – surface covered with irregular ceramic pieces.

DAY 2 - Basilica of La Sagrada Familia – Most famous landmark of Barca… It is under construction since 1892 and expected to be finished in 2030. It depicts the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture & façade sculptures. It is well worth taking an audio tour while climbing one of its towers, providing a unique view of Barcelona is an experience to remember. Hmm! Many such landmarks like Casa Batllo, Casa Calvet, Cascad Fountain, Park de la Ciutadella, La Pedrera, and Casa Vicens cannot be explored in 3 days stay but leaves you mesmerized just while passing through…

Famous walk at La Rambla (Street) and beach promenade make the trip to Barca priceless and worthy! On top of that, shopping at some world-class brands alongside and street shops gives you an equal amount of joy and satisfaction.

DAY 3 – Though marred by incessant rain throughout, torrential and droplets alternatively did not hinder our plan to visit the “Camp Nou.” For a passionate football guy, which my son is, I guess it arrived to give the feeling of the atmosphere of the rain-laden Football match. The disciplined, articulate (especially Audio info) and a detailed stadium tour take you to a different world. Official shop cum museum takes you in a different world, and you cannot leave without buying something as your prized possession.

While returning to our apartment, it was such overwhelming feeling – being Diwali (Laxmipujan Day), buying some souvenirs from the street side shops cum Supermarket’s (most shopkeepers being Indian) and Puja being performed made me wonder as if it was for us not to miss Diwali @ Home!!!

Barcelona trip was full throttle and an experience of a lifetime. It leaves you craving and calling again with both hands to listen to HOLA!!! AGAIN!!!

Author
Amit Bhide