Barcelona, Summer 2009
Barcelona is instantly my most favourite city. So far, at least.
When I first decided to go to Spain for a holiday, it was on a whim. It was sometime during the spring of last year after my trip with the Bajentings. It was my first time to stay in London for the holidays and so I had a lot of time on my hands. Instead of seeing more of the city though, I ended up going overseas.
I first entertained the thought when I heard that the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra was playing in London. I read about them long ago and was terribly impressed. That they were in London seemed too great an opportunity to pass, so I immediately looked for tickets. My close friends Nep and Tisay happened to have a stint helping the catering for their London show and they told me it’s been fully booked long before. I felt so bad missing the chance that I surfed the net and found out that they’re also having shows in Madrid and Barcelona and a few other European cities.
It was then that I started considering flying to Barcelona just in time to catch their show. It seemed outrageous at the time, but thanks to the internet, I was able to build up a solid itinerary and canvass options for airfare and lodging. Before I knew it, I was impulse buying tickets and making online reservations for a weeklong stay in Barcino.
I was sort of nervous about that because it was to be my first ever solo trip to a country that didn’t speak English primarily. I sorta knew how to speak Spanish, but it’s been so long since Span 1 & 2 with Sra. Carmen and Maita that I didn’t really trust myself to survive. Besides, I was heading for Catalunya!
The morning of my flight to Barcelona, I took a long detour to Stanford at Covent Garden, one of my favourite stores in London now, and bought myself an Encounter guide (back when it only had Barcelona, NY, Rome and Paris) and a Spanish phrasebook…and then I was off.
That turned out to be one of my most memorable and perhaps my most favourite trip ever. Barcelona had everything I was interested in – a beach, a vibrant arts scene, museums worth visiting, a mix of people comparable to London’s, grrrrrreeeaaat food, and a couple of friends who were grrrrrreeeaaat guardians (shoutout to Wil and Lola!). That I was there for six long days, by myself, made for a relaxed holiday with neither the pressure of dragging myself out of the hotel to follow someone else’s itinerary nor the annoyances or conflicts of a travel companion’s divergent whims.
I loved Barcelona so much that even after my camera got stolen on my first trip (please don’t tell my Mom), I still had fond memories of the city. Hey, at least I had the full Barna experience, yeah? The pictures posted in this album were taken during my second trip last summer, right before classes at LFS started 🙂
Did I mention how much I love Barcelona?