I am a creature of the sun. That is definitely the prevailing feeling I’ve had while frolicking around Barcelona. Why, then, I spend the bulk of my time in a country known for its rain and cloudy skies is a question I cannot answer.
I remembered liking Barcelona more than I have so far on this trip. That’s the truth. While I have enjoyed the tapas and sangría as much as I expected, it is a lot more built up and busy than I remembered. This is where I wish that I had more time to hop around this beautiful country to find the places with more chill and fewer main roads.
The Gaudí has been as good as I remember, though. The Sagrada Família was as imposing and gorgeous and intricate as I recalled from over five years ago, as (hopefully) you’ll see down below. I think it might be one of the most impressive things in Europe. Jake and I found ourselves already planning to return when the construction is finally finished, supposedly in 2026.
The stained glass in the basilica is something that must be appreciated in person, as doing it justice with a camera is exceedingly difficult. Just know that in all of the photos below, the stained glass is about a thousand times more beautiful than it appears here.
Otherwise, I have been enjoying the colours of Spain. I find cities more of a challenge to photograph, as I’ve already discussed at length on this blog, but I have enjoyed taking photos of Barcelona’s graffiti, plentiful orange trees and fresh fruit stands. Barcelona feels most alive in the evenings, as the sun goes down and everyone crams into the squares for a beer and a cigarette and a plate of patatas bravas. I have been practising my rudimentary Spanish, asking for la cuenta and ordering a bottle of juice and an empanada. I have never spoken Spanish in Spain before (I haven’t visited for years and I’ve only started learning languages more seriously since then) but I’m pleasantly surprised by my own pronunciation and the response from the locals. It makes me want to quit my job and head to Spain or Italy to enroll in a language school, where I’d study in the mornings and explore and write in the afternoons.
Maybe one day.
It hasn’t been all fresh cherries and mojitos, though. As we landed in Spain I received a string of messages from our Airbnb host, explaining that the flat was suddenly unsafe and that he’d arranged for us to stay in his friend’s apartment nearby. We ended up standing in the warm spring rain at 1.30am, trying to text in Spanish while we waited for Walter to appear. The following day, as we marveled at the Sagrada Família from the outside before going in, a thief walked off with our backpack. Jake noticed within seconds and I ran after him. I caught up to him and yelled and he dropped our bag and ran. I felt very cool, having got our bag back and accosted the thief in the process.
Earlier this week, in London, my beautiful bike was stolen. It was stolen from a busy street, in the daylight, where it had been locked with a D-lock through the frame and wheel to a fixed bike rack for only two hours. I would be impressed if I wasn’t still devastated. I loved that bike, I rode it everyday and I’m sad to have lost it (and sad that I now need to buy another one). Anyway, I wasn’t having something else stolen this week, even though the backpack only had water, my book and a pack of cards in it. Bike thief, 1; Bag thief, 0; Ellie… 0.5. I’ll take it.
Here are some bright and beautiful photos of architecture and life in Barcelona. I hope you like them!