After Lisbon, we headed to Barcelona, one of the proudest cities in Europe - I say proud because its people ADORE it.
My uncle, who is born in Barcelona and has lived in Catalonia for all of his life – is one of them.
He, along with many many other Catalan people, want Catalonia to become independent from Spain.
I can understand why Barcelona’s people love their city:
Set between two mountains where you can overlook the city, right by the ocean with its own beaches, it’s a pretty unique place to live.
I have been there quite a few times before, so I was looking forward to going there again.
When we went there during our Europe Train Challenge, there was so much that I wanted to show you readers in our video.
But we only had 1 day, and while we were filming, the realization came stronger and stronger: it’s hard to show Barcelona, because you really have to simply experience it!
In the videos, the walls look dark and ugly, full of Graffiti – but when you’re there you see the small balconies with flowerpots, laundry and how narrow the streets really are.
So I just had to face it – Barcelona is a place you simply have to visit to understand, and I find that to really experience it, you will just have to let Barcelona embrace you.
The best way to really get to know Barcelona would be to rent one of the many City Base Apartments and stay there for a bit longer, maybe we’ll do that next time.
While people line up for hours to go inside Sagrada Familia, the true Barcelona experience is around the corner in a small bar.
A few years back Nathan arrived with a broken ATM card, no money and slept in a park which he later found out had many “horror stories” of what went on there during the night.
I didn’t get much sleep either, because last time I was there I partied all night for two weeks straight.
Coming back I had a whole different experience of the city, one more sober and perhaps not so “amazed” by everything.
Last time I was there, the “friend of a friend” we stayed with really wanted to show us the magic fountain, but we never got around to see it, and were too busy shopping.
This time we went out of our way to see it, and it was just amazing.
The whole area around the Magic fountain was beautiful, and you could spend a long time enjoying the views from there.
This time I felt like my eyes and ears were wide open, taking it all in, learning and seeing Barcelona from a fresh perspective.
What I learned from our time there is that it’s always worth returning to the places you visit to see how your impressions have changed since last time…
Have you visited Barcelona more than once? Has your perception changed over time?