Impressions of… Barcelona

Barcelona is a fascinating city; you could spend a week just exploring the Barri Gótic and La Rambla, but there’s so much more to see, especially if you’re a lover of art or history.

The architectural influence of Antoni Gaudí is everywhere. His most notable mark is, of course, the Sagrada Familia – that great, as-yet-unfinished cathedral that’s as much a temple to the moderníste movement as it is to the divine.
The other major Gaudí work is the Park Güell: another unfinished work made for his great patron, Eusebi Güell. Gaudí’s trademark mosaic work is visible everywhere here:

A Gaudí-designed roof in Park Güell, Barcelona
A Gaudí-designed ceiling in Park Güell, Barcelona

But, for me, the abiding impression I took from my trip to Barcelona has to be La Rambla and the Barri Gótic – that crowded bustling, lively, colourful and thoroughly exhilarating heart of the city.

From the bonkers-but-utterly-brilliant Mercat La Boqueria

to the street artists and performers

it’s just a wonderful place to relax.

Like any city, though, it has its poorer side, like this beggar lady outside the market

or these run-down buildings just metres from La Rambla

Would I go back? Of course – a week is not nearly long enough to do the place justice. Maybe when it’s a bit cooler, and with fewer people around, though.