The city looms large in my imagination – from the ancient architecture and the swirling designs of Antonio Gaudi to gastronomic delights and the mashup of modern taste and Catalan sensibilities. I’d love to spend late nights with friends over tasty tapas and wake up cleansed with sleep to church bells calling me out into the day. It’s only going to happen when I venture finally to Barcelona.
But that marvel of a city remains out of my grasp at the moment. So, I’m sharing my Barcelona wishlist and hope that perhaps next fall, you can join me virtually as I continue writing from there and 3 other major European cities as a guest blogger for the Open House Group and their holiday accommodations.
Go to Barcelona Top Five:
1. Aire de Barcelona: After checking into my hotel, I’d soak the jet lag out of my bones with a visit to Aire de Barcelona. This 19th century warehouse once sheltered wine casks but today graceful pools and massage alcoves lie beneath its brick arches. I’d rest in the Arabian style baths and surrender tight muscles to pummeling with gratitude.
2. La Sagrada Familia: Fortified and rested, I’d challenge my vertigo by climbing the spiral staircase inside one of the Cathedral towers. Afterwards, drawn inside the luminously expansive Cathedral, I’d light a candle in thanks for a safe descent. Gaudi designed the Church for the people and died before it was completed. Still a work in progress, it’s still being built by donation, so I’d offer a few coins in gratitude for its lofty wonder.
3. Barrio Gotico: I long to be transported by the choir one Sunday in the Cathedral de Barcelona. Stepping out through the carved doors, I’d wander, soaking in the ancient ambiance and contrast that with a visit to the Picasso Museum. Later I’d rest my feet and join friends to wash down my piety with pitchers of Sangria at the Mudanzas Bar in El Born.
4. La Boqueria: I’d stoke my appetite wandering the stalls in the La Boqueria food market. Perhaps I’d indulge my inner foodie in a cooking class learning how to create tapas or paella at the Cook and Taste school or BcnKitchen.
5. Spend a day outdoors. First, feed the pigeons at Parc Guell after breakfast and then take the train to Montserrat. After a cable car ride to the top of the mountain, I’d hum Amazing Grace where Benedictine monks once sang vespers.
After the delights of Barcelona, it will be fun see how the rest of the European cities in the Go with Oh contest will compare. Wish me luck and ciao.