Friday, 22 April 2011

Les voyages forment la jeunesse

So, I went to Barcelona for the first few days of the Easter holidays. We got cheap Ryanair flights and stayed with friends of my friend Erin, so it was pleasingly unexpensive.

Barcelona is an amazing city. It completely exceeded my expectations. In no particular order, the city has:

Fantastic Modernist architecture:

The Casa Battlo, perhaps the craziest and most beautiful of all the Gaudi buildings.

An Arc de Triomf, which was built for a World Exposition. Our guidebook suggested the only thing it had be triumphant about was having been built on time!

A close up of one of the decorations of the structure, which we could only conclude was a vampire bat with breasts. Seriously.

A port, with a little buoy looking up at the sky:

A shopping centre on the port. I wonder where else you can go to a department store a stone's throw away from the sea? The shopping centre has a strange mirrored wall, I'm in the bottom left-hand corner.

Seagulls and sunlight on the pier.

As if all that wasn't exciting enough, Barcelona also has several beaches.

This hideous fountain in The beautiful Parc de Cuitadella. More gaudy than Gaudi... it looks like it belongs in Las Vegas.

The park made up for it with orange and jasmine trees. Honestly, the weather was mid-20s with a slight breeze, and the whole place smelled faintly of jasmine and orange. One of the many reasons Barcelona is contending with Paris for my favourite city.

Just when I was thinking that the Parc de Cuitadella was my favourite park in Barcelona, we hit Montjuic, which is a collection of gardens and a large park just outside the city. It has a Greek amphitheatre!

And a series of fountains in a walled garden. Gosh, it was lovely.

Barcelona also has

Lampposts like this

Lunging gargoyles overhead in the Gothic quarter.

We also went to the Joan Miro foundation, which was a gallery dedicated to an artist I'd never heard of, but who I really liked. Here is a statue of his in the courtyard of the museum.

View of the city from the Joan Miro Foundation.

And in a temporary exhibition about (as far as I can see), local Catalan bands, here is Erin and I listening to music...

Any city with a square named after my favourite author wins points. 

Plaça de George Orwell also had this inspiring/bullshit message.

 And I haven't even mentioned the two biggest tourist attractions (according to Lonely Planet, anyway). Here is a house in the Park Guell:

And here is the Sagrada Familia, which I didn't go inside cause it cost over ten fricking euros, even for students, but it was nice to see the outside anyway. I thought I'd try and get an unfamiliar angle.

I haven't even covered half of what happened, a birthday party all in Catalan, explaining the meaning of the song "All Rise" by Blue to some girls with very limited English, sangria and tapas and excellent conversation, sunburnt feet, meeting Roser and her friends and family, learning about Catalan history, eating lots of ham, drinking lots of beer and staying in a little village outside Barcelona in a flat with a fluffy white cat and a very hospitable host. It was honestly one of the best trips I've ever taken. 

The place we stayed, Les Fonts, (pronouned Less Fonts and not actually Lay Fon, as it would be in French) also had... a castle. 

And last of all, because I rarely post photos of myself, here is a photo of Erin and I, the friend I went with, sitting on the pier just before we left to go back to Paris. 

After that I went to Switzerland for my friend Shona's birthday, which was like something out of The Great Gatsby! My flatmates looked at me a bit strangely after I'd told them that, it must seem odd that I've left the country twice in the past month for extravagant 21st birthday celebrations, what can I say, like the trip to Barcelona itself, it's been a series of happy coincidences. 


  1. Barcelona looks fantastic, I've got to visit George Orwell street when I go.
    I think the decoration on the Arc de Triomf looks like Tinker in armour.
    Laska x

  2. I'm going to Barcelona in June, this entry has made me even more excited about it!

  3. Aah, it was truly amazing. My advice would be to ignore the Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia, if you don't have much time, but definitely go to Montjuic, which is unbelievably gorgeous and had hardly anyone there when we went. Also, go somewhere other than Las Ramblas for tapas and it'll be much cheaper!

  4. :)

    love the distorted mirror photo from the exhibit and also the sagrada familia reflected in the pond!

  5. I wish Watford had a gothic quarter :(

    Great photos by the way :)

  6. Haha, imagine Watford with a Gothic Quarter. Who is this?